Tag Archives: Quinhagak

Quinhagak commercial fishermen struggle after two years without a buyer

Several weeks ago, the financing fell through on a plan to bring the “Akutan,” a floating fish processing vessel, to Kuskokwim Bay. For the second summer in a row, fishermen in the coastal community of Quinhagak have nowhere to sell their catch; many in the village are now struggling to make ends meet. Timothy “Johnny Boy” Matthews doesn’t remember when he started fishing commercially.,, Matthews has a family of his own now. He bought his own limited entry permit a decade ago and spent his summers selling silvers to a newly opened processing plant in Platinum. It’s owned by Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF), a corporation that is supposed to use its Bering Sea fishing quota to support economic development in the area. But CVRF decided not to re-open its plant last year,,, Audio, read the story here 12:17

Alaska Nonprofit in Conflict with the Villagers It’s Supposed to Serve

5292268979_a0cea96a22_zCoastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) in Southwest Alaska is at odds with the villages it was created to serve after shutting down its commercial salmon operation. CVRF is one of six coastal development quota groups (CDQs) created by the federal government back in the Nineties to boost the Western Alaskan economy. The idea was that the CDQs would use earnings from federal fisheries, royalties, and investments to invest in the local economy by creating employment opportunities and growth, particularly surrounding small-scale commercial fisheries. They achieve this in part by offering subsidies for commercial fisheries, loans for residents to purchase boats and outboards, building or improving fish processing facilities, and improving fish handling infrastructure. Aside from commercial fishing, CDQs also create internships with business partners, offer training, and create jobs with government agencies.  The CVRF board felt that one village, Quinhagak, received an unfair advantage in its subsidies for its salmon operation. They shut down the operation but still continue to offer other benefits. What the CVRF board did not anticipate was that closing this operation would have downstream effects not only on Quinhagak, but also the surrounding villages. Read the rest here 16:27