State Urges Fishermen To Apply For Sandy Relief Grants

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State officials are urging professional fishermen and fishing-related business owners who suffered losses in income due to Hurricane Sandy to apply for recently approved federal relief grants.

Under the Coastal Fishing Industry Grant Program, fishing businesses, including boat owners, will be able to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to cover uncompensated losses from damage or lost time at work because of the late October storm.

“Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction to New York’s fishing industry,” State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said this week. “This industry, which is critical to the local economy and community, must rebuild. I thank Governor [Andrew] Cuomo for directing these federal funds to the fishermen in such great need.”

In 2011, the state’s commercial fishing industry generated $5 billion in sales, contributed $1.8 billion to gross state product, and supported 42,000 jobs. The state’s marine recreational fishing industry generated $369 million in sales, contributed $212 million to gross state product, and supported 3,000 jobs across the state.

According to information released by Mr. Thiele’s office, it is estimated that New York’s fishing industry, both commercial and recreational, suffered $77 million in damages and lost productivity because of last year’s hurricane.

Fishing businesses might also be eligible for additional grants and funding support through the state’s small business recovery program should uncompensated losses exceed $50,000. They could also qualify for special mitigation grants to help them prevent similar damage from future storms.

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