The Commerce Department can declare
John Kerry said, "The shell fishing industry in
Senator Kennedy said, "It is critical that Secretary Gutierrez declare a commercial fishing failure so that relief can be administered to our fisherman and their families as quickly as possible.
Congressman Frank said "It is critical that the Federal Government act quickly to employ any and all measures at its disposal to help alleviate the disastrous economic effects this Red Tide outbreak is having on the fishing industry, and I am pleased to join in this letter to help accomplish that goal."
Congressman Tierney said, "During this difficult time for
"This year's red tide outbreak is a tremendous problem," Representative McGovern said. "It's vital to our economic well-being that the federal government provide the necessary assistance. I hope the Commerce Department will treat this issue with the attention it deserves."
Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said, "Fishermen, businesses and families are all affected by this devastating red tide outbreak, and we have a responsibility to help them weather this difficult economic time. The entire Massachusetts Delegation is committed to ensuring that
Attached is the letter sent to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez:
June 9, 2005
The Honorable Carlos M. Gutierrez
Dear Mr. Secretary:
We are writing on behalf of the thousands of
The situation is so extreme that we are writing to urge you to declare a commercial fishery failure, as provided for under Section 312 (a) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, to provide financial relief for the individuals, businesses and communities affected by the fishery resource disaster.
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries estimates the closures are currently affecting about 1,700 full- and part-time commercial fishermen. Shellfish aquaculture occurs in 11 affected towns involving 241 growers at 289 sites. In addition, the quahog- dredge fishery, which involves 8 boats (16 people), and the surf clam fishery, which has 11 boats (22 people), are also affected. Altogether, the total landed value for all commercial shellfishing and shellfish aquaculture in the currently closed areas is $600,000 per week. This represents a potential loss of $2,700,000 weekly to the local economy resulting from the red tide. Such economic losses would be catastrophic for fishing families and for fishing dependent communities. The situation for others, including processors, port communities and related on-shore businesses will be disastrous.
We urge you to instruct NOAA Fisheries to expedite preparation of a disaster analysis and your immediate disaster declaration. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.