WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2003 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service announced today that salmon fishermen in Alaska may now apply for benefits under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Farmers program.
Under TAA for Farmers, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to producers if an increase in imports of a like commodity has contributed importantly to a decline in price and a loss of income.
After receiving a petition from the United Fishermen of Alaska, USDA investigated market conditions for Pacific salmon. FAS determined that increased imports of frozen salmon fillets contributed importantly to a decline in the landed prices for whole salmon in Alaska by an average of 34.6 percent during marketing year 2002 (January-December), when compared with the previous 5-year average.
USDA will provide technical assistance at no cost to producers through the University of Alaska’s Sea Grant Program. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will issue payments to eligible fishermen. Based on the weighted average of prices received for five species of Pacific salmon, fishermen may receive 3 cents per pound for the salmon they landed in Alaska during 2002.
USDA is mailing application materials to all fishermen who held licenses to fish for salmon in Alaska in 2002. Fishermen may also obtain the TAA application from http://forms.sc.egov.usda.gov/eforms/mainservlet, or from their local Farm Service Agency service center. Applications (FSA-229) must be submitted to the Farm Service Agency by January 20, 2004. Salmon fishermen may call 1-866-872-3320 for more information about program services in Alaska.
After producers submit completed applications, technical assistance and training will begin as soon as possible. Financial payments will not be disbursed until after applications are certified.
For general information about the program, contact Jean-Louis Pajot, coordinator, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers, FAS, USDA, at (202) 720-2916, or by e-mail at email@example.com.