Relief funding available for seafood industry

Applications are now open for second round of federal relief funding to commercial fishing, shellfish, charter, and seafood sector industry members.

Those in the seafood industries who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) for a second round of federal assistance relief funding totaling $40 million.

This is part of $300 million in federal funding the U.S. Congress approved in Dec. 2020. It follows an initial $300 million appropriation from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in summer of 2020. The two rounds total $600 million in federal relief funding, of which Washington and Alaska received $90 million each, the highest allotment across the country.

“Locally harvested seafood and shellfish and the broader commercial fishing industry is a vital part of who we are here in Washington state,” said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind. “We recognize that the COVID pandemic has put a strain on the state’s commercial fishing, shellfish and charter industry members and appreciate our congressional leaders for helping to bring this funding to those who need it most.”

Industry members who experienced a gross revenue loss between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, greater than 35% of their 2015-2019 average, are eligible to apply for this second round of federal relief funding. Washington-based commercial fishers who fish in Alaska are also eligible. Recipients from the first round of federal relief funding may be eligible to receive additional money without needing to make a claim. However, they will still need to fill out a separate, supplemental application to become eligible.

New and returning applicants can find more information, full eligibility details and application materials and instructions at Applications are open through Oct. 14, 2022.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.