U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young, (all R-Alaska), welcomed a funding allocation announcement by the Secretary of Commerce for states and territories affected by recent fishery disasters. Alaska is receiving $56,361,332 in disaster funding, which will support compensation, recovery, and relief for fishermen, communities, and stakeholders affected by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster.
“The news of this disaster relief funding for Alaska is incredibly encouraging. These dollars are vital to Alaskans and their families who were hit hard by the 2016 pink salmon fishery disaster,” said the Alaska Congressional Delegation. “This long awaited aid will bring much needed relief to Alaska’s economy, providing compensation and recovery for commercial fisherman, processors, and coastal communities whose livelihood depends on the health of our fisheries. We commend the Secretary of Commerce and are deeply pleased to see our hard work to secure this relief finally come to fruition.”
The Alaska Congressional Delegation fought to secure inclusion of a fisheries disaster funding in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which appropriated $200 million for fisheries disasters across eight states and U.S. territories.
This funding responds to nine fisheries disasters declared in Alaska, Washington, California and Oregon, coupled with fisheries failures in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Alaska’s pink salmon fishery suffered disastrously low returns in 2016, while salmon and crab fisheries in other West Coast states experienced prolonged closures or poor returns between 2014 and 2016.
Alaska last received fishery disaster funding in 2014, when $20.8 million was provided for Alaskan fishermen and communities along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in Cook Inlet that were damaged by low Chinook salmon runs in 2012.