Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Archives October 2006 Fishing: Salmon trollers unhappy with state aid payments

Fishing: Salmon trollers unhappy with state aid payments

| Print |  Email
Sunday, October 01, 2006

THE COAST — It’s been a disastrous season for Oregon’s commercial salmon trollers. The National Marine Fisheries earlier this year closed 700 miles of Oregon and California coastline to protect decimated wild runs of Klamath River fall Chinook. What wasn’t protected were the pocketbooks of those who make their living off the salmon. The revenue lost to Oregon and California fishermen has been estimated at $16 million.

So when the state announced it had $500,000 in direct aid for Oregon trollers — hard cash to pay the bills — it was welcome news, even though the amount paled next to the losses being suffered.

But when the checks were handed out in late August, many in the fleet were disappointed and angry. Out of 360 who applied, 283 salmon trollers received checks ranging from $75 to $7,500, depending on the amount of salmon caught either in 2003, 2004 or 2005, and qualified expenses. Most of the trollers were expecting a more equitable distribution of about $1,600 apiece.

“We didn’t gain that much financial relief,” says Jeff Reeves, a Charleston-based fisherman and vice chairman of the Oregon Salmon Commission, which helped set the guidelines for disbursement.

He added that no one expected a big payout. “We weren’t expecting this program to cure us, just to be a leg up.” Most fishermen do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

The Department of Agriculture awarded the funds based on guidelines worked out with the commission. But Reeves, who says he received a $3,300 check, said much of the commission’s input seemed to have been ignored.

“There’s a lot of animosity in the fleet over the discrepancies. Our input got lost in making those decisions,” says Reeves, who hopes the next round of payments goes to those who didn’t get much the first time.

Lauren Henderson, assistant director of the Department of Agriculture, says another $500,000 was requested from the Legislative E-Board in September. He hopes those payments, if approved, can be made to trollers by the end of October, adding that his office will recommend that the already-gathered information from the current applicants be used to speed up decisions on who gets the aid.

“Equitable is in the eyes of the beholder,” he says about the complaints. “This wasn’t for all fishermen, just the salmon fishermen. It was weighted that way. All 283 [who received a check] were different stories, and we read every one of them.”

The first round of funding, which came from the governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund, was meant to be a bridge to federal help. A bipartisan, bi-state coalition won a federal declaration of “fishery failure” in August, which covers the commercial salmon industry in Oregon and California.

— Robin Doussard



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



















 

More Articles

Reader Input: Energy policy

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014

How serious a problem is climate change? Readers want to have their cake and eat it, too.


Read more...

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...

Blips and trends in the housing market

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014
062614 thumb realestateBY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER

Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?


Read more...

Oversight? Or gaming the system?

News
Monday, July 14, 2014
AmazonBY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER

Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.


Read more...

Salvage operation

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

For Far West Fibers, one of Oregon's largest and oldest mixed-recycling companies, garbage alchemy has long been big business.


Read more...

Detox fashion

June 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Remember mood rings? A team of scientists at Oregon State University has designed what might be considered a 21st-century analog of the ’70s jewelry fad: a bracelet that reveals one’s exposure to pollutants.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS