Salmon Emergency: Disaster Relief Requested for Commercial Salmon Industry | news

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The Oregon commercial salmon fishery awaits help from Washington, DC

On the recommendation of Oregon Coastal Legislators, Governor Kate Brown made a formal application to the US Department of Commerce on October 4 to seek federal disaster relief for the Oregon commercial salmon industry. This request is in response to the reduced salmon landings for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.

The Coastal Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of Oregon’s coastal lawmakers, worked with the Oregon Salmon Commission to address this request.

“Oregon salmon landings have fallen from $ 14 million in 2014 to $ 1.5 million in 2020,” said Coastal Caucus Chairman, Representative David Gomberg (D-Otis). “The salmon industry is faltering, and the Oregon Salmon Commission has sought help from coastal lawmakers. I am delighted that the governor has given her support to the hard-working men and women of our commercial salmon industry and our coastal economy. “

Nancy Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Oregon Salmon Commission, said the economic impacts range from coastal waters to local businesses and consumers.

“It affects equipment stores,” said Fitzpatrick. “You are affected. People don’t buy equipment. You don’t buy fuel. They don’t buy groceries to take on the boat. Many of our boats fish for albacore, crab and salmon, so removing any of these three won’t help your family budget. “

“Salmon is an integral part of Oregon’s natural resources and offers the state significant commercial, recreational, economic and aesthetic benefits,” said Governor Brown in her letter. “Salmon are also valued by the Indian tribes for their cultural, existential and economic advantages. While economic support will be essential to managing the impact of closures and restrictions on our salmon fishery, it is vital that federal, state, tribal and local governments continue to work together to recover and restore salmon populations and to adopt management strategies Develop to the long-term health and sustainability of our salmon fishery. “

The fleet-wide salmon landings in 2020, valued at approximately $ 1.5 million, represent an all-time low only surpassed by the results of the season closure in 2009. Salmon landings in 2018 and 2019, at US $ 2.4 million and US $ 2.1 million, respectively, are well below the 2016 season, which was declared a catastrophe with a fleet-wide US $ 4.3 million.

Fitzpatrick said the next step is a matter for the federal government and Congress.

“Congress would decide whether it qualifies for a disaster,” said Fitzpatrick. “If they agree, Congress would be looking for money. In the past, such funds were distributed directly to fishermen. “

The Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus includes bipartisan officials and senators from coastal counties from Astoria to Brookings. It is chaired by MP David Gomberg (D-Otis), Deputy Senator Dick Anderson (R-Lincoln City) and includes Senators Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg) and MPs Suzanne Weber (R-Roseburg) -Tillamook), Boomer Wright (R-Coos Bay) and David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford).

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