Feds declare salmon disaster for Gulf of Alaska fisheries
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The federal government has issued a disaster declaration for Alaska’s pink salmon fishery and several other salmon and crab fisheries along the West Coast.
Gov. Bill Walker requested the declaration after last year’s pink salmon harvests in Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik and lower Cook Inlet came in far below forecast, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported.
The estimated value of Kodiak’s catch in 2016 was about $2 million, compared to a five-year average of $14.6 million.
The disaster declaration granted by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gives Kodiak and the other Alaska fisheries the ability to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress because of the unexpected large decreases in salmon returns.
In 2012, Alaska received nearly $21 million in federal funds for fishery failures on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in the Cook Inlet region.
Pritzer’s declaration also covers eight salmon and crab fisheries in California and Washington state.