PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s congressional delegation is supporting Gov. Paul LePage’s request seeking a federal fisheries disaster declaration to provide aid to Maine’s groundfishing fleet.
LePage on Tuesday said he sent a letter to Commerce Secretary John Bryson calling for a federal fisheries disaster declaration for Maine’s fleet. His request followed a recent report documenting a sharp decline in Maine’s fishing fleet due to changes in federal fishery management plans.
Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, have written a letter of their own asking Bryson to declare a disaster.
They say between 2009 and 2010, there was a 33 percent decline in the number of Maine-based boats that made money from fishing for haddock, cod, flounder and other so-called groundfish.