(NAFB) — A Senate bill proposed this week would create a disaster program for commercial fishing and aquaculture operations. Introduced by Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Commercial Fishing and Aquaculture Protection Act of 2019 would authorize a risk-management tool for the sector. Hyde-Smith says the bill would help commercial fisheries, farm-raised catfish, and other seafood producers mitigate losses associated with market, weather, and other disaster conditions.
An influx of freshwater from months of record rainfall and flooding decimated oyster, shrimp, and crab harvests in the northern Gulf Coast this summer. Other hardships continue to threaten farm-raised fishing operations. Hyde-Smith’s legislation would establish a permanent revenue-based disaster program to either replace or serve as an alternative to the “ad hoc” fishery disaster assistance provided by the U.S. Commerce Department.
The new assistance program would begin with the 2019 calendar year and be subject to the availability of appropriated funding, such as the $150 million provided for fishery disaster assistance in the FY2019 Supplemental Appropriations Act enacted on June 6, 2019.
Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters