Over two million dollars in federal funds are helping New Jersey’s fishing-related businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy, state officials announced today.
266 smaller fishing-related businesses are sharing $2.1 million in grants provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
According to a state release, owners of bait-and-tackle shops, commercial dealers, commercial fishermen, for-hire party and charter boat operators, marinas and those involved in shell-fish aquaculture businesses were eligible to apply to the Department of Environmental Protection for grants of up to $10,000 to help offset some of the costs post-Sandy.
Slightly more than half of the funding went to marinas and commercial fishing outfits, with the second largest share to bait-and-tackle shops and for-hire businesses.
“The DEP and our Marine Fisheries staff have worked tirelessly since Sandy to help these businesses get back on their feet,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “Our economically vital commercial and recreational fishing industries are coming back after the devastation caused by Sandy. This grant program will help our smaller fishing-related businesses recover some of their losses.”
Applicants were required to show a minimum of $5,000 in losses, and grants were awarded to help with repair and replacement of equipment that was not covered elsewhere as well as reimbursement of out-of-pocket recovery expenses.
“Every little bit helps, that’s for sure,” said Jason Durante, General Manager of Ocean Marina, which received a $10,000 grant for damages sustained at its Lavallette marina, one of three the company owns. “We’re starting to see more and more people on the island. We’re seeing the industry come back.”
Recreational fishing supports approximately 10,000 jobs and $1.74 billion in annual sales, according to the state.