Tag Archives: Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker

Commerce Secretary Declares Fisheries Disasters for Nine West Coast Species

The US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has determined there are commercial fishery failures for nine salmon and crab fisheries in Alaska, California and Washington. In recent years, each of these fisheries experienced sudden and unexpected large decreases in fish stock biomass due to unusual ocean and climate conditions. This decision enables fishing communities to seek disaster relief assistance from Congress. Read the story here 09:54

Cantwell, Murray Push to Declare Six Fisheries Disasters in Washington State

us-senate-sealU.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker calling for a declaration of commercial fisheries failures for six pending fishery disaster requests. Fishing communities up and down Washington’s coast have suffered through several years of lower-than-expected catch. A federal fishery disaster declaration would make communities eligible for funding for projects such as fisheries recovery, job training, and infrastructure investments in the communities hardest hit. Commerce Secretary’s designation would provide relief to Coho, Sockeye, and Dungeness fishermen and their communities. Read the press release here 18:06

California Commercial crabbers still hope for relief from previous season

ar-161119792-jpgmaxh400maxw667Commercial crab fishing opens Tuesday, but fishermen are still reeling from last year’s abysmal season and haven’t seen any sign of the hoped-for federal emergency funds Gov. Jerry Brown requested from the Department of Commerce. In February, Brown wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, asking her to declare a fishery resource disaster. He sought federal help in offsetting the $48.3 million loss to the industry after crab fishing was put on hold due to toxin contamination. Dungeness crab is one of the highest valued commercial fisheries in California,” he wrote. “Declaring a commercial failure will enable the fishing communities affected by the closure to receive essential economic assistance.” “We’re all far behind,” said Vicki Crow, a crab vendor at Moss Landing Harbor. Crow, 60, has been in the fishing industry most of her adult life, starting at around age 20 with commercial abalone and sea urchin diving. Now she sells crab from a dock at the harbor. “It’s just been really bad for us,” she said. Read the story here 08:24

Looking ahead to next years California crab season

dungenesscrabShould California’s four-year drought break, causing rivers to run, next year’s crab season could be worse than the 2015-2016 season. The industry has, so far, lost at least $48 million in revenue for crab fishermen statewide, according to information presented at the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture hearing last Thursday, April 28 in Sacramento. Dr. Raphael Kudela and his colleague, Dr. William Sydeman, senior scientist with the Farallones Institute Team, fear if this season is followed by enough rain to end the drought, the rivers will run, bringing rich nutrients to the ocean. The algal bloom will then feed off the nutrients and, according to Kudela, be 400 percent more toxic than it was this year. There is a chance, however, that a La Nina weather pattern could be cool enough to make the algal bloom dissipate. As Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker drags her feet on disaster relief. Read the rest here 13:52

State targets NOAA science, tactics in its most recent filing of its lawsuit against federal fishing regulators.

gdt iconnmfs_logoThe National Marine Fisheries Service used sub-standard methods of data collection and violated the rule of federal law when it failed to consider alternatives to its preferred catch limits or how those alternatives would affect fishing communities, Massachusetts has charged in its most recent filing of its lawsuit against federal fishing regulators. Read more here  01:07