Thursday - November 15, 2018
Cooper Asks for Fisheries Help
Written by Staff   
Friday, 02 November 2018 14:25

RALEIGH --  Governor Roy Cooper urged the U.S. Department of Commerce to help provide additional resources and funding to help North Carolina fisheries hit hard by Hurricane Florence.

In a letter to Secretary Wilbur Ross, Gov. Cooper asked the Department of Commerce to declare a federal fishery resources disaster, which can help long-term relief flow to families that rely on North Carolina’s recreational and commercial fisheries.

“This was the storm of a lifetime for many coastal communities. The damaging economic impact to the state’s fisheries was, and continues to be, significant. While state appropriations will begin to afford some limited initial relief, much more is needed,” Gov. Cooper wrote in the letter.

Marine fisheries are an economic driver for coastal communities in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, commercial fishing generated over $96 million in revenue in 2017, supporting hundreds of jobs and strengthening local economies.

Hurricane Florence’s historic rainfall, brutal winds and powerful storm surge devastated North Carolina’s marine fisheries. The unprecedented storm compromised fishing grounds, damaged and destroyed fishing boats and gear, suspended shellfish harvests in affected areas and cost fishermen critical income. While local recovery efforts are ongoing, marine fisheries need additional resources and funding to recover.

“Federal fisheries disaster assistance can provide the means to a longer-term recovery that North Carolinian fishermen so desperately need,” Gov. Cooper wrote.

Last month, Cooper recommended that state legislators appropriate $12 million to help North Carolina fisheries with disaster recovery. The legislature funded $1.6 million of that request to the Division of Marine Fisheries, which will compensate commercial fishermen and shellfish harvesters for equipment and income loss.

Last Updated on Friday, 02 November 2018 14:26
 
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