PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After enduring several years of challenges in fish harvesting, fishing families in Washington state and across the U.S. are receiving additional help from the federal government.

On Tuesday, Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray announced that $300 million of the final version of the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill would be allocated to fishing families who need disaster assistance.

A release from Sen. Murray’s office lists a few recent federal fishery disasters that were recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Bristol Bay red king crab harvesting period was canceled for both the 2021-22 season and the 2022-23 season. The Bering Sea snow crab harvesting period was also canceled for the 2022-23 season.

These cancellations have reportedly resulted in $287.7 million in economic losses for fisheries overall. Poor salmon returns in 2019 and cancellations of the 2020 Washington Ocean Salmon fisheries affected revenue for many of these groups as well.

Thus, the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations Bill should provide respite for those who are dependent on the harvesting season.

“This legislation will bring financial relief to Washington state fishing families and Tribes in that rely on Alaska crab and salmon harvests to make ends meet,” Sen. Cantwell said in the release.

“This funding will support direct payments to fishing families, habitat restoration, and the science needed to understand crab and salmon stock declines to help protect fishing jobs, and our oceans, in the future. I will continue work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that our fishing families, seafood businesses, and communities are able to access these as soon as possible,” she added.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Fishery Disaster Assistance program allocates money to fishing families in need, but only after the Secretary of Commerce announces a federal fisheries disaster and Congress appropriates funding.

The final version of the bill will also include the Fishery Resource Disaster Improvement Act, which would expedite this process.