NOAA Fisheries has announced the renewal of two prohibited species donation permits to SeaShare, authorizing the Washington state nonprofit organization to distribute Pacific salmon and Pacific halibut to economically disadvantaged people under the PSD program.
The permits apply to salmon and halibut caught incidentally during directed fisheries for groundfish with trawl gear off the coast of Alaska. They will be effective through May 28, 2023.
Retention of incidentally caught prohibited species is prohibited in groundfish fisheries except for salmon and halibut for the purposes of the PSD program. The salmon donation program was approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service on July 10, 1996 and expanded to include halibut as part of the PSD program on May 6, 1998.
SeaShare was founded to help the seafood industry donate to domestic hunger relief efforts and is the sole authorized distributor of salmon and halibut taken incidentally in the groundfish trawl fisheries off the coast of Alaska.
Current participants in the PSD program administered by SeaShare include 12 shoreside processors and 136 catcher vessels delivering to shoreside processors, 34 catcher/processors, and three motherships. Two reprocessing plants that generate steaked salmon and halibut participate in the program. NOAA officials noted that SeaShare has the capacity to receive and distribute salmon and halibut from up to 60 processors and associated catcher vessels.
The nonprofit distributes millions of portions of wild Alaska seafood to food banks all over the United States. Recently those contributions included some 112,850 pounds of halibut, salmon, Pollock and smelt to food banks in Alaska.