Rep. Huffman, Sen. Padilla Call on Administration to Declare Emergency

Letter Highlights Urgent Need to Get Aid to Californians Impacted by Salmon Season Closure

April 11, 2023

San Rafael, CA – Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) led their colleagues in an urgent letter to President Joe Biden and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo calling for them to swiftly declare a federal fishery disaster, joining California Governor Gavin Newsom in his request.

“The closure of this vital fishery will have far-reaching consequences for commercial, recreational, and charter fishers, tribes, businesses, restaurants, and families who depend upon a healthy salmon fishery for subsistence. In response to the closure, on April 6, Governor Gavin Newsom submitted a request to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to declare a fishery disaster for the 2023 chinook salmon season. We appreciate the Governor’s support and humbly ask that your Administration move swiftly to declare a federal fishery disaster,” the members state in their letter.

“Californians who depend on the fishery will be immediately affected and have no time to wait for these long-term objectives to be achieved. A federal fishery disaster declaration will help our commercial and charter fisheries, tribes, and communities survive the difficult times ahead,” they said.

On Friday, April 7, Rep. Huffman held a press conference with Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Representative Kevin Mullin, and fishing industry stakeholders to call attention to this disaster and highlight the people who will bear the brunt of the impacts of closing the salmon season.

san fran press conference

Click here to watch Friday’s press conference in San Francisco

In the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, Congressman Huffman was able to help secure an additional $300 million for fishery disaster declarations. The letter specifically asks that a portion of these funds go towards affected Californians. Congress also authorized new bipartisan fishery disaster relief language based on Congressman Jared Huffman and Senator Roger Wicker’s Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act. This language should streamline the process for declaring a federal fishery disaster and help to quickly provide relief to affected communities. It also extends eligibility for federal fishery disaster funds not only to commercial fisheries, but also to charter fishing businesses and impacted tribes.

In addition to Representative Huffman and Senator Padilla, the letter was signed by Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Ami Bera (CA-06), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Anna Eshoo (CA-16), John Garamendi (CA-08), Josh Harder (CA-09), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Zoe Lofgren ( CA-18), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Nancy Pelosi (CA-11), Katie Porter (CA-47), Raul Ruiz (CA-25), and Mike Thompson (CA-04) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

A copy of the letter can be found here.