Three Alaska projects recommended for federal fisheries grants

Fishing vessels navigate Cordova Harbor. (May 16, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Three seafood projects for Alaska are among 43 recommended by NOAA Fisheries for a share of the over $11 million in the 2021 Saltonstall-Kennedy Competitive Grants competition.

Proposals under consideration include:

  • Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, $298,450 for promotional efforts to increase market access and consumer confidence in wild Alaska seafood. The plan is to develop a comprehensive nutrient and contaminant dataset for Alaska seafood and disseminate the results through an extensive outreach strategy. Completion of this project would improve global public relations, satisfy trade requests for information and encourage collaboration between the state of Alaska and federal agencies to share data on Alaska seafood safety and nutrition information.
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks, $266,186 to develop a management strategy evaluation framework for subsistence salmon fisheries in the Kuskokwim River watershed. This simulation framework would represent a critical foundation for a broader management strategy evaluation process, to allow resource users and management agencies to collaborate on model development, and base comparison and exploration of management alternatives on a common, impartial set of quantitative tools.
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game, $115,881, to improve the genetic baseline of western Alaska Chinook salmon for mixed stock analysis in the Bering Sea. When applied this genetic tool would provide stakeholders with highly accurate stock-specific estimates necessary for achieving management and escapement goals.

The federal grant program optimizes economic benefits by building and maintaining sustainable fisheries and increasing other opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable.

The two categories are promotion, development and market and science, and technology promoting sustainable U.S. seafood production and harvesting. The program goal is to address needs of fishing communities, support sustainable fisheries and increase other opportunities to keep working waterfronts viable.

Final approval and notification of grant winners will be somewhere in the July-August time frame, NOAA Fisheries officials said.