Public comment sought on fisheries assistance plan

A vessel docks in Cordova Harbor. (Oct. 5, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Public comment is welcome through Oct. 19 on the CARES Act fisheries assistance draft spend plan, through which Alaska is to receive $50 million of the $300 million allocated for all coastal states and territories.

Eligibility requirements vary for each sector, from seafood processing and commercial harvesting to sport charter, subsistence and aquaculture, but the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cautions that available funds will only cover a portion of the losses incurred by those fishery participants affects by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NOAA Fisheries allocated funds to Alaska using available revenue information for the sport charter sector, commercial harvesting sector and seafood processing sector, which includes processors, dealers, wholesalers and distributors. Negative impacts to subsistence fisheries are also being considered during the allocation process.

General requirements for eligibility dictate that applicants must be at least 18 years old, a participant in a marine or anadromous fishery in waters off of Alaska, and self-certify that they are not de-barred from receiving federal funds and not on the federal government’s “do not pay list,” ADF&G officials said. Complete eligibility details and more are online at Comments should be submitted to [email protected]

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission will be notifying applicants who have not met eligibility requirements, have not provided adequate documentation, or have any clerical errors in their application. These applicants will then have two weeks, following affirmative contact with a staff member, to correct any deficiencies and resubmit their application for review. The second decision on an application will be considered final.