News Releases

(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) today announced the release of $1.5 million in federal funding to help ease the groundfish crisis in Washington state.

The Washington Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development will receive $1.2 million to help coastal communities diversify their economies to better deal with the coast-wide decline of groundfish fisheries.

The Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife will receive $300,000 to implement a voluntary program for the arrowtooth flounder fishery to collect data to determine more accurate bycatch rates.

Senator Murray worked to secure this funding for Washington state within a $5 million earmark in the fiscal year 2000 emergency supplemental bill to address the West Coast groundfish disaster.

"I am pleased that this funding will help Washington state fishing families and communities hurt by the fisheries disaster," Said Senator Murray. "This funding will help many communities that have already been hurt by declines in salmon stocks by helping them to diversify their economies. The funding for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will help arrowtooth flounder fishermen to catch more fish."

Projects eligible to receive funding through these grants promote economic diversification away from dependence on the commercial groundfish fishery and must be locally defined priorities.

The following communities are eligible to receive funding for their projects:

  • Bellingham Group: Bellingham, Blaine, La Conner and Anacortes
  • Port Angeles Group: Port Angeles, Port Townsend
  • La Push Group: LaPush, Neah Bay, Forks, Taholah
  • Westport Group: Westport, Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Copalis Beach
  • Ilwaco Group: Ilwaco, Chinook, South Bend, Bay Center, Tokeland

    Addressing the groundfish disaster continues to be a high priority for Senator Murray. Senator Murray supports appropriating $25 million for a groundfish vessel and permit buyback program. She also supports more funding for West Coast observers to assess the crisis and for the Pacific Fisheries Management Council to manage these depleted stocks.