Disaster relief dollars cut loose for AK and other states

Over a dozen Alaska fisheries from Southeast to the Yukon will receive relief funds.

by | May 5, 2022

Filed Under Environment

No word on when the money might be in hand

Alaska fishing communities Credit: NOAA/AK Fisheries Science Center

A total of $144 million will be allocated to several states and Washington tribes that suffered fishery disasters between 2018 and 2021. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, made the announcement on May 5.

The states of Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, along with the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (WA) will split the funding.

“Productive and sustainable fisheries play a vital role in supporting our blue economy, from creating jobs to literally putting food on the table, all while helping to preserve the health of our delicate ocean ecosystem,” Raimondo said in a press release. “Once distributed, these funds will help affected fisheries and communities recover from disasters and make them more resilient to future challenges.”

The allocation will apply to previously declared fishery disasters, as SeafoodNews reported in June 2021, which includes the 2019 Alaska Norton Sound king crab fishery.

Other Alaska fisheries receiving relief funds include:

– 2018 Upper Cook Inlet East Side Set Net and 2020 Upper Cook Inlet salmon

– 2018 Copper River Chinook and sockeye salmon fisheries, 2020 Prince William Sound salmon fisheries, and 2020 Copper River Chinook, sockeye, and chum salmon fisheries.

– 2019/2020 Eastern Bering Sea Tanner crab

– 2020 Pacific cod in the Gulf of Alaska.

– 2020 Alaska Norton Sound, Yukon River, Chignik, Kuskokwim River, and Southeast Alaska Salmon fisheries.

– 2021 Yukon River salmon fishery.

Credit: Bigideasforsmallbusiness.com

NOAA Fisheries used commercial revenue loss information to allocate funding across the disaster regions. It also included “traditional uses that cannot be accounted for in commercial revenue loss alone, such as cultural and subsistence uses.”

The relief funds can be used to assist fishing communities including commercial and recreational fishermen, charter businesses, shore-side infrastructure and subsistence users.

As in the past, NOAA Fisheries will work with states receiving the allocations to help administer the funds. For Alaska, that task typically is handled by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

And if the past is any indication, the money could be months, even years away, from receiving.

Look here for more detailed information about allocations to the states and tribes and for more on fishery disaster assistance.

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About Laine

Laine Welch has covered the Alaska fish beat for print and radio since 1988. She also has worked “behind the counter” at retail and wholesale seafood companies in Kodiak and on Cape Cod.


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