WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) expressed their outrage following the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) announcement of funding for six fisheries across the country that were declared fishery disasters by the Department of Commerce in 2012 and 2013. NOAA announced that it has allocated only $3 million out of a total of $75 million nationwide for the New Jersey and New York fisheries hit by Superstorm Sandy.
"We are incredibly disappointed and dumbfounded by NOAA's disaster funding decision which directly ignores its own reporting of the losses faced by our fishing industry in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy," the Senators said. "By NOAA's own estimate, our state suffered more than $120 million in losses and a $3 million allocation for New Jersey and New York is a slap in the face to thousands of hardworking families in our fishing industries working hard to rebuild and recover. We will not let up the fight to make New Jersey's fishing industry whole again."
On Feb. 3, Menendez and Booker sent a letter to NOAA highlighting the needs of New Jersey's fishing industry, and asked them to consider the needs of both the commercial and recreational fishing industries in New Jersey to prevent something like this from happening. NOAA's failure to take into account recreational loses is an arbitrary and ill-conceived method of distributing funding.