Oregon Delegation urges Commerce to declare fishery resource disaster

By U.S. Senator Ron Wyden:

Oregon Delegation Urges Commerce to Declare Fishery Resource Disaster in Oregon
The National Marine Fisheries Service is already expected to close all Oregon commercial ocean fisheries for Chinook salmon through August

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Val Hoyle, and Andrea Salinas said today they are urging the Department of Commerce to issue an expedited declaration of a fishery resource disaster for Oregon, which would trigger immediate federal aid.

“The value of salmon to Oregon cannot be overstated,” the members wrote in a letter to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “In addition to the economic activity generated by this industry, salmon are an important part of the cultural heritage of Pacific Northwest tribes and are a treasured natural resource across the state. However, the challenging impacts of climate change, increased drought, changing ocean conditions, and critical habitat loss complicate the recovery of salmon populations along the Pacific Coast. Federal support for this industry is critical while local, state, and federal partners continue work on long-term solutions.”

There continue to be devastating declines in economic activity for Pacific commercial salmon fisheries with an 82% loss in value projected in this area, compared to the recent five-year average. The National Marine Fisheries Service is expected to close all Oregon commercial ocean fisheries for Chinook salmon through August of 2023. A declared fishery resource disaster triggers immediate federal aid to help respond to the ongoing losses from low salmon populations and provide support to economically distressed communities.

The congressional delegation support letter came in support of Governor Tina Kotek’s request for a federal fishery resource disaster declaration.

The letter from the Oregon delegation is here.

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