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Money For N.H. Fishery Disaster Delayed By Fiscal Cliff

Derek Keats
Flickr Creative Commons

New Hampshire fishermen who are hoping for federal disaster relief funds will have to wait a bit longer for those dollars. Money slated to go to the Northeastern ground-fishermen was caught up in the discussions surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff.

$150 million federal dollars were set to be split between four fishery disasters, two of which are in the Northeast: Superstorm Sandy and the decline of the Gulf of Maine Cod stock. But that money was never brought to a vote in the US House of Representatives, instead on Friday Congress passed a bill that would provide relief funds for only the flooding damage caused by Sandy. Lawmakers will take up the fisheries disaster funds mid-January.

But even if the fisheries disaster funds are approved, New Hampshire fishermen like Hampton’s David Goethel say it won’t be enough to keep them in business.

Goethel: The amount of money that I might get from this disaster aid probably would be insufficient to even pay for my health insurance for the year.

Due to declining cod stocks, the groundfish fishery – which includes more than ninety species like cod, halibut, sole , and flounder – is expecting an 80 percent cut this year in the amount of fish they can catch.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
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