State/National/WorldNews Briefs

$12.2 Million Allocated to Bolster Salmon Fisheries in Alaska and Washington

The Department of Commerce has announced a $12.2 million allocation to support salmon fisheries in Alaska and Washington state that have been impacted by recent disasters.

The funding targets the 2022 Kuskokwim River salmon fishery in Alaska, the 2021 and 2022 Upper Cook Inlet East Side Setnet salmon fishery in Alaska and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s 2021 Puget Sound fall chum and coho salmon fisheries.


“Each year, climate change continues to have severe impacts on fisheries and ecosystems vital to our economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This funding will assist with the recovery of salmon fisheries in communities across Alaska and Puget Sound by bolstering restoration efforts, minimizing the risk of future disasters and helping build back stronger.”


The funds were authorized by the 2022 and 2023 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Acts and are intended to improve the long-term social, economic and environmental sustainability of the affected fisheries.


NOAA Fisheries, a branch of the Department of Commerce, allocated the funding based on information regarding revenue losses suffered by the commercial, processing and charter fishing sectors. They also considered the cultural and subsistence importance of these fisheries to local communities.


“Productive and sustainable fisheries are essential for our Blue Economy,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “We are optimistic that these disaster funds will have a beneficial impact on the ongoing recovery of the affected tribes and fisheries.”


In the coming months, NOAA Fisheries will collaborate with the state of Alaska and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to administer the disaster relief funds. Potential uses for the money include restoration and prevention efforts like fishery infrastructure projects, habitat restoration initiatives, vessel and permit buyback programs and job-retraining initiatives.


Fishing communities and individuals impacted by these disasters are encouraged to reach out to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, or the state of Alaska depending on their location. These entities will be responsible for developing spending plans for the allocated funds. Additionally, certain fishery-related businesses affected by the disasters may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration.

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