PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek announced Friday that a fishing disaster has been declared following a three-year commercial fishery failure in the state.
The declaration comes after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo determined that a commercial fishery failure occurred in 2018, 2019 and 2020 because of a fishery resource disaster impacting Oregon Chinook Salmon Fisheries, the governor said. The determination comes after a request from former Gov. Kate Brown in October 2021.
Fisheries with disaster determinations are eligible for funding from fishery disaster appropriations to help with community recovery, fishery restoration and prevention of future disasters. Kotek said impacted fisheries will be notified of their funding eligibility by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the coming weeks.
“This determination is incredible news for commercial fishers who have been waiting for years to find out whether or not they can receive support from the federal government,” Kotek said. “This is a result of the work of Governor Brown and our congressional delegation to recognize and advocate for Oregon’s commercial fisheries. I am also hopeful for a future determination for our recent fisheries disaster declaration request.”
The governor’s office says Kotek requested that the U.S. Department of Commerce make an expedited declaration for a federal fishery resource disaster for ocean commercial salmon fisheries for 2023 – noting the request is still active and is not yet determined.