By Oregon Small business Association Foundation,
With commercial fishing of salmon cut in half by drought, most of Oregon’s congressional delegation wants the U.S. Department of Commerce to declare “a catastrophic regional fishery disaster” as requested by Gov. Kate Brown.
Between 2013 and 2017, the commercial Chinook haul was worth an average of $6.3 million, but since droughts the past three years, those numbers had plunged to $2.3 million in 2018, $2 million in 2019, and $1.4 million in 2020, the delegation wrote.
Lawmakers who signed onto the letter seeking a disaster declaration for the commercial salmon industry include U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader.
The federal government must evaluate the request before determining whether to declare a disaster, which would open national coffers to support economically distressed fishing communities.
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