Important Notice to all Vessel Owners

New Title & Registration Rules Read more

UFA Fall 2019 Meeting

October 16-18 at the Cape Fox Lodge in Ketchikan

UFA Welcomes At-Large Board Members and Executive Committee

United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) is pleased to announce the re-election of Bruce Schactler and the election of Tyson Fick, Melanie Brown, and Cynthia Wallesz to the UFA board of directors as at-large members. Read More…Read More…

Updated Commercial Fishing Facts

 

As Alaska’s largest private‐sector employer, commercial fishing is a major contributor to employment and wages.  Read More

Support Our Business Members

UFA is proud to support our Business Members and we thank you for helping protect Alaska’s seafood industry. Read More

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UFA Member / Renew

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UFA
Updates

Keep informed with news concerning Alaska fishermen today. Read more

Recent News

UFA Update: August 20, 2019

    BUDGET
    Yesterday, Governor Dunleavy signed into law HB 2001 with approximately $222 million dollars in cuts (down from the $423.7 million cuts in June) and approving a $1,600 PFD with a call for a third special session fall 2019 to address allocating the remainder the PFD. 

    The Governor vetoed almost all the Fish and Game amendments offered by the House.  He vetoed all the Commercial Fishery amendments; however, he did not veto the amendments to add back in $1 Million of Pittman-Robertson funds for Wildlife Conservation and $175K for Sportfish Logbook Program.

    Here is a breakdown of the vetoes that pertain to commercial fisheries:

    • 50% reduction of general fund funds used for travel in all divisions of ADF&G & ASMI
    • $997K less for Commercial fisheries management of which $280K was for Special Areas Management (one time fund source for surveys and assessments).
    • The transfer of two director level positions and associated funding from the Division of Habitat and Division of Subsistence (the duties will no longer relate to ADF&G)
    • Ocean Ranger Program – ($3,426,000). The veto will not affect the remainder of this summer’s cruise ship season (May-Sept 2019) as these operations were funded by previously collected FV2019 Ocean Ranger fees collected from cruise ship passengers.  The Governor stated in his documents that DEC is actively exploring potential administrative and statutory options aimed at improving the State’s current cruise ship monitoring policies.

    Rep. Dan Ortiz summed it up: “What you’re doing is your potentially reducing the opportunity for our commercial fisherman,” Ortiz said, adding that the fishing industry is the number one economic driver for coastal Alaska.”
    The vetoed items summary may be found on the OMB Website.

    PINK SALMON DISASTER UPDATE
    By now, you should have received your letters/applications. Deadline to return applications will be October 31, 2019.  For more information, please visit the website: FAQ’s 2016 Gulf of Alaska Pink Salmon Fishery Disaster Relief

    Quick Summary:

    • The $ amount that is listed is for the captain and crew; the crew names, addresses and % amounts are to be filled out by the skipper. The estimated $ amount is for all.
    • The $ amount is calculated on your average ex-vessel value in the years 2006, 8, 10, 12, and 14 for the area that you fished in 2016; compared to your value in 2016. If you only fished a few of those years, they will use only the years you fished for the average. If you fished a new area that qualified for funding in 2016 and had never fished it before, they will use the fleet average for that area compared to your actual in 2016.
    • You have to have landed 1,000 lbs. in SE, PWS, Kodiak, SA Peninsula, and Chignik in 2016 to qualify.
    • You have to have had at least one landing in Yakutat and Lower Cook Inlet to qualify.
    • There will be an appeals process after this first step if your situation merits special consideration, or re-evaluation.
    • The funds need to be used in 4 years; unclaimed funds will most likely go to research projects.

     Please support our business members – see links on our website
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

    This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
    To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

    UFA Update: June 28, 2019

      Governor Dunleavy Signs Budget
      2016 GOA Pink Salmon Disaster Update
      Pebble Mine Draft Environmental Impact Statement Comments Due
      Derelict Vessel Bill Update
      NPFMC Cook Inlet Salmon Committee Call for Nominations
      Council Seeks IFQ Committee Members
      Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Funding Opportunity
      2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants
      IFQ Access Opportunities- Global Examples



      Governor Dunleavy Signs Budget
      On Friday, Governor Dunleavy cut an additional $444 million from Alaska’s State Operating Budget.  All the amendments that the legislature added back in Fish and Game were vetoed.  This includes:

      • $997k less for commercial fisheries management
      • 50% reduction in funds for travel across all divisions (including Commercial Fisheries)
      • $280k less for special areas management
      • Transfer of two director-level positions and associated funding from the Division of Habitat and Division of Subsistence Research to the Office of Management and Budget. (these jobs will no longer be associated with Fish & Game related duties)

      Other vetoes include:

      • $130 million University of Alaska
      • $50 million Medicaid -$20.7 million Senior Benefits
      • $48.9 million School Bond Debt Reimbursement
      • $2.7 Million Public Broadcasting
      • $6 million VPSOs
      • $3.4 million Ocean Rangers

      A full list of the 182 lines may be found on the OMB website.

