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Vessel Upgrade Grant

Grants to Alaska Fishers in Eligible Locations for Equipment
Improvements to Enhance Fish Quality and Harvesting

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation (BBEDC)

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Grants of up to $17,500 and grants of up to $35,000 to Alaska fishers in eligible locations for equipment enhancements and repairs. Funding is intended to support drift boat and set gillnet operations that improve harvesting efficiency and fish quality. Priority will be given to fish hold insulation and other improvements that promote chilling at the point of harvest.

BBEDC represents the following villages: Aleknagik, Clarks Point, Dillingham, Egegik, Ekuk, Ekwok, King Salmon, Levelock, Manokotak, Naknek, Pilot Point, Port Heiden, Portage Creek, South Naknek, Togiak, Twin Hills, and Ugashik.

The Vessel Upgrade Grant Program  is available to resident fishers in Bristol Bay Watershed Communities. The program provides financial assistance to BBEDC CDQ resident fishers for repairs and improvements to fishing vessels and setnet fishing equipment to improve fish quality and harvesting efficiency. Grants for set gillnet operations and drifts boat operations can be used for deck and fish hold upgrades, engines and engine repairs, RSW systems, electronics and other gear and improvements that improve fish quality and fishing efficiency.  Grants can also be combined with certain commercial fishing loans and include an In-Season Emergency Provision. Promoting chilling at the point of harvest by insulating fish holds and other modifications to enhance chilling and seafood quality, is a priority of this program.

Items eligible under the program follow the guidelines recognized by the Alaska Division of Economic Development Commercial Fishing Loan Program, which allow for the purchase, installation and repairs of items that are permanently attached to a boat or setnet equipment.  Brailers are included by definition.  Other specifically eligible items include hull and deck repairs and maintenance, insulation, engine replacements and repairs, refrigeration systems, deck gear such as reels, rollers and anchor winches, hydraulics and steering systems, electronics, pumps, bow thrusters, top houses and galley stoves.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179360

Estimated Size of Grant:

Vessel Upgrade Grants of up to $17,500* for owners of set net operations and up to $35,000* for drift vessel owners are available.

Term of Contract:

Upgrade work must be completed before December 31 of the year the Vessel Upgrade Grant is awarded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Vessel Upgrade Grants for owners of set net operations and for drift vessel owners are offered to year-round residents of BBEDC CDQ or watershed communities with a history of active participation in Bristol Bay’s commercial salmon fishery, and who hold an Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Bristol Bay salmon fishing permit or have a contractual agreement to fish with a Bristol Bay salmon permit holder who is also a year-round watershed resident.

Applicants can do all or part of the work themselves, or contract all or part of the work to another party.

This program is to benefit BBEDC residents who have a history and commitment to participation in Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery and who intend to remain residents of the region. Failure to maintain residency as defined by BBEDC and remain an active participant in the Bristol Bay salmon fishery for the subsequent three (3) consecutive salmon seasons using the same vessel or set net equipment contracted through this grant program, except that it may be the subsequent two (2) consecutive salmon seasons if the vessel or set net equipment is transferred to a watershed resident to be actively used in the commercial fishery, will result in legal action to force repayment of funds, with possible tax consequences and penalties.*

*Applicants who received a Vessel Upgrade Grant or an In-Season Emergency Grant during the years of 2018 -2020 must supply the following to the Regional Fisheries Department:
- Provide proof of actively participating in the Bristol Bay salmon fishery for the following 3 consecutive salmon seasons while using the same vessel or vehicle that received the upgrades;
- Provide proof of maintaining residency within the region for each year by completing the BBEDC Residency Affidavit.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications will be accepted until April 9, 2021.

Early submissions are encouraged.

The Vessel Upgrade Grant is a one-time benefit, but fishers who have previously received either insulation services or a Vessel Upgrade Grant valued at less than the maximum dollar amount currently allowed under the program may apply for the difference between what they received and the maximal allowable grant award to help pay for the cost of future improvements. Total lifetime award amount is $17,500 for owners of set net operations or $35,000 for drift vessel owners.

No payment will be made without:
(1) A signed Vessel Upgrade Contract from BBEDC;
(2) Proof that the work described in the applicant’s work plan is complete;
(3) A signed acceptance agreement from the applicant verifying that the work is complete and satisfactory.

BBEDC Vessel Upgrade Grants may also be used together with certain commercial fishing loans to finance upgrades costing more than the maximum available under the Vessel Upgrade Grant Program. For more information contact BBEDC.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit completed applications to:
Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation
Box 1464
Dillingham, AK 99576

Tony Zoch
BBEDC Regional Fisheries Coordinator

For complete information on the Vessel Upgrade Grant Program contact the Regional Fisheries Development Office at (907)842-4370 or 1-800-478-4370.

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alaska: Bristol Bay (Aleknagik, Clarks Point, Dillingham, Egegik, Ekuk, Ekwok, King Salmon, Levelock, Manokotak , Naknek, Pilot Point, Port Heiden, Portage Creek, South Naknek, Togiak, Twin Hills, and Ugashik)

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