USA: fisheries subsidies underway for commercial fisheries "disaster"?

In previous pots on the US I referred to reports in the media New England ground fishermen problems. Well, now it seems that financial support could be underway, and this for up to 100 million USD.

Some of the statements by Acting US Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank and by Dr. Jane Lubchenco are interesting:

Here what the acting Secretary said:

“Fishermen in the Northeast are facing financial hardships because of the unexpectedly slow rebuilding of fish stocks that have limited their ability to catch enough to make ends meet,” said Acting Secretary Blank. “The Department of Commerce has determined that the diminished fish stocks have resulted despite fishermen’s adherence to catch limits intended to rebuild the stocks, and I am making a fishery failure declaration so that Congress is able to appropriate funding that will mitigate some of the economic consequences of the reduced stocks and help build a sustainable fishery. The future challenges facing the men and women in this industry and the shore-based businesses that support them are daunting, and we want to do everything we can to help them through these difficult times.”

And here the NOAA Administrator:

“Fishing is the lifeblood of many coastal communities, providing jobs, a continuation of an historic tradition and culture, recreational opportunities for millions of anglers, and contributing to food security for the nation,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator. “Finding solutions will not be easy, but by continuing to work together, we can have healthy fish stocks, profitable fisheries, and vibrant fishing communities.”

I was struck by these statements. Clearly the U.S. Administration is ready to help fishermen, including with subsidies, to help them go through the current difficulties. It is also clear that U.S. fisheries managers recognise the essential role of fishing in the life of coastal communities, and perhaps more importantly, in contribution to U.S. food security.

Among those politicians who have pushed hard to get the U.S. Administration to declare the fisheries “disaster” we find Senator John Kerry. He is part of the so called Massachusetts Congressional delegation. 

According to the press article Senator Kerry will seek 100 million USD funds for New England fishermen.
Hereunder are a few links to press articles on the disaster declaration and on the comments by fishermen and politicians.

As final consideration: I wonder how such disaster relief will be treated in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnerships negotiations, under the issues raised by some participants (including the U.S.) to address fisheries subsidies.

No comments: