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

Jan 4, 2013

Cod-fish populations that aren't recovering as quickly as expected could mean as much as an 80 percent cut in fishing quotas in the New England Groundfish fishery.
Credit 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.