Friday, September 5, 2008

Patrick Asks Feds to Save Our Fish

"Federal aid sought for state's shellfishing industry after red tide closures

Citing shellfishing area closures this year due to red tide, Governor Deval Patrick has asked the federal government to declare a commercial fishery failure, an action that would make the industry eligible for disaster assistance funds.

Aid is needed to "help sustain shellfish fishing and prevent a local collapse of the industry," Patrick said in a letter to US Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. He estimated that the closures had caused hardship for about 1,100 commercial shellfishermen, and 35 fish farmers in 11 coastal communities."