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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced new funding available to New Hampshire fishermen.  The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced up to $3 million has been made available for offshore lobstermen in New England states to help them comply with new federal equipment regulations.

Bonnie Spinazzola, Executive Director of the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association, stated:  "The Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association is thrilled that Congress recognizes the need to assist lobstermen with the purchase of federally mandated groundlines.  We look forward to working with Senator Shaheen to continue efforts to support offshore lobstermen in New Hampshire."

NOAA also announced today that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has been awarded $108,662 to help sustain New Hampshire fisheries.

State Rep. Dennis Abbott, Chairman of the Fish, Game and Marine Resources Committee and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Legislative Commissioner for New Hampshire, stated:  "It's great news that New Hampshire is receiving these funds.  As we transition to new fisheries management systems, getting reliable data is essential to sustaining the commercial fishing industry, supporting recreational fishermen and ensuring the long-term vitality of the New England fishery."

Senator Shaheen stated: "Regulations on our commercial fisheries are putting a financial strain on fishermen in New Hampshire and they need some relief. This funding is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that our commercial fishermen can get the equipment they need to remain in business, especially given the difficult economy they face."

Shaheen recently worked to secure $825,000 for commercial fishermen and lobstermen in the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill.  This project will allow the State of New Hampshire to provide assistance to New Hampshire commercial fishermen and lobstermen that have been adversely impacted by recent federal fisheries regulations.  The legislation has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and now goes to the full Senate for final passage.