Contact: Eben BurnhamSnyder (Markey), 2022242742
$150 million needed for hardhit fishermen, says bipartisan group
WASHINGTON (November 13, 2013) - Senator Edward J. Markey (DMass.) and 37 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues today pressed Congressional leadership and top appropriators to include $150 million in fisheries disaster relief in the current appropriations bill moving through Congress. The money would help fishermen in Massachusetts and other coastal fishing communities across the country that have been declared fishery disasters.
The bipartisan letter, which Senator Markey organized along with Senators Jack Reed (DR.I.) and Lisa Murkowski (RAlaska), asks that the $150 million currently included in the fiscal year 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill be preserved in any final budget. The entire Massachusetts delegation signed the letter.
"For the communities they affect, fisheries disasters are as devastating as other federallydeclared disasters," writes Senator Markey and his colleagues. "These funds could be used in a variety of ways to provide fishermen vital help including support for emergency financial assistance, operational costs where necessary, economic development programs, and science initiatives to manage the fishery in a timely way that gives confidence to all stakeholders."
On September 13, 2012, a federal fisheries disaster was declared for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Despite fishermen's strict adherence to federal management practices, reductions in the total allowable catch for certain critical groundfish stocks are having a significant impact on coastal communities, fishing families, and local economies, leaving many historic fishing communities on the brink of extinction.
Fisheries disasters have also been declared in Alaska, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York, and Florida.
The full letter can be found HERE and a list of signatories is below.
Edward J. Markey
Roger F. Wicker
Christopher S. Murphy
William R. Keating
David N. Cicilline
James P. McGovern
John F. Tierney
James R. Langevin
Stephen F. Lynch
Timothy H. Bishop
Michael E. Capuano
Joseph P. Kennedy III
Michael H. Michaud