Six West Alaska nonprofits can now apply for nearly $200 million in federal loans to pay for fishing vessels, quota and other industry expenses to support the economic development of their region.
Long-term loans are from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and are exclusively available for the Western Alaska Community Development Quota Program. The CDQ program is made up of six non-profit groups that are responsible for supporting the economic development and well-being of communities in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands through fishing revenue.
“This particular loan program was kind of a continuation of the general concept of the CDQ program,” said NOAA fisheries management specialist Stephanie Warpinski. “This is another opportunity for CDQ groups to use direct, long-term loans to help villages grow economically.”
Together, the six CDQ groups represent more than 65 communities in Alaska, stretching from Norton Sound to the Aleutian Pribilof region.
Each of the groups will be able to apply for nearly $33 million in federal loans, Warpinski said. This money can be used to buy new boats, processing facilities or cooperative rights in any fishery in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands. Loans cannot be used to build a new vessel or for anything that could contribute to overfishing.
Groups have until April 25 to submit a loan request.
Any remaining funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, according to Warpinski.
Groups that get a loan have 30 years to pay it back, she said.
Find more information on the Federal Register website.