A year after closing the Fraser River salmon fishery altogether, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has declared a “fishery disaster” for the river’s sockeye salmon run, “a key resource for the state and tribal fishing industries in Washington.”
Ashley Hearn reports on the economic impact of the ongoing environmental disaster: “The Fraser River sockeye salmon runs are worth more than $4 million each year, and they’ve been in decline for 30 years.”
As for what is causing the ongoing threat to the vital food stock: “Fisheries managers blame the decline on poor ocean conditions, warm river temperatures and habitat decline, among other things.”
The disaster declaration makes funding available for the tribes and commercial fishers to offset the impacts of their losses. Congress must still decide the funding amount of the allocation.