The shutdown: How the furloughs affect federal fisheries

The regional councils keep working on provisional funds while the shutdown shutters federal offices and the Federal Register

When the staff of the New England Fishery Management Council returned to their offices following the winter holiday break to a partial shutdown of the federal government, there was cause for concern, but no alarms were set off.

“We were OK at first,” said Janice Plante, the council’s public affairs officer. “We were plugging along post-holidays, doing what we could without being in touch with our federal partners. There’s always plenty to do to start a new year.”

Then the calendar alerts began popping up, signifying that the days ahead were about to become a lot more difficult for the staff.

“The deeper we’ve gone into [the shutdown],” said Plante, “the more challenging it has become for all of us.”

President Donald Trump refuses to sign any fiscal 2019 appropriations bills that do not include $5.6 billion for the construction of his campaign-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and Democratic leaders refuse to sign off on any new bill that includes funds for the wall.

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