Secretary of Commerce allocates $144 million for fishery disasters

Funds will support East and West coast communities impacted by fishery disasters from 2018 to 2021

Fishing vessels docked in Alaska.
Fishing vessels docked in Alaska. (Getty Images)

Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced today the allocation of $144 million to Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (Washington State) that suffered fishery disasters between 2018 and 2021.

“Productive and sustainable fisheries play a vital role in supporting our blue economy, from creating jobs to literally putting food on the table, all while helping to preserve the health of our delicate ocean ecosystem,” said Secretary Raimondo. “Once distributed, these funds will help affected fisheries and communities recover from disasters and make them more resilient to future challenges.”

Today’s allocation announcement applies to previously declared fishery disasters for the 2019 Alaska Norton Sound king crab fishery, the 2019/2020 New York Peconic Bay scallop fishery, the Port Gamble Tribe’s 2018 Puget Sound coho salmon fishery, the Chehalis Tribe’s 2019 Chehalis River spring Chinook salmon fishery and the 2019 Atlantic herring fishery, as well as multiple fisheries between 2018 and 2021 in Alaska, including:

  •  2018 Upper Cook Inlet East Side Set Net and 2020 Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries.
  •  2018 Copper River Chinook and sockeye salmon fisheries, 2020 Prince William Sound salmon fisheries, and 2020 Copper River Chinook, sockeye, and chum salmon fisheries.
  •  2019/2020 Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab.
  •  2020 Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska.
  •  2020 Alaska Norton Sound, Yukon River, Chignik, Kuskokwim River, and Southeast Alaska Salmon fisheries.
  •  2021 Yukon River salmon fishery.

NOAA Fisheries used commercial revenue loss information to allocate funding across the eligible disasters. The agency also took into consideration traditional uses that cannot be accounted for in commercial revenue loss alone, such as cultural and subsistence uses.

These funds will help 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, shore-side infrastructure and subsistence users. 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 impacted by the fishery disasters may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration or other federal agencies.

In the coming months, NOAA Fisheries will work with states receiving allocations under this announcement on administering these disaster relief funds. Fishing communities and individuals affected by these disasters should work with their state or tribe as appropriate.

See the detailed allocations to states and tribes under this announcement and learn more about fishery disaster assistance.
 

Media contact

Katie Wagner, NMFS.PA@noaa.gov, cell: 443-458-8480