U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo has officially determined that fishery disasters occurred in an Alaska king crab fishery, two Washington state tribal salmon fisheries and a New York scallop fishery in 2018-2020, and evaluations are underway of disaster fund requests.
“Fisheries are essential to our communities and economy and we want to ensure America is in a position to remain competitive on the global stage,” Raimondo said on June 29. “These determinations allow us to lend a helping hand to the fishing families and communities that have experienced very real and difficult setbacks in the last few years.”
The hard-hit fisheries include the 2019 Norton Sound red king crab, 2018 Port Gamble S’Klallam Puget Sound coho salmon, 2019 Chehallis and Black River spring Chinook salmon, and the New York’s 2019/2020 Peconic Bay scallop.
Raimondo said that in addition to disaster assistance from NOAA, these fisheries may also qualify for disaster assistance from the Small Business Administration. The Commerce Department has balances remaining from previously appropriated fishery disaster assistance and will determine the appropriate allocation for these disasters, she said.