$ 25 million to distribute East Coast fish to nutrition programs | Health and fitness

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The federal government will spend $ 25 million on East Coast fish to support nutrition assistance programs and help New Brunswick’s struggling commercial fishing industry England.

The US Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday it would proceed with the purchase of Atlantic groundfish. These are a group of species such as cod, haddock, and pollock that come to the docks in states like Massachusetts and Maine and are popular at seafood markets and restaurants.

The purchase came after members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation called on the USDA to purchase more seafood from the east coast through its food distribution programs for residents in need. The purchase will help fill pantries and boost an east coast seafood industry still grappling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, delegation members said.

USDA “continues to support the Atlantic seafood industry, as we have urged to do, after our contributions have been overlooked for too long in federal purchases,” Democrats said. Markey and Elizabeth Warren and Democratic Representatives William Keating and Seth Moulton in a statement.

The New England ground fishing industry is one of the oldest trading enterprises in the United States. The USDA buyout comes as the industry is reeling from a series of shocks that have threatened its viability.

American fishermen caught more than 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of cod per year in the 1980s. Catches were less than 2 million pounds (900,000 kilograms) in total last year. Fisheries managers attributed the decline to overfishing and environmental conditions.

The poor condition of the cod stock resulted in “a sharp reduction from previous catch limits,” the council said in a statement.

The USDA did not respond to a request for comment on the purchase of groundfish.

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