The state Senate’s approval of a $50,000 appropriation that should help fund a state Division of Marine Fisheries aid plan is no doubt appreciated by those still caught in the throes of Gloucester’s and other fishing communities’ federally-recognized economic disaster.
And given that the new grant, if properly paired with a $75,000 port-recovery, should funnel direct aid to fishing boats and other waterfront businesses, it should be seen as a model for other aid to come.
But fishermen, stuck with oppressive federal catch limits mandates and policies that have pushed some into bankruptcy and/or foreclosure, hold permits for which they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, and have debts for the same. And these aid figures don’t amount to a drop in the bucket of need.
Until true and deserved federal aid packages arrive, they have every right to ask a question seafood lovers loathe: Where’s the beef?