Fish aid push goes to Senate

The quest for funding to back a government declaration that the Northeast groundfishery and two others have economically failed for reasons not attributable to fishermen shifts now from what industry supporters see as an unsympathetic, Republican-led U.S. House to a more understanding Senate.

And the push from state and federal lawmakers seeking to put money behind the Commerce Department’s September 2012 “economic disaster” declaration is shifting there with it.

A Democrat-heavy coalition in the House late Tuesday approved a $51 billion Superstorm Sandy relief package, but only after barring amendments that would also have steered $150 million to the groundfishery disaster states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Some fishing aid in the Senate bill was also targeted for Mississippi, whose crab and oyster fisheries are facing disasters of nature and the Alaska Chinook salmon fishery, which has also been declared a disaster.

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