ASMI Faces Budget Cuts
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's budget will decrease by 9 percent or more in 2009, according to a report in yesterday's Juneau Empire.
ASMI's budget for fiscal 2008 is $22 million and projects to be $20 million in 2009 and gradually less in subsequent years, based on data supplied to the newspaper by ASMI board member and fisherman Bruce Wallace.
"We can't live on this budget," Wallace said.
Gov. Sarah Palin recommended a $250,000 increase in state funding to ASMI, bringing the total to $750,000. Last week, the House Finance Subcommittee accepted a recommendation from its chairman, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Fairbanks, to cut that increase by $138,000.
ASMI operates largely on federal funds and from a 0.5 percent tax on ex-vessel values of Alaska seafood. The state has contributed money since fiscal 2006.
ASMI promotes Alaska seafood to international and domestic markets.