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USDA extends deadline for the Seafood Trade Relief Program

The American Triumph arriving in Seward on July 22nd, 2020.
The American Triumph arriving in Seward on July 22nd, 2020.(KTUU)
Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 1:19 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Coronavirus pandemic is placing additional strain on Alaska’s seafood industry, which has struggled for a long time with the impacts of foreign tariffs.

This month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a 1-month extension for fishermen to sign up for the Seafood Trade Relief Program. Fishermen can now signup for the program through Jan. 15, 2021.

According to USDA, several factors were considered for extending the deadline, including postal service in remote areas, the reliance of potential applicants and the fact that the fishing season just recently ended in Alaska, which represents the largest pool of potential applicants.

USDA says it’s Farm Service Agency has paid more than $140 million on nearly 6,000 applications and has approximately 2,700 applications in process.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski took to Facebook this week applauding the extension.

“I’m pleased to see that the USDA announced a one-month extension to the signup period for the Seafood Trade Relief Program, which provides significant support for commercial fishermen who have seen their businesses affected by foreign tariffs, especially on Alaska’s seafood exports to China,” said Murkowski.

Although much of the focus is on COVID-19 right now, Alaska’s fishermen have been struggling with the impacts of foreign...

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Applicants can contact their local USDA Service Center or the USDA Call Center number to determine what forms are required for them. That number is 877-508-8364.

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