December 09, 2014

Markey, Warren, Keating Push for Release of Fishery Disaster Money

Massachusetts members push for Commerce Dept. to disburse second round during holiday season after NOAA restricts cod catches

WASHINGTON (December 9, 2014) - Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren, with Rep. Bill Keating, are pushing the head of the Department of Commerce to release a second round of disaster fishing aid to Bay State fishermen and businesses before the end of the year. Some fishermen and businesses did not qualify for the first round of funding that was released in August, and recent emergency measures put in place by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will further restrict allowable catch of cod, worsening the economic conditions for many families in Massachusetts.

"The ongoing groundfish disaster has had a huge economic impact on fishing families and communities in Massachusetts. In many cases, the financial hardship is now acute," write the lawmakers. "This second portion of money will help crewmen, shoreside businesses and permit holders who did not qualify for the first portion. We thank you for your prompt attention to getting these critical funds to Massachusetts as soon as possible, especially during the holiday season."

The full letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker can be found HERE.

Earlier this year, Senators Markey and Warren, Rep. Keating, and others in the Massachusetts delegation successfully acquired more than $32 million for New England fishermen in disaster relief money. The Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries has already created a plan to disburse the $8.3 million allotted for Massachusetts for this second round of disaster funding, and sent a final grant application to NOAA on October 24, 2014.