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S01A - Salmon, Purse Seine, Southeast - Year: 2013

PERMITS ESTIMATED GROSS EARNINGS
Quartile Number Percent Total Percent Average
1 43 15.58 $38,621,388 25.07 $898,172 actual
(high) 43 15.58 $38,621,388 25.07 $898,172 cumulative
2 56 20.29 $38,530,909 25.01 $688,052 actual
99 35.87 $77,152,297 50.08 $779,316 cumulative
3 67 24.28 $38,149,999 24.76 $569,403 actual
166 60.14 $115,302,296 74.84 $694,592 cumulative
4 110 39.86 $38,761,699 25.16 $352,379 actual
(low) 276 100.00 $154,063,995 100.00 $558,203 cumulative
Total pounds represented in this table: 334,435,054

Look at the bottom of the table, where bold text shows "total pounds represented in this table."  Look back through the years at this number to get a sense of annual total harvests for the fishery.  Are they going up or down?  Are they highly cyclical, as in this Southeast purse seine example?

Next, look at the row above, highlighted in orange. We see that 276 permits earned $154,063,995.  One might be tempted to just divide the total pounds and dollars by the number of permit holders in a fishery, and assume that they could expect to catch 1,211,721 pounds and earn $558,203 in their first year.

But look further. In these tables, CFEC divides the total gross earnings in each fishery into four tiers, or quartiles of top, second, third and bottom tier.

Here's where this data becomes very useful. In the top row of the quartile table, we see that in 2013, 43 seine permit holders (15.58% of the total) were the top producers and made up the top tier or quartile. This group grossed an average of $898,172 each that year.

Next, go to the lowest quartile row labeled "actual," highlighted in blue. Notice that 110 permit holders (39.86% of the total) were in the fourth, or lowest quartile and grossed an average of $352,203 each that year.

A first-year fisherman is more likely to be in the bottom group than the top quartile, so it is prudent to put yourself in the bottom half of gross earnings in your first few years, and plan how to manage your expenses and debts accordingly.

Remember these figures are gross earnings before taxes, permit or vessel loan payments, crew share, moorage, fuel, etc.

Lender Requirements Lending limit Origination and/or application fees Interest rate Percentage down Term Other
Alaska State Commercial Fishing Loan Program These loans are for qualified, full-time Alaska residents. You must have lived in Alaska for at least two years with the intent to remain indefinitely. Loans are classified as either Section A or Section B with eligibility requirements and amounts set in state law. Vessel = $100,000 $100 and 1% origination fee Generally, prime rate +2% Generally, 25% for documented vessels, 35% for Alaska registered vessels Up to 15 years Limited entry permits can be used as collateral on loan
Permit = Section A $300,000; Section B $200,000 $100 ($200 if you want to prequalify) plus 1% origination fee Generally, prime rate +2% 20%
Quota = $300,000 $100 ($200 if you want to prequalify) plus 1% origination fee Generally, prime rate +2% 35%
Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB) Alaska resident for one year No prescribed limit $100 purchase of membership stock plus lesser of 2% of loan or $2,500 Variable No prescribed amount Up to a maximum of 20 years Limited entry permits may be used as collateral on loan
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) US citizen, 3 years experience fishing Vessel = no prescribed limit 0.5% of loan amount requested, plus servicing fees Fixed, treasury rate +2% 20% minimum Up to 25 years Federal fishing rights can be used as collateral, not available for purchase of Alaska limited entry permits
US citizen, able to obtain a Transfer Eligibility Certificate, cannot own a vessel larger than 60 ft LOA Quota = loan cannot extend borrower beyond 50,000 lbs QS
Northwest Farm Credit Service US citizen  Not applicable  1% loan origination fee, generally  Variable Generally at least 25% down Generally 10 years
Commercial banks Commercial lenders generally have flexibility in their terms and may offer many types of financing. Establish a good relationship with your local banker early in life by opening a savings or checking account, if possible.
Private financing Family members or others (processors, community development quota organizations, small business loans, etc.) may be willing to lend money for down payments or purchases. For your protection, as well as theirs, be sure to sign a promissory note outlining loan terms, agree on a reasonable interest rate, set up a repayment schedule and stick to it. Make certain you and your family member understand if there are any tax implications with private lending.

Related Resources

Podcast: Business Structures

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Podcast: Insurance and Crew Safety

In this podcast, Glenn Haight, former Alaska Sea Grant business specialist, discusses insurance terms, the Alaska Fishermen’s Fund, keeping insurance costs down, and ways to cover your crew. (29 minutes)

Podcast: Investing for Retirement

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Podcast: Lowering Vessel Fuel Costs

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Podcast: Passing On Your Fishing Business

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Podcast: Risk Management for the Fishing Business Owner

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Podcast: The “5 C’s” of Lending

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