16 U.S. Code § 1864 - Regional coastal disaster assistance, transition, and recovery program
(a) In general
When there is a catastrophic regional fishery disaster the Secretary may, upon the request of, and in consultation with, the Governors of affected States, establish a regional economic transition program to provide immediate disaster relief assistance to the fishermen, charter fishing operators, United States fish processors, and owners of related fishery infrastructure affected by the disaster.
(b) Program components
(1) In general
Subject to the availability of appropriations, the program shall provide funds or other economic assistance to affected entities, or to governmental entities for disbursement to affected entities, for—
(A) meeting immediate regional shoreside fishery infrastructure needs, including processing facilities, cold storage facilities, ice houses, docks, including temporary docks and storage facilities, and other related shoreside fishery support facilities and infrastructure while ensuring that those projects will not result in an increase or replacement of fishing capacity;
(B) financial assistance and job training assistance for fishermen who wish to remain in a fishery in the region that may be temporarily closed as a result of environmental or other effects associated with the disaster;
(C) funding, pursuant to the requirements of section 1861a (b) of this title, to fishermen who are willing to scrap a fishing vessel and permanently surrender permits for fisheries named on that vessel; and
(2) Job training
Any fisherman who decides to scrap a fishing vessel under the program shall be eligible for job training assistance.
(3) State participation obligation
(4) No matching required
The Secretary may waive the matching requirements of section 1861a of this title, section 4107 of this title, and any other provision of law under which the Federal share of the cost of any activity is limited to less than 100 percent if the Secretary determines that—
(A) no reasonable means are available through which applicants can meet the matching requirement; and
(c) Regional impact evaluation
Within 2 months after a catastrophic regional fishery disaster the Secretary shall provide the Governor of each State participating in the program a comprehensive economic and socio-economic evaluation of the affected region’s fisheries to assist the Governor in assessing the current and future economic viability of affected fisheries, including the economic impact of foreign fish imports and the direct, indirect, or environmental impact of the disaster on the fishery and coastal communities.
(d) Catastrophic regional fishery disaster defined
In this section the term “catastrophic regional fishery disaster” means a natural disaster, including a hurricane or tsunami, or a regulatory closure (including regulatory closures resulting from judicial action) to protect human health or the marine environment, that—
(2) affects more than 1 State or a major fishery managed by a Council or interstate fishery commission; and
Source(Pub. L. 94–265, title III, § 315, as added Pub. L. 109–479, title I, § 113(a),Jan. 12, 2007, 120 Stat. 3601.)
Fisheries Hurricane Assistance Program
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Commerce shall establish an assistance program for the Gulf of Mexico commercial and recreational fishing industry.
“(b) Allocation of Funds.—Under the program, the Secretary shall allocate funds appropriated to carry out the program among the States of Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas in proportion to the percentage of the fishery (including crawfish) catch landed by each State before August 29, 2005, except that the amount allocated to Florida shall be based exclusively on the proportion of such catch landed by the Florida Gulf Coast fishery.
“(c) Use of Funds.—Of the amounts made available to each State under the program—
“(1) 2 percent shall be retained by the State to be used for the distribution of additional payments to fishermen with a demonstrated record of compliance with turtle excluder and bycatch reduction device regulations; and
“(2) the remainder of the amounts shall be used for—
“(A) personal assistance, with priority given to food, energy needs, housing assistance, transportation fuel, and other urgent needs;
“(B) assistance for small businesses, including fishermen, fish processors, and related businesses serving the fishing industry;
“(C) domestic product marketing and seafood promotion;
“(D) State seafood testing programs;
“(E) the development of limited entry programs for the fishery;
“(F) funding or other incentives to ensure widespread and proper use of turtle excluder devices and bycatch reduction devices in the fishery; and
“(G) voluntary capacity reduction programs for shrimp fisheries under limited access programs.
“(d) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce $17,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2012 to carry out this section.”