Shaheen Denounces Agency Decision to Impose Costly Fee on NH Fishermen

February 22, 2016

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) denounced a decision by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to force New Hampshire fishermen to pay for a costly regulation beginning March 1. The agency announced on Friday that it will force fishermen in New England to start paying for an at-sea observer program, which monitors catch sizes for conservation purposes. The program, which was previously paid for by NOAA, will cost fishermen an estimated $700 per day on fishing trips.

“NOAA’s decision to burden New Hampshire fishermen with such a costly fee is a crippling blow to a community that is already fighting for survival,” said Shaheen. “I am disappointed that after hearing about what a disaster this would be to Granite State fishermen for over a year, NOAA has still made such a harmful and short-sighted mistake. I will do everything I can to eliminate this fee, which poses an existential threat to our fishermen on the Seacoast.”

Senator Shaheen has worked to prevent NOAA from placing this costly burden on Granite State fishermen. As a Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen included provisions in Fiscal Year 2016 legislation directing NOAA to alleviate this problem and to develop new technology that would be more efficient and cost-effective. She has also spoken directly to the NOAA Administrator about the negative impact of these fees, and organized a meeting between the agency director and fishermen in New Hampshire. Last year, she asked for an investigation into the costs and operations of the at-sea monitoring program by the Inspector General of the Commerce Department.