Comment Period on Spending Plan for 2016 GOA Pink Salmon Disaster Funds

The Draft Spending Plan for funds appropriated to address the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon disaster is available for comment until September 7th at 5pm. The full draft plan is here, below is a summary.
 
Guiding Principles for fund Distribution: disbursement of funds will be prioritized based on the following criteria: 1) funds will be allocated to improve fishery information to better assess and forecast future fishery performance; 2) fishery participants directly involved and harmed by the 2016 pink salmon disaster; 3) funds will be disbursed to positively affect the broadest number of people possible; and 4) address losses to primary business and infrastructure that directly support pink salmon fisheries and that incurred the greatest losses as a result of the disaster.

 Categories of Entities Eligible to Receive Disaster Relief Funds:

  • Research: Funds will be used for applied research or research activities to improve the resource managers ability to better understand pink salmon ecology and abundance, and improve pink salmon forecasts in the future.
  • Fishery participants: Defined based on Commercial Fishery Entry Commission permit holders named on fish tickets for the 2016 salmon fishing season, in the affected management areas.
  • Municipalities: Municipalities must be located within the affected areas and must have had pink salmon landed in the community. Disbursement of disaster funds will be based on the value of the State of Alaska’s Fishery Resource Landing tax.
  • Processors: Defined as processors that processed pink salmon in 2016 in the affected management areas. To be eligible to receive disaster funds, processors must be able to demonstrate a minimum first wholesale revenue of pink salmon of $10,000 in 2016. For processors to receive full payment of disaster funds, each processor must submit a spending plan outlining a process to compensate processing employees for lost wages, as defined by criteria. 
Step One – Research $4,180,000
 
Prince William Sound Juvenile Pink Salmon Survey: would closely follow the methods and gear used for the Southeast Coastal Monitoring program.
 
Alaska Hatchery Research Program: would aid funding to an ongoing study of the interaction of hatchery fish straying into wild systems for pink and chum in PWS and for chum in Southeast. 
 
Southeast Coastal Monitoring Plan: the funding on these juvenile pink salmon trawl surveys is up in 2018.
 
Set Two – Fishery Participation $32,044,231

Fishery participants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to receive disaster funds; a) Hold a Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission permit card for salmon in 2016,
b) CFEC permit holder must have fished for pink salmon in 2016,
c) CFEC permit holder must be able to document ADF&G fish ticket landings equal to or greater than 1,000 pounds of pink salmon,

Step Three – Municipalities $2,437,039

Communities that received pink salmon landings in 2016 will be eligible to receive funds equal to 1.5% of the five even year average exvessel value of pink salmon landed in the community to compensate for lost Resource Landing Taxes. 

Step Four – Processors $17,700,062

To be eligible to receive disaster relief funds, processors must meet the following criteria; a)  Processors must have processed pink salmon in 2016, b)  Processors must demonstrate a 2016 first wholesale value of $10,000 or greater (determined based on COAR data), c)  Eligible entities must demonstrate a revenue loss in 2016 as compared to the five evenyear average (based on COAR data). 

Each processors distribution plan must include:

a) the number of workers employed during the 2016 pink salmon season,
b) number of workers eligible to receive payments,
c) hours worked in 2016 and average hours worked during previous five even year pink salmon seasons,
d) estimated total loss of wages to processing workers,
e) methods for distributing funds to processing workers. 

Comments on the proposed Spending Plan for funds appropriated for the 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pink Salmon Disaster can be submitted by 5pm September 7th through this website: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishing.2016_pinksalmon_disaster_relief_fund

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