Shaheen Negotiates Full Federal Funding for At-Sea Monitoring Fees in Government Spending Bill, Removing Burden from NH Fishermen

March 22, 2018

** Shaheen, the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, negotiated full federal funding for at-sea monitoring fees to prevent the burdensome and costly regulation from being imposed on New Hampshire fishermen.**

(Washington, DC)— U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after obtaining funding in the omnibus government spending bill that will prevent a burdensome and costly at-sea monitoring fee from being imposed on New Hampshire fishermen this year. The fee was previously paid for by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), but in recent years, the agency has shifted this significant financial burden on to fishermen. The monitoring program can cost fishermen up to an estimated $700 per day on fishing trips.

“New Hampshire fishermen face enough daunting challenges – the last thing they need right now is to be further burdened with a costly regulatory fee,” said Shaheen. “We should be focused on making it easier, not harder for our commercial fishing industry to compete in today’s market, which is why I fought to include relief for at-sea monitoring costs this year. I’ll continue to prioritize our fishermen and work to ensure the industry’s long-term sustainability.”

The legislation also includes $2 million in new funding for New England groundfish research, including the impacts of changing climatic conditions and warming waters on the fishery.

Senator Shaheen has prevented NOAA from placing this costly burden on Granite State fishermen in years prior. 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.