Mass Members Commend Recommended Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Awards for Commonwealth

Jun 25, 2015

Washington, DC – Today, NOAA recommended over $25 million in funding to be awarded to 88 projects under the FY14-15 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants Program.  Of that amount, the greater Atlantic region would receive over $8.8 million.  Massachusetts would receive approximately $3 million from the greater Atlantic portion.  These funds go toward increased research and development for the fishing industry.

“Better science and research improves fisheries management and helps our fishing industry modernize for the long term,” Senator Warren said. "It's great that NOAA has recommended funding for several projects in Massachusetts that would benefit our local fishing communities."

"This new NOAA funding gives Massachusetts's fishing industry the opportunity to expand its understanding of ocean ecosystems and enhance the resilience of local fisheries and the seaside communities they support,” said Sen. Edward J. Markey, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.  “The recent groundfish fishery disaster has had a devastating economic impact on the fishing industry and the businesses that depend on it – causing economic harm to our fishermen and our fishing communities.  These funds will drive new research that will help us respond to the groundfish fishery disaster today and develop a sustainable fishery for the future."

“It is my belief that this grant program is one of the strongest tools in NOAA’s arsenal,” said Rep. Bill Keating, who represents the Port of New Bedford, the highest grossing commercial fishing port in the Northeast, as well as Chatham and Provincetown on Cape Cod.  “We know that the way to fix the problems plaguing our nation’s fisheries is through better science.  And better science leads to better management.  To this end, I was proud to reintroduce legislation this year that would ensure fishermen are directly involved in utilizing Saltonstall-Kennedy funding to promote research and development that will impact their livelihoods.”

"This is good news on two fronts," said Rep. Stephen F. Lynch. "NOAA's investment in better technology will help Massachusetts’ fishermen, and the New England Aquarium will be able to continue its work on bycatch and promoting sustainable fisheries. That is much appreciated."

"In recent years, Gloucester’s fishing industry has been devastated by the New England ground fish disaster,” said Rep. Seth Moulton. “The funding awarded to the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange (CASE) will not only allow for critical repairs and upgrades to the facility, but will also enhance the City’s efforts to stabilize and rebuild the harvesting, processing and marketing sectors of the region's fishing industry.  I am grateful to NOAA for supporting this important initiative that benefits the fishermen, the environment, and our local economy.” 

Among the Massachusetts projects recommended for funding are:

  • two Coonamessett Farm Foundation, Inc. projects seeking to improve ecosystem-friendly scallop dredges and research offshore essential fish habitat of Southern New England winter flounder;
  • four University of Massachusetts Dartmouth projects that will improve the cost-effectiveness and capacity for observations and maximize fishing opportunities and jobs;
  • multiple awards for the New England Aquarium;
  • substantial funding for the Center for Coastal Studies to reduce bycatch in the sea scallop fishery; and
  • substantial funding for the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange to support infrastructure and innovation.