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Pallone Statement on NOAA Report Estimating Up to $121 Million in Economic Damage to New Jersey Fishing Communities and Industry

March 15, 2013
Press Release


Washington, DC – Following Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.’s (NJ-06) questioning on the matter at a House Energy and Natural Resources hearing earlier this week, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released a report detailing the economic and socio-economic effects of Superstorm Sandy on the fishing industry and fishing-related businesses and infrastructure for New Jersey.  Congressman Pallone released the following statement:

"NOAA’s report today affirms exactly what we expected: Superstorm Sandy was a disaster of epic proportions to New Jersey’s fishing industry and coastal communities that rely on the economic and recreational benefits of the fishing industry.  Despite the Senate originally passing a Sandy aid package with $150 million worth of fisheries disaster relief, the Republican controlled House insisted on gutting the bill to include only $5 million, an insufficient amount that does not even begin to address the magnitude of the damage done to our fishing communities.

"The report released today by NOAA estimates total uninsured losses of $78 million to $121 million for New Jersey’s fishing industry and coastal communities due to Sandy.  It found that businesses supporting recreational fishing suffered the most damage, estimated in the range of $62 million to $105 million in New Jersey.  The impact on the commercial fishing industry, which contributed $2.4 billion to New Jersey’s gross state product in 2011, is estimated to be $14 million.

“Unfortunately, fisheries science and research are already woefully underfunded even though the commercial and recreational fishing industries are critically important contributors to our economy, supporting 54,000 jobs before Sandy.  This is why Congress should have moved forward with a greater amount of fisheries disaster relief funding, which I pushed for, and the Senate passed.  It is greatly unfortunate that efforts to reduce fisheries disaster aid were successful and that now our coastal communities are left to suffer the burden, leaving our state’s economy even further under water.

“I will continue to aggressively advocate in Congress for full funding to recover from this massive disaster that had such a dramatic impact on so many New Jerseyans.”