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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 26, 1994


The President has notified the Congress that he has made available $12 million in emergency funds for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide assistance to fishermen in Washington, Oregon, and California who have been adversely affected by the emergency closure of the salmon harvest. The recent decline in populations of salmon is attributed, in large part, to natural effects, including ocean warming believed to be caused by the El Nino climate phenomenon.

The Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1993, Public Law 102-396, which was enacted on October 6, 1992, provided $65 million to NOAA in contingent emergency funding. The availability of these funds was made contingent upon the President submitting an official budget request to the Congress and designating the entire amount of the request as an emergency requirement.

The funds were provided in Public Law 102-396 to enable the Secretary of Commerce to award grants to persons engaged in commercial fisheries for uninsured losses determined by the Secretary to have been suffered as a direct result of a fishery resource disaster. The $12 million now available will be used to finance alternative job creation, short-term employment aimed at restoring salmon populations in the region, and to compensate fishermen for the surrender of fishing permits.

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