NOAA BACKS OFF HEAVY NEW FEES THAT COULD DESTROY NEW HAMPSHIRE JOBS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under pressure from seacoast communities and Congressman Frank Guinta, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal agency that oversees New Hampshire’s fisheries, will push back by at least one month new fees it seeks to impose on the Granite State’s few remaining fishermen.
Rep. Guinta (NH01) said NOAA’s retreat from its proposal to charge New England anglers the cost of their at-sea monitoring, a cost the agency has typically paid, should be the beginning -- not the end -- of its effort to find other means to enforce its regulations. Already, catch restrictions have reduced Granite State boat operators to only nine.
“What a change from a few weeks ago, when NOAA was taking a hard line against fishermen, struggling to feed their families,” said Rep. Guinta. “Its bureaucrats were threatening to terminate their business in the Gulf of Maine. Now, it seems they’ve found extra funds under the sofa cushions. They should keep digging into their billion-dollar budget and cancel charges that could end a centuries-old tradition.”
Rep. Guinta speaks with the Yankee Fishermen’s Co-op in Seabrook
Manchester’s former two-term mayor said he’s planning to quickly introduce a permanent legislative solution. “My constituents on the seacoast tell me they’re scared of their own government, trying to ‘force capitulation,’ one told me. They think they’ll face retaliation, if they go public with their situation. That’s why I’m here. We’re working together to stop this assault on a New Hampshire way of life.”
NOAA originally proposed to shift the burden of contracting at-sea monitors to fishermen themselves in November. The figure could total thousands of dollars a month per vessel and still become reality in December.