Mass. fishery losses pegged at $103 million

Massachusetts will lose about $34 million in direct revenues because of lower fish landings in 2013 due to the ongoing fishing crisis, and direct and indirect revenue losses to the state’s fishing industry and the communities that host it will be about $103 million, Gov. Deval Patrick said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

Patrick’s letter, written in support of the federal provision of $75 million in disaster aid for six declared disasters, including the Northeast Groundfish fishery, maintains that the disaster funds will provide “both immediate relief and targeted investments to ensure our fleet becomes more sustainable in the future.”

Patrick also advanced several distribution strategies, including a “direct subsidy program to fishermen and fishing businesses to provide temporary relief and deal with immediate changes in fishery management” and “support crew and family services.”

The governor also endorsed the concept of loan assistance programs using a long-term, revolving loan fund and stated the need for both shoreside infrastructure support and the implementation of plans to bring more reason and flexibility to fishery management, while helping ensure future stability for the embattled industry.

“I share your belief that this fishery disaster funding should be used to not only begin to remedy the economic harm caused by the fisheries disaster, but also better position our fishery to weather this ongoing resource disaster,” Patrick wrote to Pritzker. 

Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>

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