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California Releases $33 Million in Salmon Disaster Assistance

US - In response to the 2006 Klamath River salmon fishery failure, California is disbursing $33 million in Federal Disaster Relief Assistance to affected salmon industry entities.

Commercial salmon fishermen, fish buyer/processors, related marine supply businesses, commercial charter boat owners and Klamath In-River guides and associated infrastructure businesses are eligible to apply for assistance.

The California Salmon Council, a state mandated marketing entity is coordinating the relief efforts in California on behalf of the commercial salmon industry with oversight from the California Department of Fish and Game and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.

In June 2006 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed a state of emergency in 13 counties in response to the fishery failure. In August 2006 US Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez followed up with a federal declaration of an "in-season" fishery failure which cleared the way for federal disaster assistance.

The Federal appropriation of $60.4 million is being shared between the commercial salmon industries in California, Oregon and the Indian Tribes that rely upon the salmon fishery for their subsidence and cultural heritage. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission located in Portland, Oregon is coordinating the tri-lateral relief effort with the Federal government and in particular the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the California Salmon Council, the Oregon Salmon Commission and the Indian Tribal interests.

Congressman Mike Thompson (1CA-D) sponsored H.R. 234 Pacific Salmon Emergency Disaster Assistance Act of 2007 in cooperation with other California and Oregon legislators. The appropriations bill was signed by President George Bush in May when it was included in the military spending package.

Source: Yubanet.com

Ellen Hardy

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