Pallone announces approval of funding to support fishing communities

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Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) has announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) approved New Jersey’s spending plan for $9.5 million in federal aid for New Jersey’s commercial and charter fishing industry that he announced in June.

Pallone helped secure the funding as part of the omnibus and coronavirus relief bill Congress passed and was signed into law in December by President Donald Trump. This is the second round of federal funding Congress has allotted to help fishing communities during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from Pallone’s office.

“I am pleased another round of federal funding will be delivered to New Jersey’s fishing industry. This is another step in the right direction to ensure our region’s fishing businesses and their families get the assistance they need to withstand the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic storm,” said Pallone.

“This pandemic has been devastating to the men and women of our state’s fishing industry. That is why I fought to secure this funding in Congress and why I am working to make sure these funds are released quickly to the people who need them,” the congressman said.

“The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection welcomes this new funding for New Jersey’s fishing communities and our critical seafood industries that have been impacted by the ongoing pandemic,” said DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette said.

“These additional resources will both directly support the women and men of our commercial and recreational fishing sectors and bolster the industry as a whole.

“Not only a vital part of New Jersey’s economic engine, our fisherman and the communities they support remain a key part of who we are as a state. The DEP is incredibly grateful to Congressman Pallone and the New Jersey delegation for fighting so hard to lift us all up out of the pandemic together,” LaTourette said.

According to the press release, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Pallone has fought for fair distribution of federal funding for New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry.

Pallone helped secure more than $11 million in federal funding for New Jersey from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which allocated $300 million in fisheries assistance.

In March, Pallone held a press conference with fishermen in the Belford section of Middletown to highlight the first round of aid delivered to New Jersey’s fishing communities and the importance of the fishing industry to the state’s economy, according to the press release.

New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry generates more than $8 billion annually, supporting more than 50,000 jobs, and has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the United States, according to the press release.