2017 – 2019 U.S. Fishing Disaster Declarations

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Commercial Fishing Vessels Sunk
Commercial Fishing Vessels Sunk (credit U.S. Coast Guard)

In September, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced that that commercial fishery failures occurred for multiple fisheries between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina.

DOC also found that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Fishing is the cornerstone of countless coastal economies and has been a way of life for generations of Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This determination acknowledges the critical role fisheries play in our communities, and the risks they face from natural disasters and other causes beyond their control.”

Fisheries help power coastal economies, providing jobs for fishermen, fish processors, and other maritime industries.

However, these key resources can also be vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters and other circumstances beyond the control of fishermen and fishery managers that can cause sudden and unexpected losses, leading to devastating impacts to businesses and the surrounding communities.

The determinations make these fisheries eligible for NOAA fisheries disaster assistance. For fiscal year 2019, Congress appropriated $165 million for fishery disasters. The allocations of funds to eligible fisheries is in the process of being determined, according to the Department of Commerce.

For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Commerce website at www.commerce.gov.

source: U.S. Department of Commerce