Agenda item 6. Update on Crab Disaster funding
– Paul Teall reported on calls he had with Sonke Mastrupe and Craig Shuman. Both asserted that the disaster money is a federal grant not intended to provide sufficient direct payments to fishermen to cover losses and will carve out funding for research.
– (Note: Looking at the Sept. 7 CDFW letter announcing their proposed spending plan, they do recognize that the funding must be split between direct payments and ‘mitigation.’ They name direct payments as their highest priority. The plan suggests 3% ($688,787) designated for rock crab. Of this 3%, one third will go to rock crab processors. The payments will be based on historic landings with a weighting by tiers of total pounds landed in affected fishing blocks. Fishermen must have a cumulative total of 1000lbs between 2012 and 2014, and hold a permit for the 2015/2016 season, to be eligible. See details of calculations used to determine payouts in Appendix B. Also look at p.9 of this presentation from their Aug. 29 webinar.)
– Sonke recommended that fishermen double-check that the Department’s estimate of their landings are correct.
– Suggestion was made to make sure rock crab gets representation on the Coastal Dungeness Crab Tri-State Committee run by Pacific States. (Note: I looked at their webpage today and read the meeting notes of their last meeting from July 24/25. One interesting item at the top of p.3 was: “WA and CA will consider enhanced crab traceability measures similar to OR’s new crab records requirements in order to have additional options and flexibility, such as harvesting under an evisceration, in future biotoxin events affecting the region.” Definitely something to follow and assess pros/cons of supporting or opposing.)