From AFDF “Lodestar” Newsletter Archive: What is the Saltonstall-Kennedy Act of 1954?

October 1979

This act directs the Secretary of Agriculture to transfer annually to the Secretary of Commerce, from funds made available under the terms of section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C. 612c) an amount equal to 30 percent of the gross receipts from customs duties collected on fisheries products. Such funds are to be maintained in a separate fund and used by the Secretary for three purposes.

First is to promote the free flow of domestically-producted fishery products by conducting a fishery educational service, and technological, biological and related research programs; for this purpose the funds may he used for purchase, acquisition, construction, equipping, operation and maintenance of vessels or other facilities for conducting the research authorized.

Second, funds may be used to develop and increase markets for domestic fishery products.

Finally, funds are available under the act to conduct biological, technological or other research pertaining to American fisheries.

The Secretary is directed to cooperate with appropriate agencies of federal state and local government, private agencies, organizations and individuals having an interest in fisheries in carrying out the activities authorized by the act.”

Additional S-K Act Information

The Saltonstall-Kennedy Act established a fund that, among other things, has supported fishery research and development projects, with funding awarded annually on a competitive basis. Recent NOAA has been using these collected funds as operational funds instead of allocating them to the competitive process for awarding funding for industry projects.

The Saltonstall-Kennedy (S-K) Act, as amended (15 U.S.C. §713c-3), established a fund (known as the S-K Fund) that the Secretary of Commerce uses to finance projects and cooperative agreements for fishery research and development. Under this authority, projects or cooperative agreements are selected annually on a competitive basis to assist NOAA Fisheries (previously known as the National Marine Fisheries Service) in addressing concerns related to U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries. The S-K Fund is capitalized through annual transfers under a permanent appropriation to the Secretary of Commerce of 30% of the gross receipts collected by the Secretary of Agriculture under the customs laws on imports of fish and fish products.

The objective of the S-K program is to address the needs of fishing communities in providing economic benefits for rebuilding and maintaining sustainable fisheries, and in dealing with the impacts of conservation and management measures. The S-K program has become very important in addressing issues of immediate concern to the commercial fishing industry, by producing many new gear innovations, markets, and management options. Issues addressed have included fish harvesting, seafood quality improvements, domestic and foreign market development, efficiency and productivity improvements, and the costs/profitability of potential fishing industry investments.

2011 AFDF Update on S-K Funds

The letter below represents AFDF’s most recent efforts in getting congressional action on returning this funding source the Alaskan fishing industry.

Read AFDF S-K Letter