Eligibility Still Undetermined for Pink Salmon Disaster Relief Funds

Federal funds totaling more than $56 million out of some $200 million for fisheries disasters nationwide have been appropriated for those impacted by the 2016 pink salmon disaster in Alaska, but it could be months before it is paid out.

Alaska Rep. Louise Stutues of Kodiak said in a recent update on the relief appropriation that one of her concerns is who will be eligible. “What types of entities will be eligible and how much each category will receive remains unknown,” she told constituents in a recent newspaper column.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has identified shoreside infrastructure as a potential recipient category. Stutes said she is working with the state to ensure that along with the fishermen that processing workers and direct support businesses are afforded the relief that they are entitled to. The legislator said she is in daily communication with the office of Gov. Bill Walker and Alaska Department of Fish and Game to offer input and stay as up-to-date as possible on the timeline and details of those relief funds.