NOAA announces up to $2 million for sockeye salmon disaster affecting Puget Sound fishermen

The National Marine Fisheries Service today announced that several Northwest Indian tribes and the state of Washington will be eligible for up to a total of $2 million to assist tribal and non-tribal communities affected by the commercial fishery failure in Fraser River sockeye salmon.

“The assistance we are announcing today will help tribal and non-tribal fishermen who have been hurt by drastic declines in sockeye salmon runs and harvests that are so important to these communities,” Acting Assistant Administrator Jim Balsiger said in a press release.

“We encourage the tribes and the state to use this aid to expand their work on salmon habitat restoration, stock enhancement, and retraining of fishermen.”

Tribal governments and the state of Washington will now submit plans to the fisheries service outlining how the funds will be used. Past sockeye landings will be taken into account in determining the amount each entity receives.

This is the second time that the U.S. Department of Commerce has found a fishery resource disaster in the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. A similar determination was made in 2002. This commercial fishery failure is separate from the Klamath and West Coast salmon disaster determinations made in 2006 and 2008 for ocean salmon fisheries.

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