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Businesses affected by salmon season closure asked to report loss

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 07, 2023

This year, a prolonged drought prompted the closure of recreational and commercial salmon fishing in California and put many fishermen out of a job.

California submitted a request for a Federal Fishery Disaster Declaration to support the salmon fishing industry following the closure of the 2023 salmon season.

“We miss not having California king salmon this year,” said Mark Tognazzini, owner of Dockside Restaurant in Morro Bay. “Our two main dishes are based on California king salmon.”

To help qualify for the disaster declaration, the state is asking affected businesses to fill out a form regarding their losses.

“It asks about your business and how much financial loss you’re anticipating from the closure of salmon season,” said Rachel Dion, San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator.

If approved, the Federal Fishery Disaster Declaration would offer financial relief to fishing communities that were impacted by the closure.

“Charter businesses to restaurants to fishermen,” Dion said.

One local business owner who is also a fisherman says fishermen have been affected the most.

“There are impacts that we felt as a restaurant, but the real impacts are to the fisherman themselves,” Tognazzini said. “The fishermen are going to be impacted a lot. A lot of fishermen rely on the California salmon season to put food in the refrigerator.”

If you have been affected, the form can be found on recoverslo.org. The last day to submit a form is July 13.

Once a disaster declaration has been made and Congress has appropriated funds, the National Marine Fisheries will accept applications for funding consideration.