Schwarzenegger - Impacts of Salmon Closure
Governor Schwarzenegger Addresses Impacts of Vote to Close Salmon Season
Written by Imperial Valley News
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Sacramento, California - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today took action to avoid harmful impacts to the state’s economy following the California Fish and Game Commission’s vote to close the 2009 recreational salmon season. The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) voted to close the commercial salmon season on April 8. This is the second consecutive year that the state’s salmon fishery has been closed.
The Governor issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in California and sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke asking for his support in obtaining federal disaster assistance.
“California’s salmon are a vital resource that contributes greatly to our economy, our environment and our way of life,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Today I am asking the federal government to make the necessary resources available to help the fishing industry cope with a second year of economic and recreational impacts.
Today, the Commission voted to conform to standards recommended by the PFMC to close the ocean recreational salmon fisheries south of Horse Point in California for the 2009 season. The PFMC voted to close both commercial and recreational salmon fishing (except for 10 days in the Klamath Management zone) in federal waters. The state commercial regulations are auto-conforming; the commission adopts recreational regulations for state waters.
At the Governor’s request, the California Department of Fish and Game assessed the potential damage from the closure of the salmon season and determined the loss to be $279 million and 2,690 California jobs.
Also today, the Governor joined with Oregon Governor Kulongoski in sending a letter to Commerce Secretary Locke requesting a fishery resource disaster under the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act of 1986, and a commercial fishery failure under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976.
Last year, the Governor also declared a state of emergency in California and directed numerous state agencies and departments to take various actions to help those affected by the first-ever salmon season closure. He also helped secure $120 million in federal disaster assistance for California salmon fishermen and the salmon fishing industry.
Below is the full text of the Governor’s proclamation:
WHEREAS California’s salmon runs are a vital component of our great State’s resources and contribute significant environmental, recreational, commercial, and economic benefits to the people; and
WHEREAS the Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon have been significantly impacted by poor ocean conditions, and other environmental factors; and
WHEREAS the Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon, traditionally a mainstay salmon population for the West Coast, have declined in population to a level where California’s and Oregon’s recreational and commercial fisheries are being provisionally closed; and
WHEREAS Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon are predicted to have low ocean abundance again in 2009 in waters from Cape Falcon in northern Oregon to the U.S./Mexico Border in San Diego County, California; and
WHEREAS appropriate management of the Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon is critical to California’s businesses, and local communities that provide goods and services in support of California’s salmon fisheries; and
WHEREAS on April 21, 2009, I requested U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to use his authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to determine that there has been a commercial fishery failure due to a fishery resource disaster; and
WHEREAS on April 8, 2009, the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopted final regulatory recommendations to close commercial salmon fishing and impose severe restrictions on recreational salmon fishing, and it is anticipated that the National Marine Fisheries Service will adopt an emergency rule followed by a declaration by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, that is consistent with the Council’s action; and
WHEREAS these restrictions will have significant impacts to California’s commercial and recreational ocean salmon and Central Valley in-river recreation salmon fisheries and will result in severe economic losses throughout the State, including an estimated $279 million economic impact and the loss of an estimated 2,690 jobs; and
WHEREAS the serious circumstances of the Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon put at risk the livelihoods of families and businesses dependent upon them.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, find that conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist within California due to the poor ocean conditions and resulting from the significant restrictions that have been imposed again on the State’s salmon fisheries, and the magnitude of this disaster will likely exceed the capabilities of the services, personnel, and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city in California, and require or will likely require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat. Therefore, I find California to be in a state of emergency, and under the authority of the California Emergency Services Act, I HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY exists in California.
In addition, pursuant to this Proclamation:
I DIRECT the Director of the California Department of Fish and Game and the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to: (1) report to me immediately upon final action of the Department of Commerce and the California Fish and Game Commission on any further actions necessary to ensure the protection of the resource and of the economic livelihood of the fishery participants and local communities; and (2) address the long-term restoration and management of the Sacramento River Fall Run Chinook Salmon in ongoing discussions with federal agencies and representatives from conservation and fishing organizations and fishing communities.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, with the cooperation of the Department of Finance, to activate the Small Business Disaster Assistance Loan Guarantee Program to guarantee loans to prevent business insolvencies and loss of employment in California as a result of this State of Emergency.
I FURTHER DIRECT that to ensure that adequate assistance is available to individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of this emergency, the Secretary of the Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Director of the Employment Development Department shall make available additional assistance grants in those circumstances where the local Dislocated Worker formula allocation is not adequate to cover the demand for services to individuals who have lost their jobs as a result of this State of Emergency.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Director of the Department of Fish and Game to request from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, that California continue to receive the maximum apportionment for federal funds under the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act allowable for the years 2009 and 2010 through an exemption from the apportionment calculation of other suitable means since a predicted decrease in fishing license sales may negatively affect the State’s apportionment.
I FURTHER DIRECT the Director of the Department of Fish and Game to take all necessary actions to issue refunds for commercial fishing salmon stamps issued under Fish and Game Code section 7860, and for Commercial Salmon Vessel Permits issued under Fish and Game Code sections 8235 and 8245, paid for the current 2009 commercial fishing salmon season because retention of such fees would hinder mitigation of the effects of this emergency.
I FURTHER DIRECT that no administrative charges, by any State department, agency, board, commission or office, will be claimed or charged to the Department of Fish and Game for the processing of these refunds.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this proclamation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 21st day of April 2009.
Governor of California
Secretary of State
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