On September 26th, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that Alabama and 6 other states have been included in a Fishing Disaster Declaration.
According to AL.com, “Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said commercial fishery failures occurred between 2017 and 2019 in Alaska, California, Georgia, and South Carolina. During the same time, catastrophic regional fishery disasters also occurred in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico.”
The recent declaration came after Alabama Governor, Kay Ivey wrote to Sec. Ross informing him of “tremendous and unprecedented amounts of freshwater that have inundated the bays, bayous and estuaries” in the central Gulf Coast. Rivers in the state have experienced record flooding which has resulted in many coastal marshes and brackish rivers losing their salinity which is imperative in maintaining healthy coastal fish populations.
“The declaration makes fisheries in these states eligible for NOAA disaster assistance. The process of determining which fisheries are eligible is currently underway.”