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Seafood Trade Relief Program FAQ

STRP Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated September 18, 2020 (PDF)

Table of Contents

Eligibility

Q: Who is eligible to participate in the Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP)?

A: U.S. commercial fishermen who have a valid federal or state license or permit to catch seafood who bring their catch to shore and sell or transfer them to another party. That other party must be a legally permitted or licensed seafood dealer. Alternatively, the catch can be processed at sea and sold by the same legally permitted entity that harvested or processed the product.

Q: I don’t participate in any USDA programs. Can I apply for STRP?

A: Yes. Prior participation in USDA programs is not a prerequisite.

Q: Is there an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limit to participate in STRP?

A: Yes. To participate, a person or legal entity’s AGI cannot exceed $900,000 (using the average for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 tax years). However, the AGI limit does not apply if 75 percent or more of an eligible person’s or legal entity’s AGI comes from seafood production, farming, ranching, forestry, or related activities.

Q: As a tribal fisherman, the treaty does not require me to submit annual income tax returns for fishing. Will this affect my ability to apply to STRP?

A: No, that does not affect the application process. Tribal fishermen should submit their applications to FSA. Guidance on documentation by tribal members to certify compliance of meeting the adjusted gross income limit of $900K is forthcoming.

Eligible Seafood

Q: What seafood is eligible?

A: Eligible seafood species must have been subject to retaliatory tariffs and suffered more than $5 million in retaliatory trade damages.

Eligible species are Atka mackerel, Dungeness crab, King crab, Snow crab, Southern Tanner crab, Flounder, Geoduck, Goosefish, Herring, Lobster, Pacific Cod, Pacific Ocean Perch, Pollock, Sablefish, Salmon, Sole, Squid, Tuna and Turbot.

Q: What aquaculture species are eligible under STRP?

A: In general, seafood grown in controlled conditions are not eligible for STRP. However, geoduck and salmon grown in controlled conditions are eligible.

Application

Q: When does STRP sign up start and end?

A: Program sign up will begin September 14, 2020 and ends December 14, 2020.

Q: Do all producers need to apply through the Farm Service Agency?

A: Yes. Producers of all eligible seafood must apply for assistance through their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Service Center. Fishermen can locate their Service Center, download application forms, and find addition information at farmers.gov/seafood.

Q: How can I prepare to apply for STRP?

A: If you are a new customer to USDA, your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and will ask for this type of information:

  • Name and address
  • Personal information, including your Tax Identification Number
  • Farm operating structure
  • Adjusted Gross Income compliance certification to ensure eligibility
  • Direct deposit information to enable payment

Q: My local USDA Service Center is not open for walk-in service. How do I apply for STRP?

A: USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA should call ahead and schedule an appointment. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers in office (where available), by phone and using online tools. You can find the phone number and the location of your local USDA Service Center at farmers.gov/seafood and view the status of your local Service Center at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

Q: Where can I get a STRP application?

A: Applicants can download application forms at farmers.gov/seafood starting September 14, 2020. Producers also have the option of signing and sharing their STRP applications using our new document signature solutions initiated by Service Center staff.

Q: Are STRP funds a loan that must be repaid? Is there a fee to apply?

A: No. STRP is not a loan program and there is no cost to apply.

Q: Is STRP a first-come, first-served program? Will the funds run out once a certain number of applications are received?

A: No, STRP is not a first-come, first-served program. The average domestic landings reported between 2017 and 2019 were used to determine payment rates per pound of eligible seafood commodities. The total amount of estimated damage was used to determine how much funding would be needed, and knowing payments are limited to $250,000 for all seafood commodities combined per person or legal entity.

Q: I’m new to USDA, are there any additional forms I’m required to fill out besides the application? Do I need a “farming number”?

A: New customers are not required to establish a farm record; no farm number is required. New customers should complete an AD-2047 form to establish a profile in FSA’s Business Record system. An optional form that is offered, but not required, is the AD-2106 Race, Ethnicity and Gender (REG) form completed by applicants to assist in increasing program participation by REG.

Payments

Q: How much is USDA spending to directly support fishermen negatively impacted by unfair retaliatory tariffs?

A: STRP will provide up to $530 million in direct support for commercial fishermen.

Q: When are payments expected to begin?

A: Program approval is handled at the local level and FSA county offices process applications as they receive them. The timeline for this approval process, including required internal controls and data validation, varies from county to county and applications are paid as they are approved.

Q: What are the payment limits for STRP?

A: There is a payment limitation of $250,000 per person or entity for all seafood combined.

Funding and Payment Calculations

Q: How will STRP help commercial fishermen impacted by unfair retaliatory tariffs?

A: STRP will provide commercial fishermen with direct financial assistance that gives them the ability to absorb sales declines and increased marketing costs associated with retaliatory tariffs.

Q: How were payment rates determined?

A: Payment rates were calculated using USDA’s assessment of the expected trade damage by the 2019 landings for each species.

For more information on the Seafood Trade Relief Program, visit farmers.gov/Seafood.