Authorities surveying fishermen, others about hurricane damages

Published 10:38 pm Friday, December 7, 2018

Fishermen, for-hire boat captains and others associated with North Carolina’s marine fisheries may get a phone call from federal or state authorities asking about impacts from Hurricane Florence.

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA-Fisheries) is working with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to evaluate fisheries damages from the storm. The survey is in response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s request that the U.S. Department of Commerce declare a federal fishery resources disaster for North Carolina’s recreational and commercial fisheries.

The determination of a federal fishery resources disaster could provide federal financial relief to the state’s fishing industry.

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Surveyors will ask questions about damages to fishing gears and vessels and loss of fishing income. A statistical report based on the information gathered will be sent to the secretary of commerce. If the secretary of commerce declares a fishery disaster, the report will go to Congress, which will decide on financial assistance.