Disaster Relief Sought For New England Fishermen

August 3, 2012 12:00 AM
Disaster Relief Sought For New England Fishermen
" BOSTON (AP) — The federal government should declare a disaster in the New England commercial fishing industry after regulators warned of severe reductions in future catch limits, members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation said Friday.

The potential impact of the cuts, triggered by dwindling groundfish stocks, would be “absolutely devastating” on fishermen and the 80,000 or so jobs that rely on the fishing industry in the Bay State alone, Democratic Sen. John Kerry said at a Boston news conference.

Kerry, Republican Sen. Scott Brown and several U.S. House members whose districts include coastal areas issued a joint statement asking President Barack Obama’s administration to issue a disaster declaration, which they said would help speed economic assistance to the fishing industry.

While New England governors and congressional representatives have made similar appeals for disaster relief in the past, “the evidence is now overwhelming in favor of such a declaration,” Friday’s statement read.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees the fishing industry, has not acted on the previous requests "

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