Shaheen joins fishermen to highlight their challenges
Weirsma said it has been a successful way for local fishermen to directly market to local consumers while receiving a higher price per pound than they would on the global market.
He used dogfish as an example, which plummeted on the global market recently with fishermen only able to get about 17-cents per pound. Through the CSF, fishermen are catching dogfish, processing it at sea and selling it for a higher price off the docks. Weirsma said he is currently paying his fishermen $1.50/pound for dogfish and filets are selling for as much as $10 per pound.
Weirsma said the more fishermen, and local consumers, can adapt the better it will be for local fishermen, and for rebuilding critical fish stocks.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she helped secure $150 million in federal disaster relief for coastal communities that have suffered severe economic loss as a result of the declining fish populations, but the appropriations bill still has to pass the House of Representatives.
Shaheen said House members who voted down the appropriation, citing a lack of need, “did not know what they were talking about.”
Help cannot come soon enough for some fishermen. Marc Stettner, a handgear fisherman from Portsmouth, said he has been grounded since July 16 when the common pool he belongs to met its haddock quota.
Fishermen said Magnuson needs to be tweaked to allow more flexibility in management and fishing opportunities.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, is a member of that committee and voiced her support for the New Hampshire fisheries and the need for better science related to stock assessments.
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