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No federal fishing disaster decision

Posted at 7:33 AM, Mar 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-29 07:33:40-04

PINE ISLAND, Fla. — FEMA has given out more than five billion dollars to help people recover from Hurricane Ian, but none of that money has gone specifically to the fishing industry.

Last week the federal government sent a letter saying "It still hasn't decided if it's going to declare a federal fishery disaster."

Fishery Disaster Letter

Ian devastated the fishing industry in southwest Florida.

Fort Myers Beach the shrimping fleet went from 50 vessels to just 3 after the storm.

On Pine Island, 80 percent of fish houses suffered damage.

A lot of family businesses are still waiting for word on whether or not any federal money will be coming their way, despite Governor Ron DeSantis requesting that Hurricane Ian be declared a federal fishery disaster in October 2022.

The Commerce Department sent Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) a letter saying to qualify "A catastrophic regional fishery disaster affects more than one state or a major fishery managed by a regional fishery management council."

No timeline was given on how long a decision may take.