Case study examination of programs designed to help individuals and communities through fishery disasters Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/p5547w61d

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  • In 2000, the US Congress responded to the industry-wide constriction of the West Coast groundfish industry by allocating $5 million in disaster relief for Oregon, Washington, and California. Each state, with minimal federal oversight, designed and executed its own disaster response program to help impacted members of the fishing industry and coastal communities to cope with the downturn. While operating under the same broad goals set by the federal government, each state created different relief programs. Oregon focused on helping individual members of the fishing community to access social services. Washington used most of its money on economic development of coastal towns. California split their money among multiple programs, including payments to impacted individuals and cooperative fisheries research. While federal responses to fisheries disasters cost the government millions of dollars each year, they are rarely researched and poorly understood. There has been, as of yet, no comprehensive cataloguing of the socio-economic responses to the West Coast groundfish disaster, nor has there been an assessment of how well each state's program worked. The goal of this project was to document and compare the states' responses to the disaster, and to extract lessons-learned. Results indicate that people working in the fishing industry face many obstacles to leaving the fishery, and that aggressive, well-planned outreach programs are necessary for efforts to directly help members of the fishing community. It is hoped that this project will help both decision makers and those impacted by future fishery disaster responses.
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