Murkowski Announces First $7.5M for Fishery Failure Relief

Senator: Alaska’s Disaster Didn’t Make Cable TV, but Deserves Equal Treatment

ANCHORAGE, AK – After a lengthy effort of advocacy and creating a bipartisan “Coastal Coalition” of lawmakers from states seeking relief for federally-recognized fishery disasters, Senator Lisa Murkowski today announced the first round of payments are being sent out to Alaskans beginning today totaling $7.5 million.   The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, working closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, developed a “spend plan” for direct payments to commercial fisherman in the Yukon-Kuskokwim and Cook Inlet regions based on proven financial impacts.

A plan for the second round of funding, totaling $12.9 million, is being reviewed by NOAA for final approval.  These funds will support research to better understand and counter the causes of low King runs, as well as enable outreach and communication efforts to improve in-river management in both regions.  A portion also will be used for economic impacts to recreational fishing interests on the Kenai.

“Hundreds of Alaskans are finally going to be given some welcome resources to give them a hand after some very tough years.  Even if it didn’t make the cable TV networks, our communities were hurt just as New Jersey was by Hurricane Sandy by these ‘fish droughts’,” said Murkowski.