CARES Act Funding Available for Maryland Fishing Industry

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced applications will be available Nov. 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021.

In May, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that Maryland would be receiving about $4 million. Maryland has dedicated $3 million of that for direct payments to commercial, for hire, aquaculture, and seafood processing operations whose 2020 revenue has suffered a loss of greater than 35% due to COVID-19. The remaining $1 million will fund seafood marketing and business support for individuals in the seafood industry. Maryland worked with NOAA to develop this spending plan based on the provisions of the CARES Act and federal guidance. Funds will be distributed through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

“The pandemic has had a profound impact on Maryland’s seafood markets and our broader fishery and seafood industry,” said Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. “Our goal is to ensure that these relief funds provide direct assistance to eligible individuals and help solidify Maryland’s markets for the future. We are pleased to be working with NOAA and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on that shared goal.”

Complete eligibility guidelines and detailed instructions are available on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.