Huffman Celebrates Long Awaited Allocation of CARES Act Relief for Fishing Industry
Secretary of Commerce Announces $300 Million in Fisheries Assistance, including $18.3 Million for California
This week, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million of congressionally directed CARES Act funding for fisheries assistance to states, Tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Of this funding, $18.3 million is being awarded to California fishery participants and $5 million to Federally Recognized West Coast Tribes.
In April, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, led a bipartisan letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce urging immediate distribution of this CARES Act funding to fishing-related businesses, Tribes, and communities whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic and economic crisis. The CARES Act was signed into law in March.
“The fishing and seafood industries have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Fisheries are a critical part of state and regional economies across the U.S., providing food for the nation and supporting a way of life for countless tribal communities,” said Rep. Huffman. “I’m glad to see that this funding has finally left the Commerce Department, but the work isn’t done yet. This money needs to quickly be delivered to all those whose businesses and jobs have been disrupted, and we need to see more support for the fishing and seafood sectors in the next congressional response. In my role as Subcommittee chair, I am committed to tracking the federal response and making sure this urgently needed relief gets to those who need it.”
NOAA Fisheries will award these allocated amounts to the interstate marine fisheries commissions, including the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to disburse funds to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19. Fishery participants eligible for funding — including Tribes, commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses — should work with their state marine fisheries management agencies, territories, or Tribe to understand the process for applying for these funds.
More information on this funding can be found here.