USDA extends sign-up period for Seafood Trade Relief Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a one-month extension to the signup period for the Seafood Trade Relief Program.

The program is designed to support the U.S. seafood industry by offsetting some of the impacts of retaliatory tariffs implemented by foreign governments. Thanks to the extension, impacted fishermen can now sign up for the program through 15 January, 2021.

According to the USDA, the Farm Service Agency has paid more than USD 140 million (EUR 115.5 million) on nearly 6,000 applications, with approximately 2,700 applications left to process. Payments are not loans, and do not have to be repaid, according to the USDA.

“USDA considered several factors in extending the deadline, such as the reliance of potential applicants on postal mail service in remote areas of the U.S. and the fact that the fishing season just recently ended in Alaska, which represents the largest pool of potential applicants,” the USDA said in a release. “Additionally, many potential applicants are new to FSA and may need additional time to establish eligibility.”

The USDA announced in September it will provide USD 530 million (EUR 437 million) to seafood harvesters in the U.S., with an initial deadline for application of 14 December. The program offers up to USD 250,000 (EUR 206,393) to individual fishermen or businesses whose primary function is harvesting seafood, and who can show harm caused by tariffs imposed by foreign nations.

The program lists the following species as eligible for compensation on a per-pound basis: atka mackerel (USD 0.10 , EUR 0.08); Dungeness crab (USD 0.47, EUR 0.39); king crab (USD 0.47, EUR 0.39); snow crab (USD 0.47, EUR 0.39); southern tanner crab (USD 0.47, EUR 0.39); flounder (USD 0.15, EUR 0.12);  geoduck (USD 0.76, EUR 0.63); goosefish (USD 0.10, EUR 0.08); herring (USD 0.04, EUR 0.03); lobster (USD 0.50, EUR 0.41);  Pacific cod (USD 0.14, EUR 0.11); Pacific Ocean perch (USD 0.10, EUR 0.08); pollock (USD 0.01, EUR 0.008); sablefish (USD 0.10, EUR 0.08); salmon (USD 0.16, EUR 0.13); sole (USD 0.15, EUR 0.12); squid (USD 0.20, EUR 0.16); tuna (USD 0.13, EUR 0.10); and turbot (USD 0.15, EUR 0.12).

“USDA is continuing to work with Sea Grant Extension Agents and other partners to promote the program and help fishermen apply once they come off the water,” the USDA said.  

Photo courtesy of Dan Logan/Shutterstock


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