Alaska/ Press Release
Press Release: Delegation Urges Administration to Swiftly Provide Seafood Processors COVID-19 Relief
January 29, 2021
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, joined by U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, all R-AK, called on the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kevin Shea, to expeditiously develop and robustly fund a program to provide grants and forgivable loan support to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels for COVID response measures, in fulfillment of language Senator Murkowski included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
West Coast CARES Act Update: Oregon Sees Some Funding While Other States Still Wait on Applications
SeafoodNews.com by Susan Chambers - February 2, 2021
Oregon seafood businesses will finally see some CARES Act funding. Final payments were scaled to a little more than 58 percent of original claims for the majority of applicants.
The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had to review because more than 90 percent of the applications had errors or omissions, according to the Commission, causing significant delays in processing.
Still, checks were mailed on Friday, Jan. 29. The Commission is asking those who applied to wait two to three weeks before asking about the status of relief checks. The U.S. Postal Service delays are outside the control of the Commission. The Commission will send letters to applicants whose claims were disqualified or deemed ineligible.
Oregon had about $18.3 million available, which included $2.5 million provided by the state of Oregon. Total claims amounted to roughly $48.5 million dollars; imposing the maximum claim/payment lowered that number to a about $31.2 million dollars, the commission said.
The average of the top 10 highest claims was close to $3.5 million, according to the Commission. Imposing the maximum claim reduced this to about $2.8 million.
“Marine and anadromous fisheries are vital to the economic and cultural health of the state, ODFW Fish Division Administrator said earlier this year. "We know businesses on the front lines of these fisheries are hurting, and we hope these federal and state funds will help provide emergency relief for some of the pandemic’s impacts this past spring."
Status of other West Coast, Western Pacific and Alaska CARES Act funding includes:
Alaska and Washington: Both states received $50 million in CARES Act funding, but as of Jan. 29, applications for seafood industry relief were not available.
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Application materials are available and must be received by the CNMI Office of Grants Management by March 31.
Guam: The application period for Guam fishery participants closed on Jan. 29.
American Samoa: The application period for American Samoa fishery participants closed on Dec. 31. Applications will be reviewed and ranked by a Review Committee based on the requirements.
Hawaii: The application period for Hawaii fisheries assistance closed in November 2020 and checks were mailed on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020.
California: Distribution payments were mailed on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.
More information about Cares Act funding for these regions can be found at the Commission's website, www.psmfc.org.
US Coast Guard and Russia’s Marine Rescue Service sign joint plan to combat pollution
KMXT by Dylan Simard - February 2, 2021
The US Coast Guard and Russia’s Marine Rescue Service have signed on to a joint plan to combat pollution in the Bering and Chukchi seas, according to a press release from the Coast Guard’s Alaska district.
Oceana urges end to illegal fishing, seafood fraud
Cordova Times - February 2, 2021
Results of a nationwide poll by the ocean conservation nonprofit Oceana concludes that Americans overwhelmingly support national policies to end illegal fishing and seafood fraud.
Bristol Bay leaders call to close the door on Pebble Mine
National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway - February 2, 2021
With appeals flying in efforts to overturn the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' denial of the Pebble Mine permit in Alaska's Bristol Bay, Bristol Bay's Tribes and residents have released a call for permanent protections for the region.
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