Fishing aid package eliminated by House panel

The decision, made Monday night, was expected by many, but it leaves Gloucester, New Bedford and lesser groundfishing ports without the hope or expectation of short-term financial aid even as the commercial fleets continue to consolidate in the face of reduced catch limits and potentially catastrophic constrictions in opportunity looming in the 2013 fishing year.

On a party-line vote, the Republican majority on the committee refused to allow amendments that would have provided in excess of $100 million to the Northeast groundfishery in response to the acting Commerce secretary’s declaration in September that the fishery had fallen into an “economic disaster.”

Amendments to provide relief for the groundfisheren and other waterfront businesses were filed by Democratic Congressmen John Tierney, whose district includes Cape Ann, William Keating of Quincy and Ed Markey of Malden.

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