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N.H. Groundfisheries Get $2 Million In Disaster Relief

Ryan Lessard

  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, or NOAA, announced Wednesday that New Hampshire’s groundfishery will receive more than $2 million in federal disaster funds.

Josh Wiersma, the head of New Hampshire’s groundfish coop, says local ground fishermen, who expected less direct aid, breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement.

In February, Congress allocated nearly $33 million for five New England states plus New York. John Bullard, the Regional Administrator with NOAA Fisheries, says this follows severely strict fish quotas along the northeast coast in recent years.

“The industry is very different. Big boats, little boats representing very different ports so it was a very difficult job arriving at consensus.”

The state will receive one million in discretionary funds and discussions will begin soon to decide how it gets used. 28 groundfish permit holders in the state will see checks in the mail for more than $32 thousand. A third of the $33 million for the region has been set aside to be used in a permit buy-back program. 

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