Puerto Rico’s fishing industry will receive $11.4 million in federal funding to restore activities interrupted by last year’s hurricanes, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló confirmed.
The funds should be destined to address a range of fishery impacts, including impacts to commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, charter businesses, subsistence users, shore-side infrastructure, as well as the fishing ecosystem and environment.
As established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA,) funds should be used for activities that restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, in addition to assisting fishing communities affected by such failures.
“We continue to receive a concrete response of federal aid, this time for the fishing industry of the Island. We thank NOAA Fisheries regional administrator, Roy E. Crabtree, as well as his team for considering the consequences of the disaster in Puerto Rico and contributing to our recovery,” Rosselló said.
“This new allocation of funds demonstrates the hard work we have done and joins the historic allocation that the federal government has made to Puerto Rico,” Rosselló added.
“I appreciate the work of our resident commissioner in Washington, Jenniffer González, to continue adding more aid for the island,” the governor said.
The funds come from NOAA Fisheries allocations in response to the disaster resulting from Hurricanes Irma and María.
Congress appropriated $200 million under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 for fisheries disasters that were determined by the secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, as well as for fisheries disasters resulting from Hurricanes Irma, María, and Harvey.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) used commercial revenue loss information to allocate the funding among the eligible disasters.
The allocation of NMFS disaster funds took into consideration the persistence of impacts, as well as subsistence or other traditional uses that cannot be accounted for in commercial revenue loss alone.
The funds for Puerto Rico will be granted upon receipt of a grant application, which must reflect the appropriate use of the funds, as well as the considerations detailed in a letter sent by the regional director of NMFS to the governor.