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Shaheen Puts Focus of Senate Hearing on New Hampshire’s Struggling Fishing Industry

**Shaheen invites James Hayward, a fisherman and industry leader from Portsmouth, and Dr. Josh Wiersma, a leader and expert in the New England fishing industry, to testify at Thursday’s Small Business Committee hearing**

Washington, DC—Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the lead Democrat on the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has invited two prominent industry leaders in the New England fishing industry to testify at a committee hearing scheduled for Thursday. Through her leadership on the committee, Senator Shaheen was able to make New Hampshire’s struggling fishing industry a major focus of Thursday’s hearing. James Hayward of Portsmouth and Dr. Joshua Wiersma will testify at the hearing entitled “The Impacts of Federal Fisheries Management on Small Businesses” and can be watched online here beginning at 10:00AM.

“Fishing is an integral part of New Hampshire’s economy and heritage,” said Shaheen. “Our struggling small-boat fleet needs relief from onerous federal regulations so New Hampshire’s fishermen can continue to make a living. Catch limits and at-sea monitoring fees threaten the very existence of our fishing industry. I’m very pleased that Mr. Hayward and Dr. Wiersma will be informing the Senate of their first-hand experience in our region’s fishing industry.”

Background information on Senator Shaheen’s invited witnesses:

James Hayward, President of XI Northeast Fisheries Sector, Inc.

James Hayward is a second generation commercial fisherman. He is primarily a day boat gillnet fisherman operating in the Gulf of Maine ranging from 20 to 120 miles from port. He currently owns two fishing boats located in Portsmouth Harbor, New Hampshire. He owns and manages Heidi Seafood Services, the only federally licensed groundfish dealership at the State facility in Portsmouth Harbor.  He is president of the community’s groundfish sector, XI Northeast Fisheries Sector, Inc., as well as treasurer of New Hampshire community supported fisheries, New Hampshire Community Seafood.  He is also a board member of the Northeast Seafood Coalition and the Northeast Sector Services Network, and a member of the Seafood Harvesters of America.

Dr. Joshua Wiersma, Manager, Northeast Fisheries, Environmental Defense Fund

Dr. Wiersma has over 15 years of experience working with commercial fishermen in New England to improve their business conditions. His doctoral research, which examined the value of collaborative research to New England fishermen, led him to work directly for the ground fishing industry after graduation. Initially hired by the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership as a Fisheries Economist, he then worked for the Northeast Seafood Coalition as their Sector Policy Analyst where he helped to create the twelve Northeast Fisheries Sectors. He went on to manage New Hampshire’s two ground fishing sectors for the next five years.  Over this time, he also co-founded and was the Executive Director of New Hampshire Community Seafood Association, a successful community supported fishery cooperative that offers fresh, local, underutilized fish to the New Hampshire public through a type of fish share model. He is now the Manager of Northeast Fisheries at Environmental Defense Fund, where he continues to work with fishermen to shape effective fisheries management, to improve fisheries science and data collection, and to develop better seafood markets and other business opportunities.