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DMR Home > Groundfish Disaster Relief

Department of Marine Resources Praises Congressional Delegation for Groundfish Relief Efforts

The Maine Department of Marine Resources today praised Maine’s Congressional delegation for their steadfast efforts to ensure that $32.8 million in federal disaster relief funds will be available to provide economic relief to struggling groundfishermen in Maine. The funds, announced today, were divided among six fisheries declared disasters by the Secretary of Commerce in the years 2012 and 2013, with the New England groundfish fishery receiving the largest portion of the total funding available. Given the fiscal challenges states currently face, the Secretary’s waiver of the requirement for state matching funds was also applauded.

Commissioner Pat Keliher stated, “Despite fishing within catch limits, the Maine fleet has endured the economic hardship of severe cuts to their quota for many key stocks in recent years, including a 77% reduction in the 2013 fishing year to the allowable catch of Gulf of Maine cod. This much-needed relief will go a long way to ensuring that Maine groundfishermen have a brighter future ahead. DMR will continue to work closely with our delegation and industry members to ensure that these funds are directly beneficial to the fishermen who have been trying to get through these tough years so they can build a sustainable future.”

Background:

In September 2012, then-Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank declared the Northeast multispecies groundfish fishery a commercial fishery failure under Section 312(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Section 308(b) of the Interjursdictional Fisheries Act. The declaration was requested and supported by elected officials in the region.