US awards Squaxin Island Tribe USD 206,000 for 2020 salmon season, announces other fishery disasters

A photo of a salmon. | Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries
2 Min

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the Squaxin Island Tribe USD 206,000 (EUR 194,000) in financial assistance for the 2020 Puget Sound fall chum salmon fishery.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the Puget Sound state commercial fisheries in 2020 due to low abundance, a decision that had a major impact on the tribe.

“These chum salmon fisheries, like all salmon fisheries, are extremely important to our Squaxin Island tribal community and always has been,” Squaxin Island Tribe Chairman Kristopher Peters said in a 2021 request for a disaster declaration. “The low returns of chum impacted our entire tribe. We are fishing people – it is central to our culture and way of life, as well as our economy.”

Peters said the 2020 closure resulted in a 95 percent economic loss for the chum fishery.

“Harvest in these fisheries not only contributes significantly to annual fisher income, but also provides a ceremonial and subsistence food source for use be community members throughout the winter months,” Peters said. “With very few chum salmon to harvest, our entire community suffered and needs financial relief to get through these difficult times.”

The Department of Commerce made the fishery disaster official in December 2023 and announced USD 206,000 (EUR 194,00) in funding this month. The department said it factored in the tribe’s traditional fishery uses – which “cannot be accounted for in commercial revenue loss alone” – in determining how much funding to award.

“This funding will help to address the impact of a fishery disaster which has a tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of members of the Squaxin Island Tribe and their community,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said. “With climate change further stressing our fisheries and ecosystems, it is essential that we work together to mitigate the impacts of disasters, restore fisheries, and help prevent future disasters.”

The department also announced other salmon fishery disaster determinations this month, including:

  • The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s 2021 Puget Sound fall chum and coho salmon fisheries;
  • The 2022 Kuskokwim River salmon fishery; and
  • The 2021 and 2022 Upper Cook Inlet East Side setnet salmon fishery.

Those determinations clear the way for the Department of Commerce to award relief funding, which will be announced at a later date.

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500