BOSTON (WWLP)– Massachusetts seafood processors, commercial fishermen, shellfish farmers, and for-hire recreational vessel owners are being urged to apply for some of the $23.8 million in relief funds the state will receive through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
The Baker-Polito Administration says that the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is sending applications to businesses who may be eligible.
“The fishing industry was particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with very limited exports of seafood and a big downturn in restaurant sales,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The distribution of an additional $23.8 million will give needed relief to fishermen and fishing related businesses who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.”
Applications for this round of funding are being mailed on Tuesday, July 20, 2021to eligible permit holders in the four industry sectors. All applications must be returned to DMF, postmarked no later than August 28, 2021. Detailed information and updates on the program can be viewed here. DMF will maintain separate web pages for each sector, including eligibility requirements and an applicant list showing the status of each application.
To assist industry participants with their applications, DMF staff will be available through email, phone, and will hold regional in-person workshops at the following times and places:
- August 11, 2021, from 1:00 to 7:00 PM: Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman’s Alliance, 1566 Main St., Chatham, MA 02633
- August 12, 2021, from 1:00 to 7:00 PM: Mass. Lobstermen’s Association, 8 Otis Place, Scituate, MA 02066
- August 17, 2021, from 1:00 to 7:00 PM: DMF New Bedford Office, 836 S Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744
- August 18, 2021, from 1:00 to 7:00 PM: DMF Gloucester Office, 30 Emerson Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930
On March 29, 2021, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which provides an additional $255 million in fisheries assistance funding to support activities previously authorized under the CARES Act, to states and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. In this second round of COVID-19 fisheries relief funding, Massachusetts has been allocated $23.8 million, the third-highest allocation in the country, behind Alaska and Washington.