      Should the legislature decide to override his vetoes, it will take 40 votes to call a Joint-Legislative Session.  Stay tuned.

      2016 GOA Pink Salmon Disaster Update
      UFA has been informed by ADF&G Deputy Commissioner Rachel Baker that Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is currently working to post a web site with distribution timeline and process details for direct payments to permit holders, crew, and processors, and she hopes that website will be live in the next couple of weeks.  UFA will continue to monitor this and update as information is made available.

      Pebble Mine Draft Environmental Impact Statement Comments Due
      Comments on the Pebble Mine Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) are due July 1.  United Fishermen of Alaska stand that the Army Corps did not adequately look at the direct and/or indirect economic harm that Pebble would cause to the Alaska commercial fishing industry.  Potential harm includes: reduction in fish available for harvest, short and long-term income loss, lost traditions/way of life, investment cost of being a fisherman (permits, boats, etc), undermines Bristol Bay sockeye and Alaska seafood brands.  Comments may be e-mailed to the Army Corps of Engineers at: drafteis@comments.pebbleprojecteis.com .  Alternatively, you may submit comments via the Trout Unlimited Save Bristol Bay website: https://standup.tu.org/save-bristol-bay/

      Derelict Vessel Bill Update
      United Fishermen of Alaska sent in a request to the Department of Administration asking for a delay in implementation of the Derelict Vessel Law.  Commissioner Kelley Tshibaka replied that though they recognize there was not sufficient time for vessel owners to comply with the law, they would not be delaying implementation.  The commissioner stated “we will exercise discretion in the near-term in enforcement while we work together to get all Alaskans compliant with the law”  and that “law enforcement officers generally will issue warnings to vessels out of compliance; however, I still encourage all Alaskans to whom SB 92 applies to register their vessels with the DMV as soon as possible.”

      If you have questions about requirements and the process, the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission and Department of Motor Vehicles created a document that clearly outlines the new Derelict Vessel Law requirements.  The PDF is available on the UFA website and explains what the requirements are and how to comply.  The document also explains what to do if you do not have a DMV office in your location.  To download, click here.

      United Fishermen of Alaska has already been in contact with legislators to introduce language to exempt CFEC registered vessel owners and will keep our members informed as progress is made.

      The North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Cook Inlet Salmon Committee Call for Nominations – Deadline July 12 2019
      The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) is announcing an additional call for nominations to the Cook Inlet Salmon Committee for one or two stakeholders who represent new or recent involvement in the Cook Inlet salmon driftnet fishery.

      The Cook Inlet Salmon Committee was established to assist the Council in developing measures to extend Federal management to traditional net-fishing areas in the EEZ waters of Cook Inlet. Committee focus, in the near term, is on management of the commercial salmon driftnet fishery in Cook Inlet, and so representation by that sector is currently being emphasized by the Council. Stakeholders at the beginning of their driftnetting careers, who are looking forward to decades of future involvement in the fishery, are in need of greater representation on the Committee as it makes recommendations for developing a long-term management framework.

      If you are a new or recent S03H permit holder who is active in the fishery and are interested in membership on the Cook Inlet Salmon Committee, please email a letter describing your background and interest to james.armstrong@noaa.gov, or mail your letter to the Council address at:

      Attn: Jim Armstrong
      North Pacific Fishery Management Council
      605 W. 4th Ave, Suite 306
      Anchorage, AK  99501

      The Council will accept nominations and applications through July 12, 2019 in order to allow new Committee members to participate in a late September Committee meeting. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Armstrong at 907-271-2805.

      Council Seeks IFQ Committee Members
      The Council is soliciting for two new IFQ Committee members. The IFQ Committee is a standing advisory body comprised of vessel owner/operators, crew, processors, and trade group representatives (including vessel owners’ associations and CDQ groups). The Committee meets independently – though sometimes in conjunction with a Council meeting – and discusses the merits of proposals to modify or update management of the Halibut & Sablefish IFQ fishery. Committee members are sometimes tasked to review documents that analyze potential program changes or to develop proposals for modifications that meet the Council’s management objectives. The Committee formulates recommendations that are conveyed to the Council and its other advisory bodies in the form of meeting minutes and staff presentations.

      The Council is specifically seeking nominees who are IFQ crew participants who do not own quota and vessel-owners who hold no quota share or a small amount of quota share and hope to purchase additional quota share in the future. Please submit a letter of interest describing your background by email to Sam Cunningham (sam.cunningham@noaa.gov) or by mail to the Council office. The deadline for applications is July 12, 2019.

      Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Funding Opportunity
      The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) will award grants that catalyze the implementation of electronic technologies (ET) for catch and compliance monitoring and improvements to fishery information systems in U.S. fisheries. They anticipate awarding up to $3.5 million through this solicitation.  For more information visit their website: Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program.

