Fishermen Hope for Disaster Cash
Photo by David Colantuono
The big "bin" of cash, doled out by Congress in September 2012, when they declared the New England groundfish fishery a disaster, is about to be emptied of the last nickels and dimes.
It wasn’t a hurricane or brutal snowstorm that caused the disaster, it was a lack of cod. Quotas for the Cape’s namesake fish were slashed 80 percent in the Gulf of Maine and 61 percent for Georges Bank.
A total of $32.8 million was set aside for the New England fishery, with $11 million reserved for future use and $14.6 million sent to Massachusetts for distribution.
“The first round was money distributed by the federal government to permit holders who caught 5,000 pounds of ground fish in either 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013,” explained Claire Fitz-Gerald, policy analyst for the Chatham-based Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance.