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McLEAN, Va. -- The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) here commended congressional conferees for including $118 million in emergency appropriations for recovery and rebuilding efforts in H.R. 4939, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act. This funding is a result of the federal Fisheries Declaration of Disaster after Hurricane Katrina in October 2005.
"As the 2006 hurricane season begins, we appreciate the work of members of the House and Senate for aiding Gulf Coast fishing communities," said NFI president John Connelly. "NFI and our members applaud the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (Miss.) and support from Senator Richard Shelby (Ala.), Representative Bobby Jindal (La.) and many others from the Gulf Coast delegation to help restore these seafood communities and ensure a supply of nutritious Gulf seafood products reaches consumers."
Mike Voisin, a seventh-generation Louisiana oyster farmer and NFI Treasurer said, "This funding will enable us to restore the way of life our families have cultivated for generations."
The Gulf Coast typically lands 30-40 percent of the fisheries of the continental United States, and four of nation's the top 10 fisheries ports reside on the Gulf.