NSC Statement on Federal Disaster Funding for Northeast Groundfish Industry
The Northeast Seafood Coalition ("NSC") supports the disaster declaration and is grateful to the support of our diligent Members of Congress and other elected officials including Governors of the affected states for their ongoing and relentless push for a declaration.
Gloucester, Mass. -- September 13, 2012 --The following was released by the Northeast Seafood Coalition:
Today, the Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce declared commercial fishery failure for the Northeast groundfish fishing industry. The Northeast Seafood Coalition ("NSC") supports the disaster declaration and is grateful to the support of our diligent Members of Congress and other elected officials including Governors of the affected states for their ongoing and relentless push for a declaration.
In March 2012, NSC wrote to Governors of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey to urge them to submit a request to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for a coordinated fisheries disaster in light of pending reductions for this current fishing year and the upcoming fishing year. Since our request, there has been a well-coordinated regional effort by the Governors and Congressional leaders for which we are extremely appreciative.
At this time, there are significant short and long-term challenges that lie ahead and this declaration is a significant leap forward. Despite the combined effort from fishermen and managers to respond and rebuild groundfish stocks, according to recent scientific assessments, several key stocks in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank are not achieving anticipated results. It is unfair to hold fishermen exclusively accountable for natural cycles of complex ecosystems. NSC believes it's time to review and understand the larger picture of this ecosystem and develop management strategies that are more reflective of this reality.
Today's disaster declaration makes it possible for Congress to appropriate money toward assisting fishermen and directly impacted parties. NSC views federal disaster relief as being an important component of a plan for 2013 and beyond.
NSC-the largest membership organization in the northeast groundfish fishery, which represents a majority of the active fishermen in the region-looks forward to working with our membership, the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries, States and the U.S. Department of Commerce through our elected officials on steps moving forward.
View a PDF of the NSC release here