Jim Balsiger, acting administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, ammouned the declaration in Portland, Oregan. He said this was a very bleak year for West Coast Fishermen.
The agency in charge of ocean fishing estimated that the value of this year's lost catch was $22 million — 90 percent of the five-year average — not including direct income losses to sport and commercial fishing boats, processors, bait shops and other related businesses at $60 million in the three states.
The governors of Washington, Oregon and California, who requested the declaration, have estimated that sum rises to $290 million as it ripples through the economy. California is seeking $208 million, Oregon $45 million and Washington $36 million.
The Sacramento chinook runs are the backbone of commercial fisheries off California and Oregon, where the Pacific Fishery Management Council last month recommended the first-ever total shutdown in ocean salmon fishing.
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