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Commercial Fishing Assistance Offered

MOREHEAD CITY — Some North Carolina commercial fishermen can receive financial help from the Hurricane Florence Commercial Fishing Assistance Program.

Some commercial fishermen are eligible for financial help through a state program. Photo: File

The state Division of Marine Fisheries was to mail packets last week to those that are eligible based on October and November landings. Packets are only being sent to those fishermen who had lower landings in October and/or November 2018 as compared to their average landings from the same months in the previous three years.

The second round of payments from the program, state legislature appropriated $11.6 million to DMF to help commercial fishermen and shellfish harvesters who suffered income losses from harvest reductions due to Hurricane Florence.

According to the release, packets are to be sent to fisherman who held a valid, current standard or retired standard commercial fishing license or a shellfish license for state residents in either October, November or both, and sustained losses in fishing income during that time, as documented by the N.C. Trip Ticket Program. The fisherman must have also landed fish or shellfish in either October, November  or both, in 2015, 2016 or 2017 as documented by the N.C. Trip Ticket Program.

 The packets include a summary of the fishermen’s October and/or November landings for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, a response form and a State of North Carolina Substitute W-9 Form to return to the division by March 15 to confirm their participation in the Hurricane Florence Commercial Fishing Assistance Program.

Fishermen should review the information and contact the division immediately if there is a dispute about the reported landings.

Any resident commercial fisherman who believes he meets the criteria, but does not receive a letter from the division, should contact Brandi Salmon in the division’s Morehead City Office at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.