Additional Funds Available for Commercial Fisheries Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic

fishing boats at San Francisco
Commercial fishing vessels tied up in San Francisco
CDFW photo by K. Lesyna

Commercial fishery participants and other commercial fishing-related businesses can now apply for additional financial assistance for COVID-19 related impacts. The Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of an additional $255 million in fisheries assistance funding earlier this year, with California receiving $15,315,740 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Applications for these recovery funds are now available through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) for eligible and qualified individuals and businesses.

The application period runs from 12:00 a.m. (PST) Monday, October 4th, 2021 through 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

The funding addresses direct and indirect COVID-19 financial losses to eligible participants. Eligible applicants must self-certify, under penalty of perjury, a minimum 35 percent loss of gross income over a minimum 4-week (28 day) consecutive timeframe (“loss window”) during the 2020 calendar year (January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020) when compared to the same loss window averaged across the previous five years (2015 -2019) due to COVID-19. The same loss window must be used when comparing past years across all eligible fisheries/sectors. Direct payments will be made to eligible and qualified individuals and businesses based on COVID-19 related losses scaled to available funds.

Who can apply?

Eligibility is limited to the following categories:

  • Commercial fishing participants/businesses
  • Charter/for-hire fishing businesses
  • Qualified aquaculture operations
  • Processors and dealers participating in marine and/or anadromous fisheries

Applicants should read the revised Spend Plan for complete eligibility information.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) coordinated with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), PSMFC, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska to revise the prior spend plan to be consistent with the Consolidated Appropriations Act, the CARES Act, and NOAA’s updated guidance. CDFW worked with industry leaders across eligible sectors to craft the revised spend plan that was submitted to, and approved by, NOAA Fisheries.

For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions please visit the CDFW Cares Act web page.

post by CDFW Staff