State: National fishery disaster declared for MA ground fishermen

A national disaster has been declared for Massachusetts fisherman by the U.S Department of Commerce.

State Representative Jim Cantwell, who was one of many legislators on Beacon Hill pushing for the disaster declaration, says local fisherman need relief,  “Marshfield and Scituate combine the hard work of over 200 fishermen we have in our neighborhoods. These folks account for the 4th most productive fishing port in the state past New Bedford then Gloucester then Boston. Marshfield and Scituate combined have a huge impact on our local economy.”

Governor Deval Patrick recently submitted a letter to U.S Senate and House leadership asking for their support in securing $100 dollars in disaster funding.

Representative Cantwell says the declaration will be helpful when Congress resumes debate this fall, but relief funding isn’t promised by the federal government.

“If they’re going to be told that they cannot go out and earn a living or they restrict 80% of their quota we’re going to need disaster assistance to make sure these people stay in business.”

He says there are complicated reasons behind why the fish population is low in New England waters including strict catch limits, the protection of certain species, and global warming.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.