Factsheets | Main Budget Request Menu | NOAA Home Page
The Fiscal Year 2002 budget request for National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) totals $734.2 million, including $598.0 million for research and management programs and $136.2 million in associated funding. The requested funding provides important new investments critical to the long- term stewardship of the Nations living marine resources, including $10.6 million in new funding to enhance and modernize NOAA Fisheries activities in the Northwest.
Who is Northwest NOAA Fisheries?
The Pacific Northwest is renowned for its natural beauty and abundance of marine species and ecosystems which encompass the coastal and estuarine waters of Oregon and Washington, and extend inland through the salmon- bearing tributaries of Idaho and Montana. An ecologically rich and diverse region, the Northwest is home to some of the nations most economically valuable fisheries, including the west coast groundfish fishery as well as the salmon and steelhead stocks.
Rebuilding West Coast Groundfish Stocks
A priority for NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region is to ensure the rebuilding and sustainable harvests of the Northwest groundfish complex. This is a large management complex comprised of over 80 different species of groundfish, several of which have been identified as overfished. Aggressive efforts, both scientifically and in the management of these species, are being conducted by NOAA Fisheries in concert with our management partners, the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. An observer program for West Coast groundfish is being implemented and funding is included in our request to expand this program in FY 2002. We are upgrading analyses with additional, more frequent groundfish stock assessments. With the additional funding requested in FY 2002, these two efforts will be critical in the future for identifying and monitoring the most effective management measures to rebuild and sustain these stocks. All of our programs involve collaboration with constituents on science and management to minimize negative impacts on human activities, and maximize the effectiveness of recovery and stewardship of these species and their habitats.
Recovering a Heritage
Pacific salmon is the biological and cultural icon of the region. Salmon are born in inland freshwater streams and rivers, migrate perhaps hundreds of miles to coastal estuaries, then disperse into distant ocean waters to grow. Once mature, they reverse their course, returning through the estuaries, fighting their way back upriver to the very streams where they were born to spawn and then die, beginning the cycle again.
NOAA Fisheries has scientifically reviewed the status of over 50 Pacific salmon and steelhead populations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), over half of which have been listed as threatened or endangered. These listings and the recovery efforts to address them impact almost every aspect of human endeavor in the region. In recent years, the listing of species of salmon has quadrupled our ESA consultation requirements, while responsibilities for permits, recovery planning, habitat conservation plans, and development of regulations have tripled. Regional Federal agencies have been cooperating in the management of Columbia River operations to minimize the impact of energy shortages and balance the recovery needs of listed salmon and steelhead. In December 2000, NOAA Fisheries issued a biological opinion under the ESA on the operation of the hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River basin. The opinion did not recommend that any of the dams be breached, but instead called for several other fish- saving measures, including flow and spill regimes as well as other mitigation measures. In recognition of the overwhelming task faced by NOAA Fisheries, the FY 2002 request maintains an agency- wide commitment of nearly $184 million in funding to promote the recovery of west coast salmon stocks including funding for NOAA Fisheries recovery activities and operation of the Columbia River hatcheries. Continued implementation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty Agreement requires $10.0 million for the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund. The FY 2002 request also includes a total of $90 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to support coastal states and tribes in their efforts to conserve salmon and their habitats.
Our Management Partners and Scientific Challenges
Nationally, NOAA Fisheries works in partnership with eight regional fishery management councils, conducting the scientific research and analysis on which to develop management strategies, and advising the councils on the fishery management plans under their jurisdiction. The Northwest Region works closely with the Pacific Fishery Management Council, based in Portland, OR, on the management of the regions valuable fisheries resources. Additional funding is included in the request to assist the Council in meeting its future management challenges. New resources are also needed to initiate a social science data and research program to predict and monitor impacts of proposed management measures on the fishing industry and related communities. Funding for the Pacific Fisheries Information Network or PACFIN program is included in the request to continue the gathering of data needed for effective management. The National Fisheries Information System will act in concert with PACFIN and be an integrated, web-enabled information system by which fishers, scientists, and managers can collect and exchange information in a timely manner and improve management decisions. Funds are included to support the Fisheries and the Environment or FATE program designed to improve stock predictions by determining the effects of decadal- scale climate variability on those stocks.
Enforcing the Future
Finally, new funding is needed to expand current enforcement programs in the Northwest and speed the implementation of vessel management systems that employ the latest satellite technology to better track vessels to ensure compliance with regulations and improve safety at sea.
Funding for other important programs and activities
Factsheets | Main Budget Request Menu | NOAA Home Page