Monday, 30 January 2017

US Commerce Secretary Pritzker declares fisheries disasters for nine West Coast species due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.

Photo CBS
An alarming report has been issued by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce this month enabling fishing communities in the US to seek disaster relief assistance after alarming decreases in fish and crab supplies along the West-coast of the US.
The  area covers Alaska to California and is extraordinary in the fact that the Secretary of Commerce has now openly admitted that marine life are dying in incredible numbers due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.
Readers of The Big Wobble are only too aware of the millions of species both bird and fish which have died recently along the West-coast of the US.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has this month determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington.
Report clarifies that loss of access, as well as large decreases in fish stock biomass, is due to unusual ocean and climate conditions.
In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass or loss of access due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress.

In Alaska:
Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fisheries (2016)
In California:
California Dungeness and rock crab fishery (2015-2016)
Yurok Tribe Klamath River Chinook salmon fishery (2016)
In Washington:
Fraser River Makah Tribe and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe sockeye salmon fisheries (2014)
Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay non-treaty coho salmon fishery (2015)
Nisqually Indian Tribe, Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe, Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, and Squaxin Island Tribe South Puget Sound salmon fisheries (2015)
Quinault Indian Nation Grays Harbor and Queets River coho salmon fishery (2015)
Quileute Tribe Dungeness crab fishery (2015-2016)
Ocean salmon troll fishery (2016)
"The Commerce Department and NOAA stand with America's fishing communities. We are proud of the contributions they make to the nation's economy, and we recognize the sacrifices they are forced to take in times of environmental hardship," said Samuel D. Rauch III, deputy assistant administrator for regulatory programs, NOAA Fisheries. "We are committed to helping these communities recover and achieve success in the future."

Under the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Commerce Secretary can determine a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster, which then provides a basis for Congress to appropriate disaster relief funding to provide economic assistance to affected fishing communities, including salmon and crab fishermen, affected by the disaster.

If Congress appropriates funds to address these fishery failures, NOAA will work closely with members of Congress and affected states and tribes to develop a spending plan to support activities that would restore the fishery, prevent a similar failure, and assist affected communities.