Seafood industry and fishermen to receive millions in federal aid

U.S. Department of Agriculture will infuse $530 million into seafood and fishing industries to offset effects of foreign retaliatory tariffs.

NATIONWIDE—Members of the U.S. seafood and fishing industries will receive $530 million in federal aid, to help offset the effects of foreign retaliatory tariffs. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the federal aid, which would be provided to the commercial fishing and seafood industries through the Seafood Trade Relief Program.

The program is funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation and administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

“The program will provide direct support to U.S. commercial fishermen impacted by retaliatory tariffs,” a NOAA Fisheries statement about the federal aid program stated. “To qualify, they must hold a valid federal or state license or permit. Additionally, their catch must be sold or transferred to a permitted or licensed seafood dealer or by a permitted dealer if the catch is processed at sea. Seafood products grown in a controlled environment are not eligible for the program (except geoducks and salmon).”

More than a dozen seafood types will be supported by the relief package, according to the Department of Agriculture, which is also known as the USDA.

Those seafood types are: Atka mackerel; crab (Dungeness, king, snow, southern Tanner); flounder; geoduck; goosefish; herrings; lobster; Pacific cod; Pacific Ocean perch; polluck; sablefish; salmon; sole; squid; tuna; and, turbot.

Perdue said the foreign retaliatory tariffs are the result of countries engaging in unfair trade practices. The $530 million in federal aid is the Trump administration’s response to such practices, he continued.

“The Seafood Trade Relief Program ensures fishermen and the other U.S. producers will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe,” Perdue said in a released statement.

Fishermen seeking relief under this federal program can apply for funding between Sept. 14 and Dec. 14. Applications are available at local USDA Service Centers. Visit to find a local service center. Applications are available online at

All USDS Service Centers are open for business, according to Agriculture Department staff.

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