US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has allocated US$200 million in disaster funding to help fishermen recover and rebuild following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.
Funding has also been appropriated and allocated for the disasters that devastated West Coast and Alaska fishermen from 2014 to 2017.
NOAA Fisheries used commercial fishery revenue loss as the common metric to allocate funding among eligible disasters.
In addition to revenue loss, the agency also took subsistence uses and long-term impacts to the fishery into account to further ensure an equitable distribution of funds.
The funds can help commercial fishermen, recreational fishermen, charter businesses, shore-side infrastructure, subsistence users, and the fishing ecosystem and environment. Activities that can be considered for funding include infrastructure projects, habitat restoration, state-run vessel and permit buybacks, job retraining, and other activities, as specified by the law and limits of the request.
Following this announcement, NOAA will contact the eligible applicants for both hurricane-affected states and territories and for states and tribes affected by fishery disasters on the West Coast and in Alaska.