Harvesters with Alaska’s Commercial Fishery Entry Commission (CFEC) permits have until Oct. 31 to apply for their share of the $31.8 million in financial relief for fishery participants impacted by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon fishery disaster.
Application materials for crew members, according to details released in August by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), are to be distributed after the Oct. 31 deadline. Crew members will have until Jan. 31 to file for their benefits. The $53.8 million distribution plan for all impacted parties, as approved by NOAA Fisheries on July 1, also includes $17.7 million to processors and $3.63 million for research.
Eligible harvesters include CFEC permit holders named on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game fish tickets that fished for pink salmon in 2016 and showed a demonstrated revenue loss in the fishery. Crew members, in turn, will be eligible for compensation based on the CFEC permit holder being eligible to receive disaster funds.
Compensation for fishery participants is to be calculated based on the loss of pink salmon ex-vessel value to each management area as compared to the area’s five even year average ex-vessel value. The PSMFC said each management area disaster funds will be distributed such that each area’s fishery value is equal to 70.56 percent of their respective five even year average ex-vessel value.
The $17.7 million allocated for processors will be distributed to those who processed humpies in 2016 in the affected management areas. Payments to processors are to be proportionate to their demonstrated loss in 2016. A total of 15 percent of each eligible processing company’s total disaster payment will be distributed equally to eligible processing workers, based on unique facility, the PSMFC said. The demonstrated loss for each processor will be equal to its five even year average pink salmon gross first wholesale value from 2006 through 2014 minus its 2016 pink salmon gross first wholesale value.
The $3.63 million in research dollars is earmarked for applied research or research activities to improve the resource managers’ ability to better understand pink salmon ecology and abundance and improve pink salmon forecasts in the future. The PSMFC allocated $450,000 for the Kodiak Pink Salmon Saltwater Marketing Sample Plan, $2,500,000 for the Alaska Hatchery Research Program, and $680,000 for the Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring Survey.
In addition, Congress appropriated $2.4 million in disaster relief funds to municipalities affected by the disaster. PSMFC officials said they are working with the state of Alaska and the National Marine Fisheries Service to identify a process for distributing those funds to municipalities.
Further information is available at the PSMFC fisheries disaster website, at https://www.psmfc.org/fishery-disaster-programs or call 1-888-517-7262.
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