Trump budget dumps on fisheries                   and research



The 2018 budget unveiled last week by the Trump Administration is bad news for the nation’s fisheries. The biggest hits go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, a management partner and benefactor for most of Alaska’s biggest fisheries. Here’s a sampler:

                       Grundens new Deck Boss boots

The budget for the National Marine Fisheries Service operations, research and facilities would be slashed by about $43 million. It also would eliminate NOAA’s coastal research programs and the Sea Grant program. The satellite data division would lose 22 percent of its current funding.

The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, one of the nation’s primary research arms, would see its budget drop by 26 percent to $400 million.

Climate-focused research would see a cut of $31 million, with $21 million taken from competitive research grants. Cuts also would terminate Arctic research focused on sea ice modeling and predictions counted on by fishermen, commercial shippers and cruise ships.

Funding for management of U.S. catch share programs, including halibut, sablefish and Bering Sea crab, would be cut by $5 million.

The Trump dump also pulls the budget from NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Program and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

The budgets for Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants, Interjurisdictional Fisheries Grants, the Chesapeake Bay project, the Great Lakes Restoration Project and the National Estuary Program also would be eliminated.

The National Weather Service budget would be cut by six percent and the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer faces closure as the country’s two  centers are forced to merge. The other is in Honolulu, Hawaii. The network of 39 Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunami (DART) stations  also would be eliminated.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that the Trump administration “looked at the budget process through the eyes of the people who were actually paying the bills.”

By most accounts,  the  cuts  are likely to face a skeptical Congress.