Alaska to receive highest possible allocation in fishing aid
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today announced $ 50 million in fishing aid, secured through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, et. The Economic Security Act (CARES) will be paid this week to commercial fishermen, sport fishing charters and seafood processors in Alaska. This funding is the result of Senator Murkowski’s efforts to make direct assistance available to subsistence, commercial and charter fishing participants, processors, fishing-related businesses and fishing-dependent communities that have been negatively affected by the economic and other impacts of COVID-19[FEMININE[FEMININE
âAlaska’s fishing and seafood industry is a critical engine of our state’s economy, employing more than 58,000 people and producing billions of dollars in economic output in our state each year. Sadly, I continue to hear the Alaskan seafood industry talk about the many challenges it faces as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I worked on the development of the CARES Act, I was adamant that strong funding was included for those who market Alaskan halibut, salmon, and countless other seafood products. recognize that the time between attribution and distribution has been frustrating and long, but I am heartened to know that these checks are officially arriving in the mailboxes of Alaskan workers. The positive impacts of this funding will be felt not only here at home, but across the country as it stimulates our economy and allows Alaska’s world-class seafood to continue to be enjoyed around the world, â said Senator Murkowski.
âThis funding from the CARES law is a vital source of support for fishermen. We appreciate that Congress has recognized the need to support those in our seafood supply chain who experience losses, through this and other support programs, â said Chris Barrows, president of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association.
âAlaskans from all sectors of the fishery owe a debt of gratitude to Lisa and Dan for providing so much help to businesses based in our state. Many charter operators and guides have been devastated by the loss of business due to COVID, and these funds are a welcome relief, â said Ben Mohr, executive director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association.
âUFA is pleased to hear that the initial $ 50 million in funding for the AK CARES Act Fisheries Relief has finally been distributed to Alaskans. We thank the Alaska Congressional delegation for all the work they have done to secure this funding and welcome the delegation’s rapid response to the economic damage caused by the pandemic, starting in 2020. The long wait for distribution of these funds, both when fishermen needed help the most, underscores the need to improve the process for distributing disaster relief funds to the fishing industry â, said Tracy Welch, executive director of United Fishermen of Alaska.
In May 2020, as the pandemic shut down the U.S. economy, Senator Murkowski was able to help raise $ 300 million for fishing aid under the CARES Act, of which Alaska received $ 50 million. dollars. Congress has approved new authority through the CARES Act for the Secretary of Commerce to provide direct assistance to fishermen to deal with COVID-related losses. The State of Alaska worked with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PAC States) and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create a spending plan for the first and second rounds of funding.
The Council is currently drafting applications for the second round, which are expected to be available between mid-January and the end of January 2022. In order to apply for the second round funds, applicants will need to know the amounts of their first round relief. Additional guidelines will be available once applications have been finalized and approved by ADF & G staff.
For more information, please contact ADF & G. or watch the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission website.