Alaskan Congressman Don Young, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Wild Salmon Caucus, last night with Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-1) led representatives in rejecting an amendment to H.R. 5326, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Commerce, Justice and Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, that would harm Pacific salmon. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (GA-10), would have eliminated $15 million from Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF). The amendment was struck down by bipartisan vote of 239-168. The bill would fund PCSRF at $65 million for FY2013.
"Alaskans know firsthand the economic benefits of a strong fishing industry," said Rep. Young. "By helping to rehabilitate salmon populations across America, these recovery funds go a long way in building and maintaining healthy fishing industries. I was happy to see that my colleagues recognized this last night and rejected this misguided amendment in a bipartisan manner."
"A strong salmon population is an important component of a strong economy," said Rep. Thompson. "The PCSRF has been tremendously successful in rehabilitating salmon and by cutting the fund by more than 23 percent would devastate salmon recovery and kill local jobs."
The PCSRF was established by Congress in 2000 to restore, conserve, and protect Pacific salmon and steelhead and their habitats. PCSRF also seeks to maintain the healthy populations necessary for exercising tribal treaty fishing rights and native subsistence fishing.
In 2010, 787,740 pounds of salmon were caught in U.S. waters, totaling 11 percent of all fish captured that year, and generating more than $554 million dollars.