Southeast Alaska Salmon Seiners Say Yes to Buyout

A majority of the 379 permit holders in the Southeast Alaska salmon purse seine fishing fleet have approved a National Marine Fisheries Service plan to repay a fishing capacity reduction loan to purchase 64 permits identified in a fleet reduction plan.

NMFS said in an announcement May 1 that of the 269 valid votes received, 215 permit holders approved the proposed purchases and fees, while 54 of the permit holders cast votes opposing the move.

NMFS said the referendum was therefore successful and that accordingly, the relinquishment contracts are in full force and effect.

NMFS is now preparing to tender and disburse reduction payments to the selected bidders, who will be listed, with the permit numbers being relinquished, in a notice this week in the Federal Register. NMFS will then mail reduction payment tender instructions to each of the 64 permit holders, along with a copy of the notice.

Disbursement payments in the selected bidders are to begin in June, after the end of a 30-day period for any parties with secured interests in the relinquished permits to take any necessary action.

NMFS plans to begin fee collection on salmon landings immediately thereafter, likely around July 1, agency officials said.

NMFS will provide additional fee collection guidance and instructions in the coming weeks.

Individuals with questions for NMFS may call Mike Sturtevant or Liz Ryan at 1-10`-427-8799.