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

Cod by Derek Keats.jpg
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.

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