The Northeast Seafood Coalition’s spending plan for the approximately $33 million in federal disaster relief headed to coastal New England and New York would provide $11 million in immediate direct cash assistance to permit and vessel owners, with the remainder of the funds allocated for cash assistance to crews and a buyback program for fishing permits, but not vessels.
The plan — which the coalition considers an industry recommendation to NOAA, Congress and the Northeast states receiving the federal disaster funds — still remains something of a work in progress and is reflective of the intricacies involved in developing a plan palatable to all stakeholders.
Rather than a state-by-state disbursement, the NSC plan calls for a regional allocation of the funds among Northeast multispecies permit holders to alleviate any potential inconsistencies that might exist in the final disbursement plans operated by individual states.
“We’re concerned about inconsistency among the states,” said Jackie Odell, executive director of the Gloucester-based coalition. “We have many members who live in one state, but land fish in another. We’ve been looking at this from a fishery-wide and harvester perspective.”
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