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CARES Act Marine Fisheries Relief Program

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

New York Fisheries Relief Program Spend Plan (PDF) establishes the framework for distributing New York's allocated $6.7 million in CARES Act Marine Fisheries aid. Applications will be accepted Dec. 1 - Dec. 31, 2020.

dock with commercial fishing boats

Open Application Period Through December 31, 2020

  1. Review all eligibility criteria in the New York Fishery Relief Spend Plan (PDF)
  2. Download and complete the CARES Act Marine Fisheries Relief Application (PDF).
  3. Submit completed and signed application to

For assistance completing the application above, DEC has developed an Application Help Guide (PDF) that provides more information. For further assistance, contact or call 631-444-0473.

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).

Applicants must 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. Applicants must demonstrate active participation in one or more of the fishery-related sectors in 2020, and previous years with documented fishing history.


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 will receive $6.7 million in funding for marine fishery industries that have been impacted by closures and lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEC is working in cooperation 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.

As required under the CARES Act, participants eligible for fishery relief funding must demonstrate economic revenue losses greater than 35% as compared to prior five years. Fishery participants that may be eligible for funding include:

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

Program Timeline

  • December 2020​: 30-Day Application Period​ Begins
  • December 2020 - January 2021​: Review of Applications ​
  • January - February 2021​: Appeals Process​
  • January - March 2021: Coordinate Distribution of Funds with ASMFC​

DEC's website will be updated with information on the fishery relief program, eligibility requirements, and application processes. Potential participants are encouraged to review all criteria in the fishery relief spend plan. For more information, email, or call (631) 444-0473.

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