GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

February 27, 2014

N.E. lands $33M in federal fishing aid

The five coastal New England states and New York did well yesterday in the disbursement of the $75 million in federal fishing disaster funds, receiving close to $33 million.

Now it remains to be seen how Massachusetts, and by extension, Gloucester, fare when the assistance funds complete their journey to the local level.

NOAA announced the first apportioning of the federal fishery disaster funds Wednesday, awarding $32,847,955 — or 43.8 percent of the appropriated $75 million — to New England’s five Atlantic fishing states and New York.

There also was a cherry atop that little funding sundae: The Department of Commerce also announced that Massachusetts and other recipient states will not have to provide a 25 percent match to whatever disaster funds they accept.

“That’s good news because it essentially means there is 25 percent more funding for the states,” NOAA Regional Director John K. Bullard said Wednesday.

Bullard conceded that the funds are still months away from the hands of eligible fishermen and fishing-related businesses.

He could not offer any specifics on the formula for dividing the nearly $33 million among the six Northeast states, saying he continues to have discussions with the states’ fishery directors, as well as industry stakeholders, to determine the best manner to deliver the funds to the states and on to fishermen and fishing-related businesses.

“We want to get the money where it needs to go,” Bullard said. “We understand the urgency. But we want to be intelligent about it.

“No amount is enough, so we don’t want to waste any of it,” he added. “Certainly, there will be direct assistance to fishermen.”

In its statement, NOAA said the states will have “broad latitude to determine the best use of the funds to meet the unique needs of their local businesses and communities.” It said the funds may be used for activities that “restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, and to assist a fishing community affected by such failure.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide