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Salmon Fishermen May Soon Get Aid

US - Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez has agreed to take the first steps toward declaring an economic disaster for salmon fishermen in Oregon and California, whose season has been virtually shut down to protect dwindling returns to the Klamath River.</b> <br><br> Gutierrez said Thursday in a conference call with members of Congress and governors from the two states that he was declaring a fisheries resource disaster, which makes fishermen and associated businesses eligible for loans, but not grants. <br><br> The restricted seasons have allowed the 3,000 fishermen in California and Oregon to land about 2% to 3% of what they would land in a good year, said Glen Spain of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen&#39;s Associations. <br><br> Some commercial fishermen from Oregon, supported by property rights advocates, sued over the curtailment, arguing that <b>hatchery fish</b> ought to be counted along with wild fish in deciding whether to restrict the commercial ocean harvest. <br><br> <i>Source: Washington Post</i>

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