U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced today the allocation of $20.6 million to address a fishery resource disaster that occurred in the 2023 Sacramento River Fall Chinook and Klamath River Fall Chinook ocean and inland salmon fisheries. NOAA Fisheries used revenue loss information from the commercial, processor and charter sectors to allocate funding for the disaster.
“Fishery disasters have wide-ranging impacts and can affect commercial and recreational fishermen, subsistence users, charter businesses, shore-side infrastructure and the marine environment,” said Secretary Raimondo. “These funds will help affected California communities recover and improve sustainability.”
Congress provided fishery resource disaster assistance funding in the 2022 and 2023 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Acts. A positive determination makes these fisheries eligible to receive a funding allocation from those appropriations. These funds will improve the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of the impacted fisheries. Funds can be used to assist the impacted fishing communities including commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, charter businesses and subsistence users.
“At NOAA Fisheries we can appreciate how this fishery disaster is of great concern for the fishing industry and the people that depend on these fisheries to support their communities,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “We hope this allocation can aid in recovery efforts as quickly as possible.”
Activities that can be considered for funding include fishery-related infrastructure projects, habitat restoration, state-run vessel and fishing permit buybacks, job retraining and more. Some fishery-related businesses affected by the fishery disaster may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration.
On December 29, 2022, Congress passed the Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act, which amended the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Since the disaster request for these fisheries was received after this date, it was evaluated under the amended statute.
In the coming months, NOAA Fisheries will work with the state of California to administer the disaster relief funds. Fishing communities and individuals affected by the disaster should work with their state or other agencies as identified by the state, as appropriate.
Katie Wagner, email@example.com, (443) 458-8480