Fisheries affected by Covid-19 to receive relief funding

CARES Act makes about $18 million available for fisheries assistance.

SACRAMENTO—An estimated $18 million in federal relief funding will be made available for aquaculture businesses, charter boat owners, fish buyers and licensed commercial fishermen who lost income due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will be made available to eligible recipients through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The state is receiving its $18 million of relief funds through the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus package.

“CDFW estimates that there are more than 11,500 potentially eligible applicants for this funding, including individuals who work in the offshore, shoreside, aquaculture, commercial passenger fishing vessel and guide sectors,” CDFW staff said in a released statement.

An applicant for relief funding must demonstrate at least a 35 percent loss of fishing-related income, between Jan. 1 and June 30, due to Covid-19. The applicant must also demonstrate, through documentation, they are actively involved in one of the qualifying sectors.

Applicants must also provide the most up-to-date address information by Aug. 17.

“The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) is serving as fiscal agent for these funds. PSMFC will mail claim forms to all potentially eligible applicants to the address on file with CDFW,” according to CDFW staff. “Forms and documentation must be returned within 30 days to be eligible for disbursement. Following the close of the 30-day response period, final disbursement totals will be calculated and relief checks will be issued to qualified applicants.”

CDFW staff can be reached via email at

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