WASHINGTON, D.C. (CQ Transcriptions, LLC) — U.S. Senator Susan Collins has announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) will provide $10 million in additional funding to support New England's groundfish industry. The Maine Department of Marine Resources will receive $2 million to set up a permit bank for fishing permits, through which fishing opportunity will be preserved for small and remote communities in Maine.
"This funding is critical to sustaining Maine's fishing industry and our fishing communities," said Senator Collins. "As fishermen and their families struggle with strict regulations and other burdensome costs in this difficult economy, this assistance is welcome news."
In total, NOAA plans to spend $10 million to assist New England's fishing industry as follows:
- $5,000,000 to support permit banking programs. Permit banks are collections of fishing permits purchased and held by an organization to provide access rights such as days-at-sea and annual catch shares for qualifying fishing vessels.
- $546,000 in direct aid for fishing sector managers and vessel operators
- $4,000,000 for dockside and at-sea monitoring, which will create jobs for monitors and observers in local communities.
- $485,000 for NOAA's Fisheries Service for infrastructure and programmatic support.