The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has given final approval to Alaska’s draft spend plan, to be shared by seafood processors, commercial harvesters, sport charters, subsistence users and aquaculture.
Under details spelled out on the Alaska Department of Fish & Game website, all sectors other than subsistence will have to certify that they suffered a loss of greater than 35 percent in fishery participation revenue from March 1, 2020 through Nov. 30, 2020 as a direct or indirect result of the pandemic.
They also must have been fishery participants in 2018 and 2019.
Nonresident commercial permit holders whose home states, including Washington and Oregon, are also eligible for this aid must apply in their own states.
Applications for aid are available on the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission webpage- www.psmfc.org/cares-act-the-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act.
NOAA is also working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify subsistence users in Alaska. The completion date for that effort is not known yet.
State officials noted that the economic impact of the pandemic on fisheries was felt across the state, from reduced wholesale prices and reduction in demand due to economic shut down or sharp declines in tourism. The spend plan goal is to broadly distribute stimulus payments to those eligible while balancing rapidity, equitability and workload with limited resources, they said.
Questions related specifically to Alaska’s Section 12005 CARES Act Fisheries assistance relief may be emailed to AKCARES@psmfc.org or call 1-888-517-7262.
Also sharing in the total $300 million in Section 12005 funds for those economically injured by the pandemic are Washington, California, Oregon, Hawaii, federally recognized tribes in Alaska and on the West Coast, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.