USD 11 million awarded to Atlantic herring fisheries in response to 2019 fisheries disaster

Published on
May 16, 2022

Atlantic herring fishermen in the U.S. states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island will receive USD 11.3 million (EUR 10.8 million) in funding from the U.S. government.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo declared the 2019 Atlantic herring fishery a “fishery disaster” on 22 November, 2021, after reviewing NOAA Fisheries data showing herring population and catch levels breached levels stipulated for a fishery disaster, as outlined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act.

The Atlantic herring disaster heavily impacted New England’s fishing communities, Raimondo said.

As a result of the declaration, Maine’s struggling Atlantic herring industry will receive USD 7.2 million (EUR 6.9 million), to be administered by the NOAA fisheries and Maine Department of Marine Resources for disaster assistance, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced. 

“The drastic reduction in Atlantic herring quotas has caused significant losses in primary income and threatened job security for many in the herring industry,” Collins said. “Given the unstable status of our Atlantic herring fishery, and its role in supporting Maine’s iconic lobster industry, I advocated for the state of Maine’s commercial fishery failure declaration request. This financial assistance provided through the designation is crucial to the survival of Maine’s Atlantic herring fishery.” 

Massachusetts will receive USD 3.2 million (EUR 3.1 million) in funding, New Hampshire will receive USD 604,000 (EUR 579,000), and Rhode Island will receive USD 241,000 (EUR 231,000). 

“This crisis has devastated our fishing industry, particularly since Atlantic herring are used as bait for lobster- and tuna-fishing industries. This disaster assistance will help our fishing industry stay afloat,” U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) said.

Photo courtesy of Ingrid Maasik/Shutterstock

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