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Governor adds Southeast region to pink salmon fishery disaster relief request


October 27, 2016
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Governor Bill Walker has decided that poor pink salmon returns in Southeast Alaska warrants inclusion of these fisheries in his original request for federal disaster relief. Walker announced in a letter dated October 26, 2016 that he will be amending the State of Alaska's request for a disaster declaration for the pink salmon fishery of 2016 to include the Southeast Alaska region.

In late September Governor Bill Walker officially requested the federal government to declare a disaster for four Alaska regions hurt by one of the poorest pink salmon returns in decades. Fishery failures that occurred this summer at the Kodiak, Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Lower Cook Inlet and Chignik management areas had a “significant impact on those who depend on the fishery for their livelihood” and the Governor asked for the “soonest possible review” of his request for relief due to the economic importance of these fisheries.

jpg Governor adds Southeast region to pink salmon disaster relief request

Pink Salmon
Graphic courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Representatives Dan Ortiz and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins in an October 21st letter to the Governor requested that he include the Southeast region in the state's request to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for disaster relief funding under the Magnuson-Stevens Act as a result of the poor returns in the pink salmon fisheries.

The Governor stated in his decision letter to Ortiz and Kreiss-Tomkins, "Like you, the Lt. Governor and I care deeply about the fishermen and their families in the communities of Southeast Alaska, and we greatly appreciate your advocacy on their behalf." The Governor said that Ortiz and Kreiss-Tomkins' request to include Southeast Alaska in the request for a federal disaster declaration was a compelling one.

Current data as of October 21, 2016 from the ADF&G reported the Southeast pink salmon fisheries suffered a 36.1 percent loss of revenue in 2016 relative to the recent five-year average. The Governor stated, "This is within the eligibility threshold of a 35-80 percent loss, thus allowing the National Marine Fisheries Service to consider disaster relief funding."

The Governor said he made his decision to include the Southeast region in the request for federal disaster relief funding after consulting with Lt. Governor Byron Mallott and Sam Cotten, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.



Reporting & Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews


Source of News:

Rep. Dan Ortiz

Governor Bill Walker's Letter


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