$75m disaster relief for US fisheries

28 Feb 2014
The funding will go towards six disaster fisheries

The funding will go towards six disaster fisheries

Six US fisheries that were declared by the Department of Commerce in 2012 and 2013 as “fishery disasters” are to receive US$75m of the 2014 federal budget.

Those fisheries receiving allocations from the disaster relief fund include commercial fisheries in American Samoa following the tsunami of 2009, commercial fisheries in Mississippi following the Mississippi River flood in 2011, the New England multispecies groundfish fishery for the 2013 season, Alaska’s Chinook salmon fishery for 2011 and 2012, the Florida oyster fishery in the Gulf of Mexico due to a drought in 2012, and fisheries in New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“Our fisheries are critically important to the lives and livelihoods of many communities, said Eileen Sobeck, fisheries assistant administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

“NOAA Fisheries will work with affected communities, states and tribes as quickly as possible to ensure that the disaster relief funding gets allocated as quickly as possible,” she added.

Funding recipients will be able to decide the best use of the funds to meet the needs of their local businesses and communities. Funds can 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”.

Before the money can be distributed, the fisheries must develop spend plans. NOAA Fisheries will work with the recipients to ensure that all statutory and grant requirements are addressed.

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