Application period for federal fishing funds begins today

HONOLULU — The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act authorizes and provides appropriations to the U.S. Department of Commerce to aid qualified fisheries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over $300 million was identified for fisheries and aquaculture, with a total sum of $4,337,445 allocated for eligible Hawai‘i fishery sectors. The application period opens today.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources has developed a spending plan with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Applications must be submitted to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission by Monday, Nov. 23. Interested applicants must review the spending plan to determine their eligibility.

At a minimum, applicants must be able to claim economic revenue losses greater than 35% as compared to the prior five-year average revenue or any negative impacts to subsistence, cultural or ceremonial fisheries. Entities that have been in business less than five years are still eligible for assistance.

Fishery participants eligible for funding include commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, wholesale seafood dealers and processors, subsistence/cultural/ceremonial fishers, and other fishery-related businesses.

For questions about eligibility or the application, email dlnr.aquatics@hawaii.gov.

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