Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced nearly $16 million in assistance will go to Oregon fisheries, fishing businesses, fish processors, and more that have been impacted by coronavirus. The funding is Oregon’s portion of the $300 million in fisheries assistance included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“This is desperately needed federal support for Oregon’s hardworking fishermen and women and the coastal communities they support,” Merkley said. “While this is a welcome step, we still have a tremendous amount of work to do to ensure the survival and continued vitality of the seafood and fishing industries that are so crucial to both Oregon and the nation. That’s why I’m leading a bipartisan push to include an additional $3 billion in federal support for fishermen and seafood processors in any upcoming coronavirus relief package.”
“Oregonians working hard to earn a living along the coast in our state’s fishing industry have been walloped by the economic fallout from this public health crisis,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified these resources are headed to the Oregon Coast, but much more needs to be done and I’ll keep battling to secure the $3 billion needed by Oregon’s signature fishing and seafood processors to weather this economic storm.”
The $15,982,827 in funding, disbursed through NOAA Fisheries, will go to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), which will work with the state and industry stakeholders to provide assistance to Oregon’s fisheries.
Fishery participants eligible for funding include tribal nations, commercial fishing businesses, charter and for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses.