New Jersey’s commercial fishermen landed and processed finfish and shellfish valued at almost 200 million dollars at the dock in 2011.
These landings generated more than a billion dollars in economic activity for the State of New Jersey.
The commercial fishermen and fishing-dependent businesses from Cumberland County bordering Delaware Bay up the coast to Monmouth County on Raritan Bay suffered grievously from Hurricane Sandy and now face myriad challenges as they attempt to rebuild both their facilities and their markets.
Fortunately, the federal government has programs in place that are designed to provide emergency assistance to the commercial fishing industry due to impacts from disastrous weather events.
The two programs, one established by Section 312(a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (MSFCMA) and the second by Section 308(b) of the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986 (IJA), allows the governor of an affected state to make a request to the Secretary of Commerce to declare a fisheries disaster.
Once the disaster is declared, the U.S Congress can then provide recovery assistance in various forms.
Accordingly, the GSSA is requesting that NJ Governor Christie make requests to the Secretary of Commerce under both programs and encourage the Secretary to act in a timely manner to help New Jersey’s fishermen and those in fishing-dependent businesses rebuild their facilities and their markets as rapidly and effectively as possible.
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