Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials are accepting comments through Oct. 19 on Alaska’s spend plan for the $50 million the state is to receive – out of $300 million nationwide – under the CARES Act relief for fisheries participants. The plan spells out eligibility requirements for participants in seafood processing, commercial harvesting, sport charter, subsistence and aquaculture. ADF&G officials noted that while all sectors have been negatively impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic available funds will only cover a portion of the losses incurred by affected fishery participants.
After comments are considered and input is made into the state’s plan, it must be approved by NOAA Fisheries before eligible fishery participants can submit applications for review and payment. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will then develop application materials consistent with the spend plan and solicit, review and approve applications prior to disbursing funds.
ADF&G officials said that funds are being allocated to each sector based on the revenue allocation methodology used by NOAA Fisheries to allocate funds to Alaska, with some modifications. The federal agency allocated funds to Alaska using available revenue information for the commercial harvesting sector (35.2 percent), the sport charter sector (5.5 percent), and the seafood processing sector (59.3 percent) including processors, dealers, wholesalers and distributors. ADF&G said NOAA Fisheries also considered negative impacts to subsistence fisheries during the allocation process.
ADF&G officials said since the NOAA Fisheries allocation percentages were based on past revenues and not on the estimated scale of loss for each sector during to the pandemic that the state agency adjusted the revenue percentages to be used. They were adjusted to 32 percent each for the commercial harvesting, seafood processing and sport charter sectors and 1 percent for aquaculture.
A copy of the proposed plan can be found online at www.adfg.alaska.gov or on the Alaska Public Notice System, http://notice.alaska.gov/199692
Written comments must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org