NOAA Fisheries is announcing the approval of the second round of fisheries disaster funds in the amount of $13M to assist fishermen affected by the 2012 commercial fisheries failure due to the fishery resource disaster for the Yukon Chinook fishery, Kuskokwim Chinook fishery, and the Cook Inlet salmon fishery.
This grant will be distributed as follows:
- $4.5M in direct payments to the recreation fishing sector, including sport fishing guides and related business, to provide compensation for loss of income;
- $7.5M for salmon disaster research, restoration, education, gear replacement/modification, and outreach, with $6.4M for the Yukon/Kuskokwim region, and $1.1M for Cook Inlet;
- $700 thousand in direct payments to commercial buying stations and salmon buyers in the Cook Inlet area.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will coordinate, plan, and administer the distribution of the fishery disaster funds throughout the grant period.
"We are relieved that this second round of fisheries disaster funds has been approved, and look forward to getting direct payments to affected recreational and commercial businesses," said Alaska Regional Administrator Jim Balsiger. "Funds slated for salmon disaster research and restoration will help mitigate future fishery failures and impacts."
In February 2014, Congress allocated $75M for six fisheries disasters nationwide, including $20.8M to Alaska for the Chinook salmon fishery failure in 2012. Distribution of the first round of fisheries disaster funds in the amount of $7.8M began soon after approval in August 2014, and included direct payments to commercial fisherman with $3.2M going to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region and $4.6M to the Cook Inlet Region.
NOAA Fisheries worked with the State of Alaska and the Alaska Congressional delegation to identify groups eligible for awards of the fishery disaster funds.