WASHINGTON (May 1, 2013) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced significant cuts to catch allocations. These cuts will adversely impact Massachusetts fishermen and local economies in the bay state.

In response to the action by NOAA, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement:

“The fact that we have known these cuts were coming for some time does not make them any less devastating to Massachusetts fishermen, their families, and their communities. The Commerce Department’s declaration of a fishery disaster last year, along with yesterday’s decision by NOAA to implement the reduced catch limits voted for by the New England Council, means the administration and Congress have a responsibility to provide relief.

“While House Republican leaders have so far rejected our calls to help Bay State fishermen, I will continue fighting for emergency aid. I will also engage the Obama administration to develop an ‘all hands on deck’ effort to assist the people hit by this perfect storm of fishery failures.

“I have pushed for and found flexibility to increase access to healthy stocks of white hake, winter flounder, redfish, monkfish, and dogfish, but that will not be enough to make everyone in the fishery whole, or to rebuild more valuable stocks to the benefit of the industry. I pledge to keep working alongside our fishermen for disaster relief, better stock assessments, more cooperative research, and additional science to understand how climate change is affecting the North Atlantic.”