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Press Release: May 27, 2011

Oregon Deemed Eligible for Federal Disaster Relief for Fishing Industry


(SALEM, Ore.) — Today Governor Kitzhaber was informed by Commerce Secretary Gary Locke that he determined that there is a continuing commercial fishery failure in the Oregon commercial salmon fishery south of Cape Falcon. Secretary Locke’s determination covers the 2010 fishing season, when the salmon fishery was curtailed due to continuing low salmon returns for fall Chinook in the Sacramento River.
 
The determination means that Oregon is eligible for federal disaster relief to the fishing industry if Congress appropriates funds for the program.Funds for disaster assistance may be used for a wide variety of purposes, including direct assistance to fishermen such as: compensation; community grants; training; loans and debt refinancing; and employment on fishery related projects. In 2008, Congress approved $170 million in assistance to fishermen on the west coast as a result of restrictions following low Sacramento River returns.
 
“I appreciate Secretary Locke’s continuation of the commercial fishery failure determination. This allows our state to seek aid for those affected by continuing economic hardship resulting from fisheries management restrictions along the Oregon coast,” said Governor Kitzhaber.
 
If Congress appropriates disaster relief funding, the National Marine Fisheries Service Northwest Region will work with Oregon to develop an economic spending plan to support activities that would restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure and assist the affected communities, under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and section 308(d) of the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act.

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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