Mass. fishermen eligible for federal disaster aid
BOSTON (AP) — The federal Small Business Administration has decided to provide federal disaster assistance to Massachusetts fishermen hard hit by reductions in catch limits and groundfish stocks.
U.S. Sen. Edward Markey said Friday that the assistance will help fishermen keep their businesses afloat as they adjust to changing conditions that threaten commercial fishing communities across the state.
In September, Gov. Deval Patrick officially certified that Massachusetts fishermen who chase bottom-dwelling groundfish had suffered “substantial economic injury.”
He cited the poor health of key fish stocks and this year’s devastating cuts in the allowed catch.
The disaster aid will help fishermen in Barnstable, Bristol, Essex, Plymouth, Norfolk and Suffolk counties as well as two counties in New Hampshire.
An industry group, the Northeast Seafood Coalition, had initiated the appeal for disaster assistance.