NOAA Announces Up to $2 Million for Sockeye Salmon Disaster Affecting Puget Sound Fishermen  

November 18, 2008

NOAA’s Fisheries Service today announced that several Northwest Indian tribes and the state of Washington will be eligible for up to a total of $2 million to assist tribal and non-tribal communities affected by the commercial fishery failure in Fraser River sockeye salmon.

“The assistance we are announcing today will help tribal and non-tribal fishermen who have been hurt by drastic declines in sockeye salmon runs and harvests that are so important to these communities,” said Jim Balsiger, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “We encourage the tribes and the state to use this aid to expand their work on salmon habitat restoration, stock enhancement, and retraining of fishermen.”

The tribes and the state of Washington will now submit plans to NOAA’s Fisheries Service outlining how the funds will be used.

Past sockeye landings will be taken into account in determining the amount each entity receives.

This is the second time that the Department of Commerce has found a fishery resource disaster in the Fraser River sockeye salmon fishery. A similar determination was made in 2002. This commercial fishery failure is separate from the Klamath and West Coast salmon disaster determinations made in 2006 and 2008 for ocean salmon fisheries.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.