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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 3, 2017.
Crab Emergency Disaster Assistance Act of 2017
This bill appropriates funds to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide disaster relief funds to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. These funds will assist fisherman and small businesses, including restaurants, which have suffered economic hardship due to the shutdown of the commercial Dungeness and rock crab season on the U.S. West Coast. These funds become available when the Department of Commerce makes a determination declaring a fishery disaster for either the Dungeness crab fishery or the rock crab fishery.
Dungeness and rock crab fisheries on the West Coast may contain dangerous levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by harmful algal blooms that can cause shellfish poisoning. The bill appropriates funds to NOAA for the sampling and monitoring of domoic acid found in the fisheries. In addition, NOAA must distribute grants for research on harmful algal blooms and domoic acid toxicity.