The Seine Vessels' Reserve (SVR) Board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, May 6, and Wednesday, May 20, to review vessel insurance applications. If you are interested in submitting an application to be considered by the Board at the May 6 meeting, all application materials should be completed by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 1. SVR applications can be found here. For questions or to receive a quote please contact Molly Burton by email ([email protected]) or call (206) 283-7733.
On April 23, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy issued Health Mandate 17, which enacts protective measures for independent commercial fishing vessels operating within Alaskan waters and ports in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This Mandate applies to all catcher and tender vessels that have not agreed to operate under a fleet wide plan previously submitted to the State. The mandate goes into effect on April 24, at 8:00 a.m. (ADT), and will be revaluated by May 20. In sum, Mandate 17 requires vessels subject to the mandate to enact protective measures described in Appendix 01 to the mandate. Mandate 17 further requires vessel captains to maintain documentation described in Appendix 01 and to provide a copy of the “Mandate 17 Acknowledgement Form” upon request by any seafood buyer or Federal, State or local authority. The form can be found in Appendix 02 to the mandate. United Fishermen of Alaska will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, April 29 at 10 a.m. (ADT) with State officials to discuss Mandate 17 and answer questions from participants. You can register for the webinar here.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA Fisheries is extending the temporary waiver of the requirement in Alaska for vessels in the Partial Coverage Category to carry a fishery observer. The waiver is in effect through May 3, 2020, with the following limitations: (1) the waiver applies only to vessels in the Partial Coverage Category of the North Pacific groundfish and Pacific Halibut fisheries operating from ports other than Kodiak, Alaska; and (2) it does not exempt vessels using electronic monitoring, or the requirement that vessels continue to log trips in the Observer Declare and Deploy System (ODDS). The Notification on Waiver can be found here.
The CARES Act provides unemployment benefits for self-employed individuals and independent contractors who ordinarily don’t qualify. The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) recommends that workers download and review the ESD eligibility checker, which will help workers determine if they are eligible to receive benefits. ESD further recommends workers download and read the application checklist to ensure workers have what they need to file a claim. Workers who are only eligible under the expanded federal criteria need to wait until after April 18, 2020 to file a claim.
ADF&G has published it annual statewide report: Run Forecasts and Harvest Projections for 2020 Alaska Salmon Fisheries and Review of the 2019 Season. A copy of the report can be found here.
In response to Alaska Governor Dunleavy’s COVID-19 Health Mandates 10 and 12, Discovery Medicine, in conjunction with Alaska commercial fishing stakeholders (including PSVOA), developed a set of DRAFT guidelines and vessel checklists in order to assist vessel owners in developing their own internal procedures for COVID-19 response. The guidelines and checklists can be viewed and downloaded here. These guidelines are not intended as a standard of care or as an industry standard. PSVOA will post new information about any additional COVID-19 measures required by the State of Alaska in the coming days.
As of March 21, 2020, there is a 30-day restriction on all non-essential travel at the Canada – U.S. border. Healthy people who must cross the border and transit through Canadian waters for work may continue to do so provided they have not been outside the U.S. or Canada in the 14 days before requesting entry into Canada. More information about travel to Canada can be found here.