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CARES Act Marine Fisheries Relief Program

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

On May 7 2020, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding (link leaves DEC's website). These funds are provided by Section 12005 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act. New York State will receive $6.75 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 neighboring states 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.

All states must submit plans by August 2020 to be approved by NOAA Fisheries. Once the New York fishery relief plan is finalized and approved, DEC will provide application instructions based on the final fishery relief plan criteria. At that time, DEC will work cooperatively with ASMFC to distribute funds as quickly as possible. New York State is currently not accepting applications.

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

DEC's website will be updated with information on the fishery relief program, eligibility requirements, and application processes. Visit ASMFC's website (leaves DEC website) for additional information.