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Marine Fisheries Relief Program

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

dock with commercial fishing boats

New York Fishery Relief Spend Plan (PDF) establishes the framework for distributing New York's first allocated $6.7 million in CARES Act Marine Fisheries aid. Funding is available to eligible New York State residents that hold a valid marine permit or license issued by DEC for 2020 and the previous five years, with some exceptions considered as outlined in the spend plan. Eligible fishery sectors include commercial harvesters, for-hire fishing operations, marine aquaculture, and seafood distribution (dealers/processors/wholesalers).

A second round of marine fisheries aid is available through New York's Marine Fisheries Relief Program provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. New York has been allocated $5.7 million and will work to develop a second New York Spend Plan that establishes the framework for determining eligibility and distributing this additional funding.

Award Distribution

DEC received 299 applications from New York individual and businesses during the application period from December 1 through December 31, 2020. A total of 231 applications have been approved to meet the eligibility requirements as outlined in the Spend Plan.

Total Applications Received by Fishery Sector
Primary Sector # of Applications Received Percent
Aquaculture Operations 28 9.4%
Commercial Harvester 171 57.2%
For-hire Fishing Operation 59 19.7%
Seafood Dealer/Shipper/Processor 39 13.0%
Other 2 0.7%
Total 299 --
Award Tiers for CARES Act NY Fisheries Relief
Loss Tier Eligible Applicants % of Loss Awarded Award Amount
$0 - $1,000 1 40% $400
$1,001 - $2,500 2 40% $1,000
$2,501 - $5,000
14 40% $2,000
$5,001 - $7,500 12 40% $3,000
$7,501 - $10,000 24 40% $4,000
$10,001 - $20,000 46 40% $8,000
$20,001 - $50,000 64 40% $20,000
$50,001 - $100,000 25 35% $35,000
$100,001 - $200,000 12 30% $60,000
$200,001 - $500,000 11 15.5% $80,000
$500,001 - $1,000,000 4 10% $100,000
$1,000,001 - $11,000,000 16 <10% $116,000

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


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.

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 had to demonstrate a greater than 35 percent revenue loss from fishery-related revenue caused by COVID-19 during the period Feb. 1 to Jul. 31, 2020, 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 2020, and previous years with documented fishing history. Fishery participants that may be eligible for funding include:

  • Commercial fishing businesses
  • Qualified aquaculture operations
  • For-hire fishing businesses
  • Seafood industry sector
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 - CARES Act Second Round

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. DEC will work cooperatively with NOAA Fisheries and the ASMFC to develop a second New York Spend Plan over the next 90 days that establishes the framework for determining eligibility and distribution of this additional funding.

For more information, email, or call (631) 444-0473. Visit ASMFC's website (leaves DEC website) for additional information.