Will the Federal Government Offer Funding to Aid the Fishery Disaster?

Three weeks ago, the U.S. Commerce Department declared a national fishery disaster in New England, but what does that mean for struggling commercial fisherman? It may be the first step to receive $100 million in federal aid, but the money is not yet flowing.

The Commerce Secretary understands that fish stocks are expected to be down for 2013 and will be slow to rebuild, particularly the cod and flounder stocks. They remain low, despite the 2010 controversial rules designed to prevent overfishing (which regulations are being appealed in the courts, the subject of our next blog).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pledged to include $100 million in aid for fishermen, but it is unclear whether such a funding bill will pass in the current political climate. It may have to wait until after the election to have a chance of passing through Congress.  Senator John Kerry projected that the $100 million could be used as direct aid to fisherman, to improve fishery science and to pay for independent observers monitoring catches.

Commercial fishermen have struggled this year, and this money is absolutely necessary to help the workers and to improve the fish stocks for the future. Our law firm has been in business for over 45 years, and in that time, we have seen the industry weather various hardships, and this money could go a long way to help.

Our Boston maritime trial lawyers represent commercial fisherman, crewmembers and longshoreman seeking maintenance and cure after being injured on the job, as well as families whose loved one has died while working at sea or on the docks. The most important thing to remember is that there is only a limited amount of time a worker is able to file a claim, so you cannot hesitate to contact us by calling (800) 392-6072 or filling out our online contact form.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers