Oregon Governor requests expedited declaration of a fishery resource disaster

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek has requested that the U.S. Department of Commerce make an expedited declaration of a federal fishery resource disaster.

Kotek made the request last Friday due to the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (PFMC) recommendation to shut down all commercial ocean fisheries for Chinook Salmon from Cape Falcon in northern Oregon all the way down to the California border through August 2023.

Due to droughts in California and Oregon, there will be fewer Chinook salmon in the Sacramento and Klamath rivers this year, according to the governor’s office. It will result in less salmon spawning than usual.

The National Marine Fisheries Service is likely to follow the PFMC’s request in hopes of stabilizing the salmon population.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife projects an, “82% reduction in the ex-vessel value for commercial troll fisheries in this area,” according to the release. The department makes this projection in comparison to the previous five-year average. The closures will be the top reason for that reduction.

A federal fishery disaster declaration would offer financial assistance to those impacted by the closures.

“Salmon are a vital component of Oregon’s natural resource-based economy,” Governor Tina Kotek said in a press release issued by her office. “This fishery provides significant commercial, recreational, and economic benefits to Oregon. Salmon are also highly valued by Oregon’s Tribes for cultural, subsistence, and economic benefits. I’m committed to working with our federal partners to ensure that Oregon’s fisheries and affected communities have the resources they need to tackle this challenge.”

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