Shaheen Announces New England Fishermen will be Completely Reimbursed for At-Sea Monitoring in Fishing Year 2018

August 14, 2018

**Shaheen, the Lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, Secured the Full Federal Funding for At-Sea Monitoring Fees in the FY 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill** 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will completely reimburse New Hampshire and New England fishermen for costly at-sea monitoring fees accrued during the 2018 fishing year thanks to the $10.3 million Shaheen secured in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March. Due to Shaheen’s efforts, NOAA will also reimburse 85 percent of the at-sea monitoring costs for New England fishermen incurred during the 2017 fishing year. Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, negotiated the federal funding to relieve fishermen of the costly fee. 

“Our state’s commercial fishing industry is operating on razor thin margins and urgently needs relief from these burdensome fees, which is why I’m thrilled that funding is now available to cover the costs of at-sea monitoring,” said Shaheen. “Relieving our fishermen of these fees has been a top priority for me since NOAA unfairly shifted the responsibility for at-sea monitoring costs on to the backs of our fishermen. The commercial fishing industry plays a role in New Hampshire’s economy, history and culture, so ensuring its longevity will always be important to me. Negotiating this federal funding was one of my top priorities in the government spending bill, and as the appropriations process for next year moves forward, I’ll keep fighting to make sure our fishermen have the support and resources they need.”

Senator Shaheen also procured $2 million in new funding for New England groundfish research in the omnibus spending bill signed into law in March, including the impacts of changing climate conditions and warming waters on the fishery. 

Previously, NOAA covered at-sea monitoring costs, but the agency shifted the responsibility to fishermen, which can cost up to an estimated $700 per day on fishing trips. Senator Shaheen has prevented NOAA from placing this costly burden on Granite State fishermen in recent years. She has repeatedly directed NOAA to fix the problem, including speaking directly to the former NOAA Administrator about the negative impact of the at-sea monitoring fees, and organizing a meeting between the agency director and fishermen in New Hampshire.