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Marine Fisheries Relief Program

Fisheries Relief Funding for State Fishing Industries Impacted by COVID-19

dock with commercial fishing boats

Governor Kathy Hochul announced $5.7 million in federal funding is available from the Marine Fisheries Relief Program established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) to assist New York's marine fishing industry following extensive economic losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. New York State seafood, commercial marine fishing, marine aquaculture, and marine recreational for-hire fishing businesses were eligible to apply for funding from December 1, 2021 through January 14, 2022.

For more information, email or call (631) 444-0473.


Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA)

On March 29, 2021, NOAA Fisheries announced the allocation of an additional $255 million (link leaves DEC website) in fisheries assistance funding provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. New York will receive $5.7 million to support activities previously authorized under Sec. 12005 of the CARES Act, as well as additional funding to provide relief to Great Lakes Fisheries.

New York has developed a Consolidated Appropriations Act New York Marine Fisheries Relief Program Spend Plan (PDF) that establishes the framework for determining eligibility and distributing this additional funding. DEC worked cooperatively with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and NOAA Fisheries to develop a timely and concise fishery relief plan. Relief funding is intended to supplement and support the state's seafood and commercial fishing industries and recreational for-hire fishing fleets that have endured significant economic loss as a result of COVID-19.

Applicants have to demonstrate a greater than 35 percent revenue loss from fishery-related revenue caused by COVID-19 during the period Feb. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, and/or during Jan. 1 to Apr. 30, 2021, over a minimum of 60 consecutive days, relative to the previous five years (2015-2019) for the same period, and also demonstrate active participation in one or more of the fishery-related sectors in previous years with documented fishing history.

Fishery participants that may be eligible for funding include:

  • Commercial fishing businesses
  • Qualified aquaculture operations
  • For-hire marine fishing businesses
  • Seafood industry sector

Visit ASMFC's website (leaves DEC website) for additional information.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

On May 7, 2020, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding (leaves DEC website). These funds are provided by Section 12005 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). New York State received $6.7 million in funding for marine fishery industries that have been impacted by closures and lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act Award Distribution

DEC received 299 applications from New York individual and businesses during the CARES Act application period from December 1 through December 31, 2020. A total of 237 applications have been approved to meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in the Spend Plan.

As required by NOAA Fisheries, all funds allocated to New York State may be the subject of a federal audit and are taxable.