Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Disaster aid sought for fishing industry in New Jersey

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is asking the federal government to provide funding to help the state's fishing industry recover from damages resulting from Hurricane Sandy.

Christie made the request for a declaration of a federal fisheries resource disaster in a letter to Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank.
New Jersey fishing boats in Viking Village before Sandy
“New Jersey’s commercial and recreational fishing industries are essential to our coastal economy, generating some $2.7 billion in combined economic activity,” the governor said.

“The storm resulted in significant losses for the industry, damaging or destroying vessels, ports, facilities, and equipment. It also left coastal areas that the industry needs severely damaged or inaccessible. This declaration will help the fishing industry obtain immediate disaster relief assistance and help it cope during this time of great economic loss and hardship.”


A federal fishery disaster declaration would trigger a federal economic transition program to provide immediate disaster relief for impacted aspects of the industry, including commercial fishing operations, charter fishing operators, processors and owners of related fishery infrastructure affected by the disaster. 

According to a news release from the governor's office, New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry in 2011 landed roughly 175 million pounds of seafood, generating over $1.3 billion in economic activity. The economic impact of recreational fishing also supports approximately 8,500 jobs and $1.4 billion in annual sales.

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