Even as Massachusetts pushes to get the second phase of federal disaster funding to eligible Bay State beneficiaries, the fate of the federal buyout or industry buyback plan initially included in the third and final phase of funding could be in jeopardy.
Participants in a meeting Friday between NOAA Fisheries, New England state fishery directors and fishing industry stakeholders confirmed today that the remaining $10 million slotted for either a federally funded vessel buyout or an industry-funded permit buyback now could be shifted to provide other forms of assistance _ including additional financial assistance to active fishermen holding federal permits who received direct assistance in the first phase of funding.
"No decisions have been made yet," NOAA Regional Administrator John K. Bullard said today. "But our first priority at the outset was active fishermen with permits and those people remain our first priority.”
NOAA Fisheries last spring approved a plan from the respective state fishery directors of the five coastal New England states and New York to distribute the region's nearly $33 million share of the $75 million appropriated by Congress last January to assist six separate fishery disasters.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
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