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Pallone, Kim Lead Delegation Demand for Fair and Quick Distribution of Assistance to Fishing Communities

April 24, 2020
Press Release

Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) demanded that the Trump Administration fairly and quickly distribute financial aid to the fishing industries in states like New Jersey that have incurred greater economic losses as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought requested the agencies distribute the financial assistance based on state-specific economic impacts of the pandemic.

It was also signed by Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Cory Booker, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Congressman Albio Sires (NJ-08), Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01),  Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Congressman Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02). Last month, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which allocated $300 million in fisheries assistance.

“The commercial and recreational fishing industry in our home state of New Jersey has felt the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic. The Trump Administration must swiftly make this financial assistance available to fishing communities and allocate it in a way that equitably accounts for the severe economic losses the hardest hit states have endured,” the letter states. “While many states with lower numbers of COVID-19 cases kept their commercial and recreational fisheries open or have already completed their most important fishing seasons of the year, the pandemic has left our fishing industry in dire financial straits.”

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.

The letter is available here