State aid to fishermen, communities on its way

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

JUNEAU (AP) State aid to eligible fishermen hurt by the downturn in the salmon industry is on the way this week as part a $50 million fisheries revitalization program, Gov. Frank Murkowski said.

About 2,000 eligible fishermen will receive checks of $1,100 each under the program, he said. In addition, the state will make another effort to contact fishermen who may be eligible for assistance but are currently fishing, the governor said.

Earlier, the state sent out 15,000 letters to fishermen, permit holders and crew members and received about 4,000 responses, he said.

The state will also begin awarding about $13 million in grants as part of its fisheries economic development program.

Matching grants were available to communities, municipalities, tribal councils, non-profits, small businesses, fishermen and fish processors.

Under the program, the state would reimburse 75 percent of a project's cost for non-profits and half the cost for for-profit ventures.

Funding for the grant programs comes from the federal Southeast Sustainable Salmon Fund and the statewide Salmon Disaster funds.

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