Applications should now be in the hands of Alaska salmon fishermen and processors hurt by the 2016 pink salmon fishery failure.
NOAA Fisheries last month approved $56.3 million in relief funds at Kodiak, Prince William Sound, Chignik, Lower Cook Inlet, South Alaska Peninsula, Southeast Alaska, and Yakutat.
Funds are being distributed by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC).
Salmon permit holders who show losses from the pink bust will split $31.8 million based on average dockside values over even years from 2006 to 2014.
Skippers are responsible for compiling data for their crews in applications that are due October 31. The PSMFC will then distribute applications to crew members to apply for disaster payments through January 31, 2020. The relief funds should be in hand six to eight weeks after an application is accepted.
Alaska processors also must apply by October 31 to receive their share of $17.7 million in relief funds. Workers will be eligible for an equal share of 15 percent of an eligible processor’s total disaster payment.
The funds also include $3.63 million for pink salmon research.
Of that, $450,000 goes to Kodiak’s Kitoi Bay Hatchery for its Saltwater Marking Sampling project. The Southeast Alaska Coastal Monitoring Survey will get $680,000 to help with pink salmon forecasting research. And $2.5 million will go to the Alaska Hatchery Research Project that since 2011 has studied interactions of hatchery and wild salmon in Prince William Sound and Southeast.
Details are still being worked out on distributing $2.4 million to municipalities that were affected by the pink crash.