A fisheries disaster has been declared for Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, coastal waters, and local rivers.
In a release, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Washington, Alaska, and California.
This determination will allow communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.
A disaster can be declared if events cause “serious economic impact for fishers and their communities”.
According to Pritzker, each of the fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.
Locally, the 2015 non-treaty coho Salmon Fishery for Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay, 2015 Quinault Indian Nation Grays Harbor and Queets River coho salmon fishery, and 2016 ocean salmon troll fishery are highlighted.
“The Commerce Department and NOAA stand with America’s fishing communities. We are proud of the contributions they make to the nation’s economy, and we recognize the sacrifices they are forced to take in times of environmental hardship,” said Samuel D. Rauch III, deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs, NOAA Fisheries. “We are committed to helping these communities recover and achieve success in the future.”
If Congress appropriates funds to address these fishery failures, NOAA will work to develop a plan to restore the fishery, prevent a similar failure, and assist affected communities.
- Fraser River Makah Tribe and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe sockeye salmon fisheries (2014)
- Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay non-treaty coho salmon fishery (2015)
- Nisqually Indian Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, and Squaxin Island Tribe South Puget Sound salmon fisheries (2015)
- Quinault Indian Nation Grays Harbor and Queets River coho salmon fishery (2015)
- Quileute Tribe Dungeness crab fishery (2015-2016)
- Ocean salmon troll fishery (2016)
- Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fisheries (2016)
- California Dungeness and rock crab fishery (2015-2016)
- Yurok Tribe Klamath River Chinook salmon fishery (2016)
For more information, visit the frequently asked questions page to learn about a number of topics related to fishery disaster assistance, including:
- Overall fishery disaster determination process
- Laws and authorities covering fishery disaster assistance
- Process to request fishery disaster assistance
- Requirements for a fishery disaster determination
- Process for providing disaster assistance following appropriation of funds