Disaster Determined in 2020 Puget Sound Fall Chum Salmon Fishery

Chum salmon. File photo via NOAA.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has determined that a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster occurred in the 2020 Squaxin Island Tribe Puget Sound fall chum salmon, making the fishery eligible for NOAA disaster assistance.

The determination, in response to a request from Squaxin Island Tribe Chairman Kristopher Peters, was confirmed by NOAA Fisheries on Jan 12.

A fishery disaster determination must meet specific requirements under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 2007. For example, there must be economic impacts and an unexpected large decrease in fish stock biomass or other change that results in significant loss of access to the fishery resource from specific allowable causes.

Fishery participants may also qualify for disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration. The Department of Commerce has fishery disaster assistance funding available and was expected in the near future to determine the appropriate allocation for this disaster, NOAA officials said.