Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer
November 18, 2012 — As coastal communities in New Jersey and New York continue to struggle in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared a fisheries disaster.
Weeks after superstorm Sandy tore through the northeastern U.S., coastal communities in New York and New Jersey continue to struggle.
On Friday, NOAA announced that the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared a fisheries disaster for both states in an effort to funnel more resources into the region.
"We are taking action because of the storm's devastating impact on the people who live and work in coastal communities that were hit hard by Sandy. Many of these hardworking Americans depend on a robust fishing industry to support their families and local economies," said Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank in a statement.
“This disaster declaration is part of a coordinated federal effort to help the region rebuild."
While the extent of the damage is largely unknown, analysts predict that the economic toll on the fishing industry will be "extensive".
Numerous fishing facilities, boats and pieces of fishing equipment were damaged by the superstorm and it could be some time before the infrastructure is repaired and functioning at full capacity.
According to the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, the commercial fishing industry supported roughly 8,500 jobs and $1.4 billion in revenue in New Jersey last year.