N.H. fishermen await disaster aid allotment

SEABROOK — Officials at Yankee Fisherman’s Cooperative are pleased about the nearly $33 million in fishery disaster relief funds allocated to those in the Northeast who make their livings on the sea, but they have yet to learn how much of the money will trickle down to New Hampshire’s commercial groundfishing fleet owners.

“It’s good news and we want to thank all of New Hampshire’s congressional delegates who fought with us on this,” said Peter Kendall, manager of Yankee Fisherman’s Co-op and a member of the New England Fishery Management Council. “We know New Hampshire will get some of the money, but we won’t know how much for a couple of weeks.”

Kendall said the money should come down through the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to groundfishermen, but it’s unclear exactly how it will be distributed.

“Some money could be set aside in a buy-back plan, to buy back (groundfishing) permits and boats from commercial fishermen,” Kendall said. “And what’s left, hopefully, could go to help offset the income lost by New Hampshire groundfishermen over the past year, and perhaps for the next year or two. But we don’t know if it will save the New Hampshire groundfish industry.”

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