$50 Million in assistance for Washington fishing and shellfish industries

In releases from Senator Maria Cantwell, Representatives Derek Kilmer and Jaime Herrera Beutler they announced that they assisted in securing $50 million in support for Washington’s non-tribal fishing and shellfish industries. 

Sen. Cantwell adds that those eligible to receive grants and other forms of direct assistance include commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, shellfish aquaculture operations, processors, other fishery-related businesses, and Tribes that have suffered losses as a result of COVID-19. 

The funding also includes an additional $5 million for West Coast tribes.

Washington state and Alaska are the largest recipients of the funding – each receiving $50 million of a total $300 million available, almost twice as much as any other state.

In total, $300,000,000 will be distributed nationwide.

A full list of recipients is available HERE.

“Thousands of fishermen around the Pacific Northwest are feeling the impacts of restaurant, fishing, and tourism season closures due to COVID-19 and the loss of seafood sales. Due to the unique nature of fishing businesses, many have been left without federal assistance until now,” Cantwell said. “Having $50 million coming to Washington state fishermen in grants and other direct assistance will provide much-needed money to fishing businesses to keep them a part of our maritime economy.”

“In Washington, our coastal fishing and shellfish industries are an essential part of our local economies,” said Rep. Kilmer. “With much of the nation’s economy currently shut down to keep people safe, our local, tribal and commercial fisheries and shellfish growers are facing unprecedented and severe consequences. This critical funding will help keep folks on payroll and ensure that our fisheries can continue to thrive on our coasts for generations to come.”

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has put an incredible strain on Southwest Washington businesses, causing severe economic losses for our coastal fishing and shellfish industries,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler. “I was pleased to help secure this funding for our coastal fishermen and shellfish growers to provide a level of certainty that will help them tread water until their businesses are back up and running.”

 This week, Reps. Kilmer and Herrera Beutler also joined a bipartisan group of members in urging congressional leaders to include an additional $1.5 billion in future coronavirus relief measures to further support Tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants impacted by the coronavirus.