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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - CARES Act

Marine Fisheries

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CARES Act Fishery Relief Information

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is processing applications for the North Carolina Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Fisheries Relief Program. This financial relief is available to commercial fishermen, for-hire fishing operators, seafood dealers and processors, and marine aquaculture operations that meet eligibility requirements.

The division received 290 applications by the Nov. 30, 2020 deadline in the following stakeholder categories:

  • Fishermen and Aquaculture – 216 applications
  • Fish Dealer and Processor – 35 applications
  • For-Hire Operation – 39 applications

Staff must review each application to determine if the applicant is eligible. This is a lengthy and complex review because each application contains unique revenue documentation that must be understood and verified to determine loss.

As of Feb. 23, division staff had reviewed 288 applications. Applicants who are denied will have an opportunity to appeal the decision once they are officially notified of the decision.

The relief funds cannot be distributed until all applications and appeals are finalized because funds are allocated based on the proportion (percentage) of eligible claimed fishing loss revenue in relation to all eligible stakeholders who qualify in the stakeholder category. Also, once the division has made these final determinations, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission must disperse funds to the state before the state can issue checks to the stakeholders. 

The division was notified in May 2020 that North Carolina was allocated $5.4 million from the federal CARES Act to provide financial relief through direct payments to fishery-related stakeholder groups affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal law required applicants to document loss of revenue greater than 35% from as compared to the average revenue from the same period of the previous five-years to be eligible for relief.

The division developed and received public comment on a spending plan for the program that was approved by NOAA Fisheries in September 2020. Then in October, the division mailed 6,736 North Carolina CARES Act Fisheries Economic Relief Program application packages to eligible license, lease, and permit holders. This was followed by distribution of two news releases and numerous social media posts to inform eligible stakeholders who are not licensed by the division.

 
MORE INFORMATION
NEWS RELEASE: Division of Marine Fisheries accepting applications for CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program
(Oct. 27, 2020)
CARES Act Fisheries Assistance Spending Plan for North Carolina
(Approved Sept. 9, 2020)
NOAA Fisheries CARES Act Fisheries Assistance Allocation Announcement
May 7, 2020
Sec. 12005 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
March 27, 2020
ASMFC CARES Act Disaster Relief Resources Page The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

 

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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