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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen announced today that the Department of Commerce has released $1 million to the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department to purchase permits for New Hampshire fishermen, allowing them increase the amount of groundfish the state's fishermen are allowed to catch and sell.  In May, Shaheen urged Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to release these funds as quickly as possible to help fishermen who face low catch limits this year. 

"I urged Secretary Locke to get this funding out as soon as possible because New Hampshire's small boat fleet is struggling and in critical need of this help," said Shaheen.

Low catch limits, which are a part of new regulations designed to rebuild groundfish stocks in New England, have put New Hampshire's small boat fleet at risk.  Shaheen has consistently advocated on behalf of New Hampshire fishermen, including calling on Commerce Secretary Gary Locke earlier this year to take emergency action to increase the amount of some stocks that New Hampshire fishermen can catch.  The new support will allow New Hampshire Fish & Game to fund a permit bank for New Hampshire groundfish, which will be supplemented by the recently announced funding included in the Senate's Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.