September 22, 2008

Gulf Coast Declared ‘Fishery Resource Disaster’

By Anonymous

U.S. Commerce Secretary M. Carlos Gutierrez today announced a formal determination of a fishery resource disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, due to the devastation following hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

"The economic impacts of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike on fishing communities in the Gulf of Mexico will hurt these communities," Gutierrez said. "We have a lot of work to do, but this disaster determination is an important step in the recovery process."

The determination authorizes assistance to fishermen affected by natural disasters and makes small fishing businesses eligible for certain Small Business Administration loans.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service will work with the states to distribute any funds appropriated in response to this determination.

Commercial fishing in the affected areas consists mostly of finfish, shrimp and oysters. NOAA will work with affected states to further assess damage to the major fishing ports and the seafood processing facilities in Louisiana and Texas.

"Working with the states, NOAA will continue efforts to assess fishing industry damage and long-term impacts to the marine environment," said Jim Balsiger, director of NOAA's Fisheries Service.

The initial affected areas under today's declaration are Texas and Louisiana. DOC/NOAA will continue to work with the region to assess the impacts of the storm in other areas of the Gulf.

Credit: CityBusiness Staff

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