Feds release funds for fishing aid

They’ve waited more than a half-year for the help to arrive, as if on the wrong end of a siege. From the wintry evening in January when Congress appropriated the $75 million in fishery disaster assistance, through the spring and on into the final weeks of summer, fishermen in Gloucester and throughout Massachusetts waited for the money to arrive.
 
Their wait is nearly over.
 
NOAA announced Wednesday that it has approved the Massachusetts grant application necessary for the state to receive the $6.3 million in direct federal financial assistance, which the state now will parcel out to the estimated 200 eligible Bay State permit holders — including more than 50 fishing out of Gloucester — in checks for $32,500 per permit.
 
“We hope that by early September or even sooner, we will have issued all of the checks to the eligible permit holders,” said Mary Griffin, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game. “We all understand the need to get this money out as quickly as possible.”
 
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