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In Seabrook, Shaheen meets with fishing industry representatives to discuss preservation of historic industry

(Seabrook, NH) – This morning in Seabrook, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) met with New Hampshire fishing industry members at the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative to discuss the future of the state’s historic fishing industry and the impact of a plan to distribute $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds across New England.

“New Hampshire’s historic fishing industry is an integral part of our regional economy and we need to make sure the industry remains viable and emerges strong after the difficulties our fishermen have been facing,” Shaheen said. “The federal fishery disaster relief plan will help provide immediate, short-term relief. However, we need to focus on lasting investments in the industry’s future and make sure regulatory decisions are made with the success and sustainability of the fishing industry in mind.”

Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts to secure disaster relief resources for affected fishing communities in several regions of the country, including $32.8 million in federal fishery disaster funds for New England where the fishing industry has been struggling under onerous catch limit regulations and consequent economic losses.

Under the compromise framework allocating $32.8 million toward New England fisheries, one-third of the funds are to be used in developing a federally funded buyout or industry-funded buyback with the other two-thirds being split among New England states and being used for direct assistance. New Hampshire will receive more than $2 million in funds with more than $900,000 going to direct assistance for New Hampshire fishermen and more than $1.1 million to be used at the state’s discretion.

Last month, Shaheen voiced concern to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) about a potentially detrimental federal buyout or industry-funded buyback program under the relief program, and urged the agency to consider local input from all sectors of the fishing industry in its decision-making process.