NJ Fishing Industry Could Get Federal Aid for Sandy Recovery [AUDIO]
Congressman Frank Pallone plans to introduce a proposal that will help New Jersey's and New York's storm-battered commercial and recreational fishing industries.
His bill would appropriate $193 million to fully fund the estimated cost to help the storm affected fisheries recover.
Pallone said with the exception of $5 million, the fishing industry was basically left out of the $50 billion Federal Sandy Relief Package. "We had a Federal Fisheries Disaster Declaration but basically no money was appropriated."
Last month the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated the economic effects of Superstorm Sandy on New Jersey's Fishing Industry and coastal communities to be somewhere around $78 million to $121 million in uninsured losses.
"We're talking about $200 million between New York and New Jersey that go beyond whatever insurance they carry. So, it's very similar to homeowners and businesses that have gotten some money from their insurance but not enough to rebuild," said Pallone.
"in Belford, the fishermen literally lost their entire processing plant, their restaurant, their fish market and a good portion of the infrastructure, you know the docks and the bulkheads where their ships are moored. So, without this kind of help, they're not going to be able to go back and have the kind of commercial fishing industry that existed at Belford for hundreds of years, and I mean it goes back to colonial times so I don't think we should lose that because it involves jobs and money that comes to our local economy," said Pallone.
The impact on the commercial fishing industry, which contributed $2.4 billion to New Jersey's gross state product in 2011, is estimated to be $14 million.