The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued Rhode Island a new wave of federal money to help fishermen affected by the groundfish disaster in 2013. That year, several key groundfish stocks in the Northeast were not rebuilding as expected, and it led to sharp reductions in catch limits. To offset those losses, Northeast fishermen would receive nearly $32.84 million in three installments. This latest round of money for Rhode Island, $705,658, is the final installment, bringing the state's total share to $2.65 million.
The money will also support a recruitment and training program for the commercial fishing industry’s workforce.
This federal money is part of a $75 million included in the 2014 Appropriations bill to respond to six declared fishery disasters throughout the nation. Sen. Jack Reed led the bipartisan effort, along with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, to include this emergency funding in the bill.