Chignik fishermen are finally expecting federal relief funds to start coming in, but that assistance may be too late.
Applications will be accepted during a two-month window that opens March 1, and payments could come as early as June.
Not only were fishermen catching fewer fish, in many cases they were getting paid less for them. Processors faced steep bills for implementing COVID mitigation strategies, and the value of sockeye was the lowest it’s been in more than 10 years.
A draft released this month by Fish and Game recommends dividing the allocation evenly among seafood processors, charters and lodges.
The state’s plan will likely be overseen by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. But Alaska officials and lawmakers have been pushing for the state to cut the checks directly.
Under a draft plan released this summer, commercial fishermen in Southeast Alaska would get only a small portion of the $56.3 million appropriated by Congress to address a pink salmon disaster in 2016.
The state is working on distributing roughly $56 million in relief funds to those affected by the 2016 Gulf of Alaska pink salmon season disaster.