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Graves: Louisiana Will Receive Additional $27 Million in Fishery Disaster Funding

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (Louisiana) announced today that fishing communities will receive a total of $27,152,411 in fishery disaster funding to offset the impacts of both the 2020 and 2021 hurricane seasons on Louisiana's fisheries. The funding was allocated by Congress in the 2023 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act for multiple fisheries disasters.

"South Louisiana fishing communities are still reeling from the 2020 and 2021 natural disasters, compounded by the ongoing challenges of imported illegal shrimp and falsely labelled Chinese crawfish undercutting local supply in the market, skyrocketing gas prices and inflation, supply chain issues, and three years of Bonnet Carre Spillway openings," said Graves. “The life preserver is appreciated, but it is being thrown three years, several storms, and a few shark attacks too late.”

The federal fishery disaster process has historically taken several years to get into the hands of fishers. Graves worked on and secured provisions in the Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act to streamline this process and ensure that relief dollars get to fishers faster following disasters. The next step is for the State to create a spend plan for these funds announced today. Graves will continue to push NOAA to quickly work with them to approve the plan and distribute funds as soon as possible.

"Fishers shouldn't have to wait four years to receive funds from a disaster – while they've been waiting for dollars, many of them are tying their boats up and going out of business because of bureaucracy. Louisiana is the largest seafood supplier in the continental United States with a multi-billion dollar impact that drives the state economy and sustains local communities. These funds are welcome relief but we will continue to fight for improvements to the allocation process so that recovery dollars get to fishers faster. We are also working to find help for our crawfishers who are suffering the effects of last year's drought and still recovering from natural disasters as well."

Louisiana will receive $19,701,988 in relief funds to offset the impacts of the 2020 hurricane season, and an additional $7,450,423 for Hurricane Ida in 2021. To read more about the U.S. Department of Commerce allocation process and a summary of allocations, click here.