MS Dept. Of Marine Resources To Seek Fishery Failure Declaration From NOAA

BILOXI, Mississippi — A fishery failure declaration for the shrimp season in state waters may be requested from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as early as this week, said Dale Diaz, director of Marine Fisheries for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

The declaration is the first step in possibly gaining federal relief funds. If a declaration is made by U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, the DMR officials would have to go to Congress for an appropriation for disaster relief, Diaz said.

The 2011 fishing season was acutely affected by the release of freshwater from the flooded Mississippi River through the Bonnet Carre Spillway into the Mississippi Sound from May through June, officials said.

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