Relief funds for 2016 pink season slowly moving forward

The distribution of federal fund for fishermen who got walloped by the disastrous 2016 pink salmon season inched another step forward yesterday.

Tuesday was the final day to comment on the proposed distribution plan.  Once the funds are finally released they will be administered by the Pacific States Marine Commission, which is based out of Portland. The relief funds will be distributed according to the plan being finalized now.

As it sits now, Kodiak pink salmon fishermen would receive nearly $7 million to help offset the losses sustained when pink salmon stocks crashed in the summer of 2016.


Pink salmon from Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game.

That’s roughly 22 percent of the total amount assigned to fisheries participants under the current distribution proposal for the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon disaster funds.

The bulk of the $32 million being set aside for fishermen would go to compensate those who participated in the Prince William Sound pink salmon fishery.

In all more than $56 million was appropriated by Congress to address the 2016 disaster. The money would be divvied up into four broad categories which include research, participants, municipalities and processors.

Funds for participants are based on a formula which considers ex-vessel value of losses and five-year even-year average ex-vessel value in each of seven management areas.

Distribution of funds is intended to provide each area the necessary funding to reach 82.5 percent of the average five even-year ex-vessel value, according to the distribution plan posted on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website. That will compensate each fisherman based on their five even-year average catch values.

In order to qualify for recovery funds, fishermen must have had a limited entry permit for salmon in 2016, fished pink salmon that year, and delivered a minimum of 1,000 pounds of pinks to the dock.

Locally, the disaster funds would also provide money to compensate processors and their workers, and to compensate municipalities for lost revenues such as the fish landing tax collected by the borough.

Money for the fourth category of funds covers research, and is focused on the Prince William Sound and southeast Alaska.


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