Federal officials have allocated $65 million for communities in six states for fishery disasters that occurred between 2017 and 2019, including the 2018 Pacific cod and sockeye salmon losses in Alaska in 2018.
Word of the allocation came in late February from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said these funds would help the communities recover from a disaster beyond their control and make them more resilient to challenges in the future.
The package includes $24.4 million for the 2018 economic disasters created in Alaska for loss of Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska and $10.3 million for the sockeye salmon failures at Chignik.
The allocated funds will be administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, in Portland Oregon, which works collaboratively with National Marine Fisheries Service to distribute funds appropriated by Congress for various fishery disasters.
Past disaster relief fishery disaster programs administered through PSMFC have also included 2016 disasters of Gulf of Alaska pink salmon, non-tribal ocean salmon troll and Klamath River fall Chinook; the 2015-2016 California Dungeness and rock crab; 2015 Washington coastal salmon, South Puget Sound salmon and Washington crab; and 2014 Fraser River sockeye salmon. The PSMFC also was charged with administering funds for five west coast and tribal fishery disasters which occurred between 2013 and 2017, including ocean troll coho and Chinook in 2017; Klamath River fall Chinook in California and Oregon in 2016-2017; Washington coastal coho and pink salmon in 2015; and Fraser River sockeye tribal salmon in 2013.