Division of Marine Fisheries accepting applications for CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program

MOREHEAD CITY

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting applications for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Fisheries Relief Program. The financial assistance is available to eligible commercial fishermen, for-hire fishing operators, seafood dealers and processors, and marine aquaculture operations with revenue losses in the spring of 2020 greater than 35% as compared to the prior 5-year average revenue.

The division has mailed application packets to eligible license, lease, and permit holders. Application packets are available on the CARES Act Fisheries Assistance Information webpage or at division offices for eligible stakeholders who are not licensed by the division.

North Carolina received $5.4 million from the CARES Act to provide financial relief through direct payments to fishery-related stakeholder groups affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants will be required to complete the application, an affidavit, and provide supporting materials that document loss of revenue greater than 35% from March 1 to May 31, 2020 as compared to the average revenue from the same period of the previous five-years (March 1 to May 31, 2015-2019).

One of the objectives of the Program is to make participants whole; that is, to put them in the same position financially as they would have been had COVID-19 not occurred.  NOAA Fisheries requires that any relief monies received from the Program cannot result in a participant’s annual (January to December) 2020 earnings exceeding their five-year average annual (January to December) revenue between the years 2015-2019. This means that the combination of fisheries assistance with any other CARES Act relief (such as the Paycheck Protection Program, Small Business Association loan, or unemployment payments) plus their fisheries income and/or other income in 2020 will not exceed their average annual revenue from the previous five years, or a minimum of one year for those in business less than five years.

Applications and supporting documentation must be delivered in person to the division Headquarters Office at 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City or mailed to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City N.C. 28557.

Applications and all documents must be received in the Morehead City headquarters office or postmarked by 5 p.m. Nov. 30, 2020. Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted at other division offices. Applications and supporting documentation that are submitted after 5pm on November 30, 2020 will not be considered.

For questions regarding the spending plan, email covid19relief@ncdenr.gov or call the division’s License and Statistics Office at 252-808-8105.

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