Kilmer Applauds US Commerce Department’s Decision to Issue Fishery Disaster Declarations Impacting the Olympic Peninsula

TACOMA, WA – Today, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) applauded the U.S. Commerce Department for issuing fishery disaster declarations in Washington state. The commercial fishery failures include locations on the Olympic Peninsula and the announcement clears the way for additional resources to be brought in to restore salmon runs.

The disaster declarations Kilmer previously pushed for include: 2015-2016 Quileute Tribe Dungeness crab, 2015 Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay coho salmon, 2015 Quinault Indian National Grays Harbor coho salmon. Fishing communities on the Olympic Peninsula are now eligible for investments in projects that could encourage fishery recovery and job training, among other initiatives.

“This is great news for jobs,” said Kilmer. “Fishing is a way of life and central to quality jobs in our region. But the past few years our salmon runs have been hit hard and dropped to alarmingly low levels. The decline has impacted everyone from the worker behind the counter at the bait and tackle shop to the captain running a boat. This declaration will make it easier to get the resources we need to restore our runs and keep our economy moving forward.” 

Kilmer originally called for the declarations in a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker last December.