      2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants
      NOAA Fisheries is pleased to announce the 2020 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant competition is currently open. This year’s solicitation consists of two separate submission processes. All interested applicants must submit a two page Pre-Proposal to the Federal Funding Opportunity posted at http://www.Grants.gov.  Applicants interested in submitting a full application after the pre-proposal review process must submit the full application through www.grants.gov. For more information on the grant, visit the website: Saltonstall- Kennedy Grants. Deadline is June 30.

      IFQ Access Opportunities- Global Examples
      The Council reviewed a discussion paper outlining domestic and international examples of programs that facilitate access opportunities for rural communities and new entrants within limited access fisheries and tasked staff to come back with an expanded paper. The Council requested this discussion paper at the June 2018 meeting in response to information from the IFQ 20-year program review, academic research, and public testimony regarding access challenges in the IFQ Program. The discussion paper provided a more detailed review of Norway’s Recruitment Quota, and highlighted access program design specifications, distributional impacts, and legal considerations that may be relevant to an application in the North Pacific for the Halibut and Sablefish IFQ Program.

      The Council directed staff to develop an expanded discussion paper identifying considerations related to the creation of a quota Access Pool for halibut and sablefish QS that facilitates entry-level opportunities. The Access Pool would be targeted at crewmembers and vessel owner-operators whose QS holdings equate to less than 5,000 lbs. of IFQ in 2019. Participation in the Access Pool would be temporary, meaning that a qualifying individual could only fish this quota for a set number of years. Access Pool QS could not be sold. The quota for this pool would be limited to an amount equal to 1% of the 2019 halibut and QS pool and could be “funded” either by newly created QS units, by withholding 0.5% or 1.0% of QS that is transferred, or a combination of the two. The Access Pool would be structured such that a Regional Fishery Association (RFA) or another entity receives the allocation and determines the criteria for distribution to applicants; criteria would be reviewed by the Council and approved by NMFS. The discussion paper will highlight explicit Council decision points necessary for this approach, the amount of detail needed to develop criteria for allocation, effects on the QS market and existing QS holders, and MSA considerations regarding the ability to allocate QS to RFAs.

      The Council noted that the details of the Access Pool may seem overly prescribed for an expanded discussion paper, and that its intent is not to endorse a specific program or threshold at this time but that the Council is interested in reviewing more information about this type of program from members of the public and Council staff. The Council also directed the IFQ Committee to review this expanded discussion paper.

      **********************************************************************
       Please support our business members – see links on our website
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/
      **********************************************************************
      This update is made possible by the support of our Group, Business, Individual and Crew members.
      To join UFA see http://www.ufafish.org/become-a-member/

      UFA Alert: June 24, 2019

        Derelict Vessel Law Update

        United Fishermen of Alaska received a response from the Department of Administration’s Commissioner Kelley Tshibaka.  They will not be delaying implementation on the Derelict Vessel law, but recognize there has not been sufficient time for vessel owners to comply with the new law.  The commissioner stated “we will exercise discretion in the near-term in enforcement while we work together to get all Alaskans compliant with the law”  and that “law enforcement officers generally will issue warnings to vessels out of compliance; however, I still encourage all Alaskans to whom SB 92 applies to register their vessels with the DMV as soon as possible.”
         
        If you have questions about requirements and the process, the Commercial Fisheries Entry Division and Department of Motor Vehicles created a document that clearly outlines the new Derelict Vessel Law requirements.  The PDF is available on our website and explains what the requirements are and how to comply.  The document also explains what to do if you do not have a DMV office in your location.  To download, click here.
         
        UFA will continue to help fishermen and encourage you to let us know if you have any issues or questions.  You may read Commissioner Tshibaka’s response below.

        Frances
        Executive Director
        United Fishermen of Alaska
         
        E-mail response from Commissioner Tshibaka, Department of Administration:
        Thank you for your email. I understand your concern and your experience with the DMV, which is faced with implementing the federal requirements for REAL ID for all Alaskans as well as the requirements for SB 92.
         
        The intent of this Administration is to help Alaskans, not penalize them. We are implementing SB 92 as passed by the legislature, Alaskans’ elected representatives. But I also recognize your concerns—there has not been sufficient time for law-abiding Alaskans to become compliant with this law yet.
         
        I appreciate your efforts to get the word out about the new requirements. Please continue to partner with us in ensuring compliance with the law passed by the Legislature, and we will exercise discretion in the near-term in enforcement while we work together to get all Alaskans compliant with the law. This season, law enforcement officers generally will issue warnings to vessels out of compliance; however, I still encourage all Alaskans to whom SB 92 applies to register their vessels with the DMV as soon as possible.
         
        Thanks,
         
        Kelly Tshibaka
        Commissioner
        Department of Administration