Fisheries & Aquaculture News

US Department of Commerce Allocates Funds for Puget Sound Fishery Disaster

US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced the allocation of $206,000 to address a fishery resource disaster that occurred in the 2020 Squaxin Island Tribe’s Puget Sound fall chum salmon fishery.

“This funding will help to address the impact of a fishery disaster which has a tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of members of the Squaxin Island Tribe and their community,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “With climate change further stressing our fisheries and ecosystems, it is essential that we work together to mitigate the impacts of disasters, restore fisheries and help prevent future disasters.”

Congress provided fishery resource disaster assistance funding in the 2022 and 2023 Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Acts. NOAA Fisheries determined that this fishery is eligible to receive a funding allocation from those appropriations. These funds will improve the impacted fisheries' long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Funds can assist the impacted fishing communities including commercial and recreational fishery participants, charter fishing businesses and subsistence users.

NOAA Fisheries used commercial revenue loss information to allocate funding to this disaster. The agency also considered the Squaxin Island Tribe’s traditional uses of the fisheries resources that cannot be accounted for in commercial revenue loss alone.

“At NOAA Fisheries, we acknowledge the profound repercussions of this fishery disaster on the Squaxin Island Tribal community, its economy and vital ceremonial and subsistence practices," said Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "Our aspiration is that the dedicated resources can effectively bolster the ongoing recovery initiatives."

In the coming months, NOAA Fisheries will work with the Squaxin Island Tribe to administer these disaster relief funds. Activities that can be considered for funding include fishery-related infrastructure projects, habitat restoration, vessel and fishing permit buybacks, job retraining and more. Fishing communities and individuals affected by this disaster should work with the Squaxin Island Tribe, as appropriate. Some fishery-related businesses affected by the fishery disasters may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration.


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