02.09.18

Murkowski, Sullivan Applaud Emergency Relief for Communities Affected by Fisheries Disasters

Fisheries Disaster Supplemental Included in Budget Bill

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today applauded the inclusion of funding for fisheries disasters in the Bipartisan Budget Act, which established funding levels through the end of Fiscal Year 2019. The bill passed the Senate in a vote of 71-28.

Last month Senators Murkowski and Sullivan called on their colleagues to include disaster funding for coastal communities affected by longstanding and ongoing fisheries disasters, as Congress considered a relief package for U.S. communities impacted by hurricanes and wildfires.

“The dollars contained in this bill are truly vital to communities in the Gulf of Alaska who were hit hard by the pink salmon fishery in 2016. From commercial fisherman and processors to local governments who saw less revenue, this hit everyone hard,” said Senator Murkowski. “I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee, especially Senators Cochran and Shelby, for working with me over the months to secure this aid for Alaska and other states impacted by these disasters.”

“The 2016 pink salmon season was a disaster for our coastal communities, fishing families, and other fisheries related businesses,” said Senator Sullivan. “This emergency aid was a long time coming, and I thank my Senate colleagues for working with Senator Murkowski and I to address this pressing issue. Going forward we’ll work with NOAA and the affected communities to make sure the dollars are put to good use.”  

Background: In addition to their January 2018 letter (attached), Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan co-authored a letter to their colleagues on October 2, 2017 (attached), urging federal fisheries disaster funding to be included in any emergency supplemental appropriations bill. In late October 2017, Murkowski and Sullivan also joined fellow Senators from coastal communities in calling upon aid for communities impacted by fisheries disasters.

The following Alaska areas were included in the disaster declaration for poor pink salmon harvests in 2016: Prince William Sound, Kodiak Management, Chignik Management, Lower Cook Inlet Management, Yakutat, South Alaska Peninsula, and Southeast.


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