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DEPT. OF MARINE RESOURCES
2005 Red Tide Disaster Relief Program
as of January 25, 2007
In 2005, an unusually prolonged and widespread occurrence of the Alexandrium algae responsible for “red tide” shut down much of Maine’s shellfish industry. In response, Congress provided the state of Maine with $2 million in disaster relief aid. For the past 6 months, the Maine Red Tide Disaster Relief Program has worked to determine fair compensation for individuals and businesses impacted by the 2005 Red Tide Event.
The Department of Marine Resources held public meetings in August 2006 to solicit industry input on the Red Tide Relief Program. At the request of industry, the amount of money intended to limit the impact of future red tide events through research and monitoring was reduced, and the direct aid to industry was increased. In the end, $1.6 million of the $2 million received from Congress was allotted as direct industry aid.
The remaining aid will fund two programs designed to decrease the economic impact of future red tide events:
In mid November 2006, applications were sent to individuals and businesses in all sectors potentially eligible for compensation: commercial shellfish harvesters; mussel harvesters; mahogany quahog harvesters; aquaculturists; and primary buyers (dealers). Application deadlines were December 12 (commercial shellfish harvesters) and December 19, 2006 (all other sectors).
Compensation was based on: the total amount of disaster relief available; the number of eligible applicants from each sector; the dependence of each sector upon the resource; the length of time access to the resource was restricted for each sector; the landings data available within each sector; and the geographic flexibility of each sector. All suggestions put forth at the August 2006 public meetings were considered. In the end, the following compensation formulas were adopted:
Standard compensation was capped at $6500 per license, and no one applicant could receive more than $13,000 in total (standard and catastrophic) compensation.
Final compensation formulas were developed after 6 months of research, industry discussions, and careful consideration, with the goal of developing the fairest possible way to disburse these funds given the data and resources currently available. If anyone has other specific questions they would like me to address, please contact Togue Brawn.
For more details, see the Final Report (PDF format, 11 pages, 68 kb) to the funding agency, September 30, 2007. The report is in PDF format, and requires Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader software (download here free) to view or print. If you require an alternate format, please contact Togue Brawn.
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