Trade relief funds to take the sting out of lost export markets will provide U.S. fishermen with a share of $530 million based on their catches in 2019 for 19 species.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week that from now through December 14, fishermen can apply to the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) if they’ve been hurt by the Trump Administration’s chaotic policies with foreign countries.
For example, a 38 percent tariff the U.S. pays for Alaska seafood products going to China, previously Alaska’s biggest buyer, has pushed down sales to the lowest level in a decade, and down by more than $250 million in two years.
The damages to fishermen are calculated as the difference with the trade tariff and the baseline without it.
Cod, for example, adds up to an extra 14-cents a pound. So a fisherman who had cod landings last year of 375,000 pounds would multiply that by 14 cents. That adds up to a payment of $52,500.
In all, 19 species are included. For Alaska crabbers, 47-cents a pound can be added to the 2019 catches for Dungeness, king crab, snow crab and Tanners. Geoduck divers can add 76-cents to their total poundage. Alaska salmon fishermen can add 16 cents across the board. It’s 10 cents for sablefish, four cents for herring and an extra penny a pound for pollock, to name a few.
Eligible fisherman can fill out a “2020 Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP) Application,” found at www.farmers.gov and at USDA Farm Service Agencies.
In Alaska there are three locations at Homer, Kenai and the statewide office in Palmer.(contacts in links above)