The state Division of Marine Fisheries listened to those who wanted a wider distribution of $6.7 million in federal fisheries disaster money. At a meeting of the groundfish disaster aid working group in New Bedford on Friday, the agency laid out a plan where more than $6 million of the money would be used in direct aid to fishermen.
While an earlier proposal set a fairly high bar of 20,000 pounds of groundfish landings in any year from 2012 to 2014 to qualify for aid, the new plan would require 10,000 pounds of groundfish or have at least one trip in 2014 on which a vessel carried an observer.
Groundfish once were the bread and butter of New England fishermen, and include bottom-feeding species such as cod, haddock and flounders.
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