NOAA Fisheries has published that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced the allocation of more than $42 million to address fishery disasters that occurred in Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oregon and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Yurok Tribe fisheries from 2017 to 2022.
Regarding this, Secretary Raimondo said: "Sustainable fisheries are essential to the health of our communities and support the nation’s economic well-being. With these allocations, it is our hope that these funds help the affected communities and tribes recover from these disasters."
To allocate funding across the eligible disasters, NOAA Fisheries took into account commercial revenue loss and traditional uses of the fisheries resources difficult to measure under an economic basis, such as cultural and subsistence uses.
In addition, Janet Coit, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, explained: "The impacts of fishery disasters are a great concern for the communities that depend on these fisheries to support the lives and livelihoods of their local economies. 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."
Funding will cover projects for fishery-related infrastructure, habitat restoration, state-managed vessel and fishing permit buybacks, job retraining, and more.
Activities that can be considered for funding include fishery-related infrastructure projects, habitat restoration, state-run vessel and fishing permit buybacks, job retraining and more. Some fishery-related businesses impacted by the fishery disasters may also be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration.
Finally, NOAA Fisheries confirmed that in the next months it will work with the states and tribes receiving allocations to administer these disaster relief funds.