Pallone Announces Federal Approval of Plan to Support New Jersey Fishing Communities
Long Branch, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ- 06) announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) approved New Jersey’s spending plan for $11.3 million in federal aid for New Jersey’s commercial and charter fishing industry. Pallone helped secure the funding as part of the $300 million allocated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed and was signed into law in March. On October 1, House Democrats passed an updated version of the Heroes Act that would provide an additional $250 million in aid to the fishing industry.
“This is another step in the right direction to ensure that New Jersey’s fishing industry gets the funding it needs to weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing economic storm,” said Pallone. “This pandemic has been devasting to the men and women of our state’s fishing industry, and I am fighting to make sure they receive the federal funds promised. Our fishing communities need assistance now, which is why it is so important that these funds be released quickly.”
Applicants will be required to show their five-year revenue history and proper tax identification to certify their 2020 pandemic losses of at least 35%. The state expects its application system to be operational in October.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Pallone fought for fair distribution of federal funding for New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry. In April, Pallone sent a letter with the New Jersey delegation calling on the Trump Administration to fairly and quickly distribute financial aid to the fishing industries in states like New Jersey that incurred greater economic losses as a result of the pandemic. Pallone later announced New Jersey would receive more than $11 million in federal funding to help the state’s fishing industry. Congressman Pallone and Congressman Andy Kim recently led their New Jersey colleagues in a bipartisan letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for funding to help the fishing industry in the next coronavirus relief package. A copy of the letter is available here.
New Jersey’s commercial fishing industry generates over $8 billion annually supporting over 50,000 jobs and has one of the largest saltwater recreational fishing industries in the United States.