The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) recently announced that applications for Washington’s second round of CARES Act funding in the amount of $40 mil. for the seafood industry are available as of July 1. The deadline to submit a completed application is 11:59 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, October 14, 2022. An application can be found here. Pursuant to Washington’s Round 2 Spending Plan, direct payments will be made to qualifying Washington residents and Washington based businesses based on commercial fishing related revenue losses that were incurred between August 1 and December 31, 2020 in full or over a period of at least 28 consecutive days within this period. To qualify, an applicant must have incurred revenue losses of greater than 35% as compared to their prior 5-year average (2015 – 2019).
The Derelict Vessels Act (SB 92), enacted in 2018, requires vessel owners register their vessels with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Legislation to amend the Derelict Vessels Act (HB 28), which removes this requirement for commercial fishing vessels registered with the CFEC, failed to pass during the 2022 legislative session as the Senate failed to take action on the bill before the session ended. However, United Fishermen of Alaska has reached out to the Alaska State Troopers (AST) about what the fleet can expect from an enforcement perspective for this upcoming fishing season. According to Mike Potter with AST, the Troopers will not be issuing citations this season for commercial vessels who lack a DMV registration sticker as long as they have another numbering system in place (examples given included CFEC and USCG).
On May 24, NOAA Fisheries announced it is increasing the assessment rate on the second purse seine buyback (“B”) loan from 1% to 2.5% for the upcoming 2022 Southeast salmon seine fishery due to the fact that the ‘B” loan is tracking behind the 40-year amortization schedule. The notice published in the Federal Register regarding the increase can be found here. The assessment rate for the first (“A”) loan will remain at 1% this season because the loan is ahead of the 40-year amortization schedule. Accordingly, the amount deducted from the ex-vessel value of the seine fishery to service both loans in 2022 will be 3.5% instead of 2% as was the case in 2021.
On May 5, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the allocation of $56 mil. for fisheries disasters in Alaska, including the 2020 Southeast Alaska, Norton Sound, Yukon River, Chignik, and Kuskokwim River salmon fisheries, and the 2021 Yukon River salmon fishery. This allocation of disaster relief funds is in response to Governor Dunleavy’s disaster assistance requests submitted to the Secretary on March 8, 2021, and September 14, 2021. The Secretary previously approved the Governor’s requests on January 22, 2022.
PSVOA member McKenna Peterson (F/V ATLANTIS) was featured in an article about women in Washington’s maritime industry that was published in the Seattle Times’ Pacific Magazine on Sunday, December 5. A digital version of the article can be found here.
The Derelict Vessels Act (SB 92) requires vessel owners register their vessels with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A bill (HB 28) passed by the Alaska House this legislative session removes this requirement for commercial fishing vessels registered with the CFEC. However, the 2021 legislative session ended before the Senate took action on the bill. The Department of Public Safety recently announced it will not issue citations to vessel owners not registered with the DMV if the vessel has a current CFEC registration in light of the ongoing efforts to amend the Derelict Vessels Act. Public Safety’s announcement can be found here.
On June 10, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that masks will no longer be required in outdoor areas of conveyances, including commercial fishing vessels. An outdoor area on a vessel is considered permanently open to the weather on at least one side. Masks are still required when entering a vessel and while indoors. More information on this mask requirement update from the U.S Coast Guard can be found here.
It is recommended vessel owners monitor the CDC website for further updates: https://www.cdc.gov/.