WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2004 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has recertified a petition for Alaska salmon fishermen under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for farmers program. These fishermen are now eligible to apply for TAA benefits.
Under the TAA program, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to farmers and certain fishermen if increasing imports of a like or directly competitive commodity contribute importantly to a decline in producer prices and a loss of net farm or fishing income.
After an investigation, FAS determined that increasing imports of farmed salmon contributed importantly to a decline in the landed prices of salmon in Alaska, 35.2 percent during 2003, when compared to the applicable 1997-2001 base period.
Alaska salmon license and permit holders seeking assistance must apply between Oct. 15, 2004, and Jan. 13, 2005.
Alaska fishermen may obtain an application for TAA benefits (form FSA-229) from http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet or from their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) service center. They can also check their local phone listings for the closest service center or go to http://fas.usda.gov and click on "your local office" for contact information. General information about the TAA program can be found on the program’s Web site at http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/taa/taaindex.htm.
As part of the 2005 TAA program, the Marine Advisory Program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be offering salmon fishermen who apply for TAA benefits a variety of technical courses at no cost. Financial payments will not be made until after applications are certified.
A Federal Register Notice announcing the recertification is scheduled for publication tomorrow and will be posted on the Web at http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/fr/notices.html.