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MA Governor Requests Federal Aid for Fishermen

Deval Patrick

The Governor of Massachusetts has again asked the federal government for $21 million in fisheries disaster assistance to help the region's struggling fishing fleet. Patrick was denied the same request in 2010, but renewed it last year, along with data he said showed the hardship fishermen face under new fishing rules.

He has sent a new letter this week to the U.S. Commerce Department, citing new forecasts by regulators of steep cuts in the catch limit for various bottom-dwelling groundfish in 2013.

Patrick wrote that, just as the government aids farmers during a crisis, it should help fishermen as soon as possible. He said, otherwise, he fears "for the viability" of the fleet.

Last week, similar requests for disaster relief were renewed by state members of Congress, including Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Lucas Willard is a news reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011. He produces and hosts The Best of Our Knowledge and WAMC Listening Party.