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Mass. fishermen eligible for federal disaster aid

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The US Small Business Administration has decided to provide federal disaster assistance to Massachusetts fishermen hard hit by reductions in catch limits and groundfish stocks. US Senator Edward J. Markey said Friday that the assistance will help fishermen keep their businesses afloat as they adjust to changing conditions that threaten commercial fishing communities across the state. In September, Governor Deval Patrick officially certified that Massachusetts fishermen who chase bottom-dwelling groundfish had suffered ‘‘substantial economic injury.’’ He cited the poor health of key fish stocks and this year’s devastating cuts in the allowed catch.

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