Delegation Urges Administration to Swiftly Provide Seafood Processors COVID-19 Relief

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, joined by U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, all R-AK, called on the Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kevin Shea, to expeditiously develop and robustly fund a program to provide grants and forgivable loan support to seafood processing facilities and processing vessels for COVID response measures, in fulfillment of language Senator Murkowski included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

“Given the complexity of U.S. seafood supply chains, the success of seafood processors to meet and overcome the challenges created by COVID is directly linked to the success of fishermen who risk their safety to harvest the seafood that Americans enjoy. If processors cannot operate due to COVID shutdowns, independent fishermen have no market for their product and no revenue to support their small businesses. Federal support to help seafood processors weather the pandemic is urgently needed—without it, our nation’s entire seafood industry may falter,” the letter reads. 

In addition to the Alaska Congressional Delegation, the letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Edward Markey (D-MA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME 1st District), Jared Golden (D-ME 2nd District), Suzan DelBene (D-WA 1st District), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA 5th District), Peter DeFazio (D-OR 4th District), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA 3rd District), and Marilyn Strickland (D-WA 10th District).

Read the full letter here.