Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance

Document Details:

Title: Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance
Category: Technical Report
File: CRS_2013_0244_Commercial-Fishery-Disaster-Assistance.pdf
Updated Date: 17.05.2017
Author(s)/Source(s): CRS, Harold F. Upton
Publication Date: 2013-Jan-10
Focal Topic: Salmon, Other threatened fishes
Location: United States

Disaster relief may be provided by the federal government to assist the fishing industry when it is affected by a commercial fishery failure. A commercial fishery failure can be declared when fishermen endure economic hardships resulting from fish population declines or other disruptions to the fishery. The Department of Commerce can provide disaster assistance under Sections 308(b) and 308(d) of the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act (16 U.S.C. §4107), as amended, and Sections 312(a) and 315 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C §§1861a and 1864). The National Marine Fisheries Service plays a central role in determining whether a commercial fishery failure has occurred and in allocating federal funding to states and affected fishing communities. Congress plays a pivotal role by appropriating funds and providing oversight of the process. States also play a role by initiating requests, providing information, and planning for the use of funds. Oceanic conditions, climate, and weather events can impact fishery resources and/or commercial infrastructure such as boats, shoreside processing, and ports. Since 1994, federal commercial fishery failure determinations have been made on 42 occasions, and nearly $840 million in federal funding has been appropriated specifically for fishery disaster relief. Funds have been allocated to fisheries of the North Pacific, Pacific Northwest, Gulf of Mexico, and the East Coast. The most recent fishery failures have been declared for the Northeast multispecies fishery, Mississippi Sound fisheries, and certain Alaska Chinook salmon fisheries.

Keyword Tags:
Commercial Fishery Disaster Assistance, Long-Term Management