— Feds declare salmon and crab failures for nine fisheries in Alaska, Washington and California

From KXRO:

A fisheries disaster has been declared for Grays Harbor, Willapa Bay, coastal waters, and local rivers…

From NOAA

January 18, 2017 U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.

In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.

A disaster can be declared if events cause “serious economic impact for fishers and their communities”.

In Washington:

  • 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)

In Alaska:

  • Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fisheries (2016)

In California:

  • California Dungeness and rock crab fishery (2015-2016)

  • Yurok Tribe Klamath River Chinook salmon fishery (2016)

Alaska Journal of Commerce:

January 18, 2017

Help could be on the way for the pink salmon fishermen whose catch sank to dismal lows last year.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker granted Gov. Bill Walker’s request for a declaration of a disaster for Alaska’s pink salmon fishery on Wednesday along with eight other salmon and crab fisheries along the West Coast.

In 2016, the pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sounds, Chignik and lower Cook Inlet came in woefully under forecast and stumped biologists as to why.

The estimated value of Kodiak’s 2016 haul was $2.21 million, compared to a five-year average of $14.64 million, and in Prince William Sound the ex-vessel value was $6.6 million, far less that the $44 million five-year average.

Now that the disaster has been declared, it will be up to Congress to find the necessary funds and secure them for fishermen.

This will be one of growing number of disaster declarations for Alaska fisheries in the 2010s.

Alaska received $20.8 million in federal money for fishery failures in 2012 over low king salmon returns on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in the Cook Inlet region.

Sources:

 http://www.noaa.gov/news/commerce-secretary-pritzker-declares-fisheries-disasters-for-nine-west-coast-species

http://www.kxro.com/fisheries-disaster-declared-local-waters-pnw/

http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-01-18/commerce-secretary-declares-pink-salmon-disaster

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