JUNEAU (AP) The state plans a national advertising campaign promoting Alaska wild salmon'' as part of a $50 million plan to aid the state's struggling fishing industry.
Gov. Frank Murkowski announced the plan Thursday to use federal funds to both aid local communities, improve industry quality standards and promote wild salmon over farm-raised fish which has glutted the national market and caused dramatic price slumps.
The state's Alaska wild salmon'' advertising campaign would be led by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. A spokesman had no estimate on how much would be spent on the campaign.
Also, the state would work with industry officials to formulate a quality control program and work to move fresh fish from rural Alaska to air transport hubs such as Anchorage and Seattle in a more timely manner.
Murkowski proposes the state provide direct aid to people and communities experiencing hardships through the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Murkowski plans to use $35 million in Fisheries Disaster Funds and $15 million earmarked for economic development through the Southeast Sustainable Salmon funds.
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