Tourism is not the only business that’s been battered on New Jersey’s coast by Hurricane Sandy. The commercial fishing industry — which contributes an estimated $1.3 billion in economic activity to the state — is facing significant revenue losses and damage to its fleet and infrastructure. For that reason, Gov. Chris Christie has requested the state’s fishing industry be declared a federal disaster.
Christie said the commercial industry landed about 175 million pounds of seafood in 2011, generating more than $1.3 billion in economic activity. Recreational fishing supports about 8,500 jobs and $1.4 billion in annual sales.
Christie sent the request to acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank on Tuesday. A federal fishing disaster declaration would trigger a federal program to provide immediate disaster relief for eligible fisherman, charter fishing operators, fish processors, and owners of related fishery infrastructure.