In response to the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the commercial fishing and seafood industry, U.S. Congress has appropriated $300 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act assistance for fisheries participants.
Up to $50 million of this funding has been designated for Washington commercial fishers, shellfish growers, charter boat owners and processors who have experienced revenue losses.
WDFW is working with the Office of Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington Department of Agriculture to develop criteria to distribute the federally appropriated economic relief to the commercial fishery sectors based on guidance from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fisheries. Once spending plans have been developed, Washington will submit those plans to NOAA fisheries for approval and to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to distribute funds.
Commercial fishing industry members are encouraged to tune in to one of the following virtual WDFW discussions:
- Charter operators: Thursday, June 18 (View presentation)
- Commercial harvesters and processors: Friday, June 19 (View presentation)
- Shellfish industry members: Monday, June 22 (View presentation)
Upcoming opportunities for more information include:
- 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 30: Governor's Office and state agencies staff will provided information on spending plan development and got feedback from industry. (View presentation and a recording of the meeting).
If you have questions about CARES Act Assistance to fisheries participants and the state’s process for developing spend plans you can contact CARESfisheries@dfw.wa.gov.
Additional resources on CARES ACT Assistance to fisheries participants are listed below.
• Information from NOAA Fisheries
• Spend plan guidance from NOAA Fisheries
• Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission website with information on CARES ACT assistance to fisheries participants.