AUGUSTA — Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher announced on Thursday plans to distribute $640,005 to Maine's groundfish fleet.

This will be the second of three allocations from federal disaster relief money appropriated in response to significant cuts in Gulf of Maine cod quota that led to the declaration of a fishery failure in 2013.

The money will be held by DMR and distributed to Maine groundfish dealers to recover the cost of landings and handling fees that will be waived for groundfish vessels.

"We arrived at this approach after extensive input from industry over the past year," Keliher said in a statement announcing the distributions. "I have determined that these limited funds are best utilized to ensure that the shoreside infrastructure needed to sustain Maine's fishing industry now and into the future will see fish coming over the dock, and that Maine fishermen who land their fish in the state are rewarded for helping support that infrastructure."

The funds are a portion of the $2.3 million allocated to Maine so far from the $75 million appropriated by Congress to help with six fishery disasters nationally, including the disaster declared by the Secretary of Commerce in 2012 as a result of significant quota cuts for key New England groundfish stocks.

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