Letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senators Barbara Mikulski, Richard Shelby, Hal Rogers, and Nita Lowey - Fishing Disaster Relief in Budget Process


Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and 37 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues today pressed Congressional leadership and top appropriators to include $150 million in fisheries disaster relief in the current appropriations bill moving through Congress. The money would help fishermen in Massachusetts and other coastal fishing communities across the country that have been declared fishery disasters.

The bipartisan letter, which Senator Markey organized along with Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), asks that the $150 million currently included in the fiscal year 2014 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill be preserved in any final budget. The entire Massachusetts delegation signed the letter.

"For the communities they affect, fisheries disasters are as devastating as other federally-declared disasters," writes Senator Markey and his colleagues. "These funds could be used in a variety of ways to provide fishermen vital help including support for emergency financial assistance, operational costs where necessary, economic development programs, and science initiatives to manage the fishery in a timely way that gives confidence to all stakeholders."

On September 13, 2012, a federal fisheries disaster was declared for Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Despite fishermen's strict adherence to federal management practices, reductions in the total allowable catch for certain critical groundfish stocks are having a significant impact on coastal communities, fishing families, and local economies, leaving many historic fishing communities on the brink of extinction.

Fisheries disasters have also been declared in Alaska, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York, and Florida

To real full text of the letter, please see PDF format below:


Edward J. Markey

Jack Reed

Lisa Murkowski

Elizabeth Warren

Richard Blumenthal

Mark Begich

Kirsten Gillibrand

Bill Nelson

Jeanne Shaheen

Robert Menendez

Marco Rubio

Susan Collins

Sheldon Whitehouse

Angus King

Roger F. Wicker

Christopher S. Murphy

Thad Cochran

Kelly Ayotte

Charles Schumer


Joe Courtney

William R. Keating

David N. Cicilline

James P. McGovern

Richard Neal

John F. Tierney

Steve Southerland

Don Young

James R. Langevin

Niki Tsongas

Stephen F. Lynch

Carol Shea-Porter

Timothy H. Bishop

Michael E. Capuano

Kathy Castor

Joseph P. Kennedy III

Michael H. Michaud

Chellie Pingree

Tom Rooney