Second Round of Fisheries Disaster Funds Approved

Federal fisheries officials have approved a second round of
disaster relief funds totaling $13 million for those affected by the 2012
Alaska fisheries disasters for Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers king salmon and the
Cook Inlet salmon fisheries.
NOAA Fisheries said on Jan. 12 that $7.5 million is
allocated for salmon disaster research, restoration, education, gear
replacement/modification and outreach, with $6.4 million for the
Yukon/Kuskokwim region and $1.1 million for Cook Inlet.
$700,000 is allocated for direct payments to commercial
buying stations and salmon buyers in the Cook Inlet area. Another $4.5 million
in direct payments goes to the recreation fishing sector, including sport
fishing guides and related businesses, as compensation for loss of income.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will
coordinate, plan and administer distribution of the funds throughout the grant
Alaska regional administrator Jim Balsiger said that his
agency is relieved that the funds are approved and that he looks forward to
getting direct payments to those affected.
Funds slated for salmon disaster research and restoration
will help mitigate future fishery failures and impacts,” he said.

Back in February of 2014, Congress allocated $75 million for
six fisheries disasters nationwide, including $20.8 million for the Chinook
salmon fishery failure of 2012 in Alaska. Distribution of the first round of
fisheries disaster funds, totaling $7.8 million began soon after approval in
August 2014. The payout included direct payments to commercial fishermen with
$3.2 million going to the Yukon-Kuskokwim region and $4.6 million to the Cook
Inlet region.