Gov. Walker Announces $56 Million In Salmon Recovery Funding

Governor Bill Walker photo by James Brooks/Wikimedia

After a 2016 pink salmon run in the Southeast Alaskan section of the Gulf of Alaska that was deemed a major financial disaster for the fishing industry and local economy, Gov. Bill Walker announced some relief two years later.

Walker’s pledge – announced on Thursday – calls for a $56 million relief fund for fishing and other industries for Alaska, part of a total $200-plus-million  for states throughout the West Coast and beyond. Here’s the complete race from the governor’s office:

Anchorage – Alaska will receive $56,361,332 in disaster relief for economic assistance for entities affected by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery failure. The money is part of the $200 million in disaster relief allocated by the Secretary of Commerce in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

Nine fisheries in Alaska, Washington, California and Oregon as well as fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico will receive funds. Alaska Governor Walker thanks Alaska’s Congressional delegation for their efforts to secure the funds through the Bipartisan Budget Act.

“This is a big deal. Alaska will get more than a quarter of the $200 million dollars allocated to help fishing communities across the country that have faced fisheries related disasters,” Governor Walker said. “Coastal communities have been hurting, and $56 million dollars will go a long way to help the hard-working and resilient Alaskans whose livelihoods and lifestyles depend on fish.”

The State of Alaska is working collaboratively with NOAA and stakeholders to develop criteria for disbursement of funds. NOAA fisheries will provide notification regarding how to apply for funds through non-competitive awards. The funds can cover a wide range of entities such as commercial fisheries, industries like processors and support facilities, as well as communities affected by the disaster.

KTUU also had a report on the announcement, including a look at where exactly the funds will go:

There still remains the question of who among those affected by the fishing disaster will actually get a share in the $56 million, and just how big that share will be.

Wednesday, Alaska’s delegation celebrated the news of that relief payout in a news release, saying, “These dollars are vital to Alaskans and their families who were hit hard by the 2016 pink salmon fishery disaster.”