Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Fishing Disaster Relief Funds Signed into Law

A new two-year bipartisan federal budget deal signed into law this week includes $200 million to help communities with declared fisheries disasters.

Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, with Representatives Derek Kilmer and Jaime Herrera Beutler said passage caps years of work to give relief to Washington state’s fisheries, which have experienced numerous federally declared disasters in recent years.

“This fishery disaster funding represents a critical investment in fishing families and the future of their communities,” said Cantwell.

Murray called the funding a good down payment on efforts to get help to families impacted by these disasters and said she would keep fighting to ensure that these funds make it to communities where they are needed.

Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan also hailed the fisheries disaster funds included in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which established funding levels through the end of fiscal 2019.

Murkowski said the money would be truly vital to communities in the Gulf of Alaska hard hit by the pink salmon fishery disaster of 2016. “From commercial fishermen and processors to local governments who saw less revenue, this hit everyone hard,” she said. Areas impacted by the low harvests of humpies in 2016 included Prince William Sound, Kodiak, Chignik, Lower Cook Inlet, Yakutat, the South Alaska Peninsula and Southeast Alaska.

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