Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell has requested the chinook salmon fisheries to be declared a federal disaster. (Photo: Stock File)
Alaskan governor expands call for help for salmon fisheries
Monday, August 20, 2012, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
Alaskan Governor Sean Parnell has asked US Secretary of Commerce to declare a fishery disaster for the chinook salmon fisheries in the Upper Cook Inlet area.
In a letter addressed to the secretary Rebecca Blank, Parnell refers to a previous request, dated 14 July, in which the governor had informed her of the significant declines in chinook salmon abundance and requested a federal disaster declaration for the 2011 and 2012 chinook salmon seasons on the Yukon and Kuskokwinl Rivers. On this opportunity, he also spoke of diminished returns of Cook Inlet Chinook salmon and the severe restrictions imposed by fisheries managers.
In the new letter, dated 16 August, Parnell gives an update and calls for the declaration of a fishery disaster for Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries for 2012, explaining that several of the region's fisheries have been severely disrupted by the abrupt decline of Chinook salmon in the Kenai River and Northern District streams.
“I ask your prompt review of this matter due to the importance of these fisheries to the local, regional, state, and national economies,” the letter to Blank reads. “The region has seen significant unanticipated decline of important fishery resources and while the cause of the decline is undetermined, it may include reduced ocean survival rates or other unknown factors.”
Therefore, he wrote, the salmon fisheries of the region that harvest these resources have been severely limited with revenues far lower than those seen in prior years.
Through direct and indirect jobs, these fisheries are vital to countless Alaskans.
“Throughout this area, impacts are being felt by commercial fishermen, sport guides, fish processors, and those who sell fuel, tackle, supplies, groceries, and lodging. Local governments will feel the impact of lost revenue to their economic base. The Upper Cook Inlet salmon fisheries affected by the decline of the Chinook salmon runs are crucial to the economic vitality of the region and the well-being of Alaskans,” Parnell explained.
- Alaskan governor seeks federal disaster declaration for salmon
By Natalia Real