Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Okays Fish Funds

(revised Sept. 22, 2011)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, says the state’s fisheries benefitted from funding decisions and a number of cost-effective adjustments made in language in an appropriations bill that cleared the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee on Sept. 14 in a bipartisan vote. The CJS Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2012 is now before the full Senate Appropriations Committee.

Murkowski said the measure includes $9.6 million to fund Pacific Salmon Treaty-related activities and compliance with the 1985 accord with Canada. Those funds will help maintain stock and monitor fishery activities, and also ensure compliance with treaty conservation and harvest sharing commitments.

In addition, the Pacific Salmon Treaty Fund saw a nearly $1 million increase in funding level support from White House suggestions, she said.

The subcommittee also agreed with Murkowski’s suggestion that the $65 million in restoration funds for Pacific salmon not strictly be allocated to threatened salmon or steelhead populations, but to all Pacific salmon and steelhead fisheries, continuing revenue streams to states that are implementing successful fishery policies.

Also included in the measure is $67 million for fishery stock assessments to be disbursed nationally to provide for the most timely and accurate data possible to provide for informed decisions such as quota numbers, she said.