ANCHORAGE, AK – Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) authorized a pool of $1 million for 2013 to be divided up between in-region herring, halibut and salmon commercial fisher bonuses, contract-complete processing plant and tender crew bonuses, and heating oil for families in need in our 20 CVRF member communities.

39 herring, 183 halibut, and 445 salmon fishers have received commercial fishing bonuses; and 238 processing plant and tender crew have received contract-complete bonuses. CVRF is also providing over 61,000 gallons of heating oil to more than 1,100 households in its 20 member communities. Additionally, Coastal has paid salmon bonuses to 216 fishers from surrounding communities and contract-complete crew bonuses to 57 processing plant and tender crew members who helped ensure CVRF region residents had another productive fishing season.

“CVRF is recognizing the efforts of those who fish and work hard to sustain their families,” said CVRF Executive Director Morgen Crow. “There are many others in our region that may not directly benefit from the commercial fisheries and so we are working to spread the benefit by donating heating oil with the help of the local governing body organizations.”

The fisher and processing crew bonuses were paid earlier this month and the heating oil will be distributed before the end of the month. CVRF asked the 20 local governing bodies to provide lists of households that will receive heating oil this month.

“Our largest program, buying fish from local fishermen and processing it at the plant in Platinum, is subsidized by our operations in the Bering Sea,” said CVRF President Paul Tulik. “We must continue to seek changes to the CDQ allocations so that all residents in the program benefit equally. Our region is not receiving its fair share of CDQ fish allocations. A fair share equals more fishing, more work and more benefits for our region.”

“Our region’s commercial fishers and dedicated workers help us produce a wild, sustainable, and valuable product that is sold globally,” said CVS General Manager Nick Souza. “I am pleased that Coastal is recognizing these individuals for their hard work.”

“I am always surprised each year to receive a fishing bonus,” said Toksook Bay resident and halibut fisher Robert Pitka Sr. “It comes at a perfect time of the season to help our families. CVRF supports our people who fish and these bonuses motivate us to participate even more in the fisheries in the future.”

In past years Coastal has been able to provide bonuses to fishermen and processors due to their productive seasons. In 2012, CVRF provided about $28 million in benefits that include scholarships, internships, employment, and other valuable programs for our 9,437 residents. CVRF’s primary purpose is to promote sustainable economic development in our member villages using earnings from the Bering Sea. CVRF strives to provide Work, Fish and Hope to our residents by using our profits from the Bering Sea to deliver programs and projects to the residents of our communities.