Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, announced today that the Phase 3 coronavirus package that passed the Senate unanimously last night included $300 million for assistance to fishermen and fishery-related businesses such as harvesters, processors, and aquaculture operations affected by COVID-19, which may include direct relief payments. The bill is expected to pass the House today before heading to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“I’m pleased that, following my advocacy alongside a bipartisan group of my colleagues from other coastal states, the Phase 3 package included $300 million to assist workers and businesses in our nation’s fisheries, which support thousands of jobs in Maine,”said Senator Collins. “This targeted relief will help protect our seafood supply chains and help to ensure that the families and communities that depend on its success can emerge from this crisis.”
Tribes, fishermen, fishing communities, aquaculture businesses, and other fishery-related businesses are eligible for assistance if they have incurred as a direct or indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Economic revenue losses greater than 35 percent as compared to the prior 5-year average; or
- Any negative impacts to subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial fisheries.
These funds may be awarded on a rolling basis, and within a fishing season, to ensure rapid delivery of funds during the pandemic.