Red tape snagging fishing aid delivery

The state hopes to hold to its previously announced schedule of getting the $32,500 fishery disaster checks in the hands of eligible fishermen by Oct. 1, but there will be a certain amount of red tape before anyone gets their money.
 
Paul J. Diodati, director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, told about 70 local fishermen and stakeholders Monday night that the $6.3 million earmarked for direct financial assistance will move to the state from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service through a grant process.
 
That means that the state must complete a grant application to NMFS that could take up to 60 days to process before Massachusetts receives the first wave of its $14.5 million portion of the $75 million in fishery disaster assistance appropriated in January by Congress, Diodati said.
 
“Once we get the money, there won’t be a lot of hesitation on the state’s part,” Diodati said, adding that the state anticipates charging less than 1 percent administrative overhead for administering the grant process and the ultimate distribution of the funds.
 
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