Funding to help fishermen with at-sea monitor costs

August 14, 2018 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Funding is now available to reimburse New England fishermen for the cost of at-sea monitors that gather data to help inform fishing regulations.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had been covering the fees, but shifted the cost to fishermen in some Northeast fisheries 2016. A New England fishing group unsuccessfully sued the government, saying the cost shift is unlawful.

A budget bill signed into law in March included $10.3 million in funding. New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said NOAA will reimburse fishermen for the 2018 fishing year, and for 85 percent of 2017.

The monitors can cost an estimated $700 per day on fishing trips.

Shaheen said the commercial fishing industry is operating on “razor thin margins” and relieving fishermen of the fees has been a priority for her.