U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say they have earmarked $530 million for the Seafood Trade Relief Program, to help the domestic seafood industry and fishermen hit financially by retaliatory tariffs from foreign governments.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the funding this week to support seafoods including Atka mackerel, crab (Dungeness, Chinook, snow and southern Tanner), flounder, geoduck, goosefish, herring, lobster Pacific Cod Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, sablefish, salmon, sole, squid, tuna and turbot.
All U.S. commercial fisherman holding a valid federal or state license or permit to catch seafood who has participated in the harvest is eligible to apply, so long as they meet other criteria for the Seafood Trade Relief Program, which is outlined in a USDA program document available online at https://www.farmers.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09/Seafood-Trade-Relief-Program-STRP-FAQs.pdf.
Fishermen can apply for relief through the Dec. 14 deadline through their local USDA Service Center. A list of local service centers is online at www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator. Applications can be found online at www.farmers.gov/seafood.
Funds are to be provided through the Seafood Trade Relief Program and funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
Alaska’s congressional delegation applauded the announcement, noting that Alaska fishermen and processors were having a tough enough time staying financially afloat during the global coronavirus pandemic. “These retaliatory tariffs only make matters worse,” commented Rep, Don Young, R-Alaska.