US government allocates USD 144 million to communities impacted by fishery disasters
On 5 May, 2022, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced a USD 144 million (EUR 137 million) allocation towards impacted fisheries that previously suffered climatic disasters between 2018 and 2021.
Benefiting communities are in the U.S. states of Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, as well as the Confederated Tribes of the Reservation, and the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, both located in Washington state.
“Once distributed, these funds will help affected fisheries and communities recover from disasters and make them more resilient to future challenges,” Raimondo said in a press release.
The qualifying fisheries include:
- 2018 Upper Cook Inlet East Side Set Net and 2020 Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries;
- 2018 Copper River Chinook and sockeye salmon fisheries;
- 2020 Prince William Sound salmon fishery;
- 2020 Copper River Chinook, sockeye, and chum salmon fisheries;
- 2019/2020 Eastern Bering Sea tanner crab fishery;
- 2020 Gulf of Alaska Pacific cod fishery;
- 2020 Alaska Norton Sound, Yukon River, Chignik, Kuskokwim River, and Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries;
- 2021 Yukon River salmon fishery;
NOAA Fisheries used commercial revenue-loss information to allocate funding, as well as the analysis of various cultural and subsistence uses. Funds will improve overall long-term economic and environmental sustainability of impacted fisheries. The funds are applicable towards commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, charter businesses, shore-side infrastructure, as well as subsistence users.
“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.
Fishery-related activities are also applicable for funding such as infrastructure projects, habitat restoration, state-run vessel and fishing permit buybacks, and job retraining. NOAA Fisheries plan to work with states applicable towards and eligible communities and individuals should work with their state of tribe.
In addition, some fishery-related businesses impacted by the fishery disasters may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration or other federal agencies, NOAA said.
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