Crew Members to Receive Groundfish Relief Funds
BARNSTABLE — The second phase of the disbursement of Federal Ground Fish Disaster Relief funds in Massachusetts will begin soon.
The state will distribute $8.3 million which includes S3.8 million for permit holders and $3 million for crew members.
Cape Cod Fisherman’s Alliance Policy Analyst Claire Fitzgerald applauds funds going to crew members.
“The Division of Marine Fisheries did include crew provisions and that is really important,” she said. “Because it is impacting guys on the back of the boat the same way it is impacting the guys on the front of the boat.”
Fitzgerald said that getting funds to crew members could also help the local economy.
“I think that if this relief can help guys to pay their bills and take care of their families then I’m sure it will impact the local economy in a good way,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said times are tough for fisherman and believes the funds being disbursed will help.
“I do think that it’s going to help a lot of fisherman on the Cape who at the end of the day would rather be fishing,” she said. “But, as evidence by the state of crisis, it’s a tough time to be a fisherman.”
Permit holders, who were not covered under the $6 million released last year, will see funding of $3.8 million dollars which should begin being disbursed in the next few months, according to Fitzgerald.
Another $800,000 will go to charter boat and for hire operators and $750,000 will go to shoreside operations.
The deadline for crew members to apply for assistance is April 24th and workshops will be held on April 17th in Gloucester and New Bedford to help fishermen fill out applications.