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August 3, 2013

Letter: Fishing funds a step, but where's disaster aid

To the editor:

It seems that there is hope of finally releasing some of the funds gathered from tariffs on imported seafood to fishery industry efforts and research and development (the Times, Page 1, Friday, Aug. 2).

This is a serious step in the right direction and it is good news that NOAA will not be allowed to continue to divert all of these funds to its own administrative expenses.

These funds are restricted to benefit fisheries by a law sponsored by two of our late senators, John F. Kennedy and Leverett Saltonstall. The government has been diverting those funds to NOAA use for many years, recently even completely ignoring the provisions of the act.

Clearly, this will not solve the crushing problem of lack of opportunity for boats to fish, but perhaps it will help with keeping some boats and plants employed and above all if used to employ fishermen in the stock assessment process it might lead to some better fisheries stock assessments.

Meanwhile, where are the immediate disaster funds to address the immediate disaster created by NOAA?

DAMON E. CUMMINGS

Washington Street, Gloucester

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