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Fishery Disaster Assistance

Fisheries are an essential part of coastal economies, providing jobs for fishermen, fish processers, and related maritime support industries. Since fisheries depend on the productivity of the environment, there are natural variations in the amount of fish caught each year and in the revenue generated by the fishery. However, fisheries are also subject to a number of factors that can cause sudden and unexpected losses, leading to serious economic impact for fishers and their communities. These factors include events such as hurricanes and typhoons, oil spills, harmful algal blooms, and other types of disasters, both natural and man-made, that cause a commercial fishery to be harmed or fail.

NOAA Fisheries administers disaster assistance under two statutes—the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act. Under both statutes, a state governor or an elected or duly appointed representative of an affected fishing community can request a fishery disaster determination from the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary). The Secretary may also initiate a review. If the Secretary determines that a fishery disaster has occurred, the fishery is eligible for disaster assistance subject to appropriation of funds by Congress.

For more information, visit the frequently asked questions page to learn about a number of topics related to fishery disaster assistance, including:

Learn more by reviewing NOAA Fisheries' Disaster Policy Guidance. Explore the complete list of fishery disaster determinations, or click on the map below to view fishery disasters by region.

Greater Atlantic Regional Office Southeast Regional Office Pacific Islands Regional Office West Coast Regional Office Alaska Regional Office