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Pallone, Kim Lead NJ Delegation in Call for Fishing Industry Aid in Next Coronavirus Package

August 6, 2020
Press Release
“The men and women of New Jersey’s fishing communities dedicate their lives to putting food on our tables and now it’s time for us to ensure there’s food on theirs.”

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-3) led their New Jersey colleagues in a bipartisan letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy today calling for funding to help the fishing industry in the next coronavirus relief package. A decline in tourism and a reduction in restaurant operations have been deeply harmful to New Jersey’s fishing industry. The pandemic also arrived in New Jersey at the start of the critically important Striped Bass and Black Fish season.

“The commercial and recreational fishing industry in our home state of New Jersey has felt the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, restaurants that serve seafood have either closed or reduced operations. This reduction along with a decline in tourism have caused significant disruptions throughout the seafood supply chain and created substantial economic hardship for both commercial and charter fishing operations in our state,” the letter stated.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that Congress passed and was signed into law in March allocated $300 million in fisheries assistance. 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 $11 million in federal funding to help the state’s fishing industry.

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.

A copy of the letter is available here.