The state Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, through its Division of Economic Development, recently approved its first loan under the new fuel efficiency upgrade program, according to a press release.
This first loan was a $36,000 allotment for the replacement of an old, inefficient engine on a 42-foot salmon seiner in Anchorage. It was made available through the Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund.
"This is a great new loan program that has the potential to improve profitability and reinvestment in the fishing industry and contribute meaningfully to Gov. Sean Parnell's vision for a strong economy and good jobs for Alaskans," said Susan Bell, commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. "We appreciate the vision of the Alaska Legislature for recognizing the value of this program to Alaskans and the state's economy."
The loan program became effective on Aug. 20, following the passage of House Bill 20 earlier this year. The release states it is designed to offer low-interest rates to qualifying Alaska residents who hold a commercial fishing or crew member license, or who hold a limited-entry permit.
The Commercial Fishing Revolving Loan Fund has been administered by DCCED since the early 1970s.