West Coast NOAA Fisheries Cancels Three West Coast Surveys for 2020 The Groundfish Bottom Trawl Survey, California Current Hake Research Cruise, and California Current Ecosystem Survey have been cancelled for 2020. NOAA Fisheries - August 3, 2020 Due to the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the unique challenges those are creating for NOAA Fisheries, we are cancelling three research surveys off the West Coast of the United States. The canceled surveys are: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/agency-statement/noaa-fisheries-cancels-three-west-coast-surveys-2020 California, Oregon Fisheries Relief Funding May Soon be Available for Sectors Affected by COVID-19 SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - August 3, 2020 California coastal and marine fishery participants – including licensed commercial fishermen, fish buyers, aquaculture businesses, charter boat owners and guides – who have experienced a loss of income due to the effects of COVID-19 may be eligible for federal relief funding disbursed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency said in a press release Friday. Also on Friday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced NOAA Fisheries approved the state's spend plan for funding. The California funding is part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This more than $2 trillion economic relief package provides direct economic assistance for American workers, families and small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. About $18 million in CARES funding was earmarked specifically for fisheries assistance in California. CDFW estimates more than 11,500 applicants are potentially eligible for this funding, including individuals who work in the offshore, shoreside, aquaculture, commercial passenger fishing vessel and guide sectors. Eligibility will be based on, among other things, a minimum 35 percent loss of fishing-related income due to COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020. Applicants must also submit documentation demonstrating active involvement in a qualifying sector. The approved disbursement plan can be accessed from the CDFW CARES Act site: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Regions/Marine/CARES-Act. The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is serving as fiscal agent for these funds, as well as those for Washington and Oregon. ODFW anticipates PSMFC will begin the one-month application process in early August for Oregon seafood industry members. At that time, PSMFC will post the approved Spend Plan and application materials, and ODFW will post a link to the PSMFC website. PSMFC will also mail postcards to ODFW, OSMB or ODA license holders that may be eligible to apply. PSMFC will mail California claim forms to all potentially eligible applicants to the address on file with CDFW. Forms and documentation must be returned within 30 days to be eligible for disbursement. Following the close of the 30-day response period, final disbursement totals will be calculated and relief checks will be issued to qualified applicants. CDFW is requesting all potentially eligible applicants update their address on file by Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. California estimates that the category with the most number of eligible applicants, 3,938, will receive between $1,222 and $1,321 each. The group with the highest potential individual disbursement of between $5,122 and $5,597, has a maximum of only five eligible applicants. https://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1177334/California-Oregon-Fisheries-Relief-Funding-May-Soon-be-Available-for-Sectors-Affected-by-COVID-19 Federal Register Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Removing the Prohibition on Continuing To Fish After a Partial Offload in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Crab Rationalization Program A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 08/04/2020 NMFS issues a proposed rule that would remove the regulatory prohibition on continuing to fish after a partial offload in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BS/AI) Crab Rationalization (CR) Program. This proposed action is needed to provide CR crab fishery participants operational flexibility to conduct their business in an efficient manner, in particular when emergencies or special circumstances arise. This proposed rule is intended to promote the goals and objectives of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act), the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for BS/AI King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP), and other applicable laws. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/04/2020-15661/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-removing-the-prohibition-on-continuing-to-fish FYI’s Alaska Sea Grant is now hiring Alaska Sea Grant - August 3, 2020 Alaska Sea Grant, part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is accepting applications for two full-time professional positions essential to the success of our work serving Alaskans through the conservation and sustainable use of Alaska’s coastal, watershed and marine resources. https://mailchi.mp/8db19b5e85db/announcement-1309310?e=ac41a9ecf3
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