BBEDC program will boost aid for fishing boats
January 10th, 2011 | Bristol Bay Times Staff
Bristol Bay Economic Development Corp. has announced the expansion of its vessel upgrade assistance program and near doubling of its maximum grant amount available to resident fishermen for this work.
The change is part of BBEDC's continuing effort to increase the fishing income of resident harvesters by encouraging chilling and better handling of salmon, said Fritz Johnson, regional fisheries coordinator or the community economic development firm.
The expanded upgrade assistance program, announced the first week of January, includes deck and fish hold improvements in addition to hold insulation, and increases to $10,000 the maximum grant amount available to resident fishermen.
The change is part of BBEDC's continuing effort to increase the fishing income of resident fishers by encouraging chilling and better handling of salmon, Johnson said. Besides the larger grant award, slush bags, insulated totes and fish hold insulation continue to be part of that overall effort to boost fishing income for local fishermen.
Applicants must be verified residents of one of BBEDC's 17 CDQ communities. They must provide proof of ownership of the vessel they intend to upgrade and either own a state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission limited entry permit or demonstrate a contractual relationship with a CFEC permit holder with whom they intend to fish.
A detailed description of the boat and work plan that includes photos before the work begins, a materials list, cost estimates and work schedule are also required.
No funds will be paid out until the job is complete. Vessel owners should not begin the work with any expectation of funding until they receive a signed vessel upgrade contract from BBEDC, Johnson said.
Although these grants are a one time opportunity for resident harvesters, those who received a previous grant of up to $5,500 can still apply for the balance for future vessel upgrades, up to a total of $10,000, by meeting all requirements of the vessel upgrade grant program, he said.
In addition, resident harvesters who have not previously received insulated fish totes or slush ice bags must apply by Feb. 1 in order to receive totes and slush bags in time for the 2011 season. The deadline for flexible sheet foam insulation is March 15.
More information and applications are available at www.bbedc., from BBEDC community liaisons, or by calling 907-842-6407 or 1-866-796-6407.
BBEDC is one of six western Alaska non-profit economic development entities created by the Magnuson Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.
Bristol Bay Times Staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 907-348-2449