BOSTON (WPRI) — Gov. Charlie Baker said Massachusetts is providing $17.8 million in disaster relief funding for the fishing and seafood industries that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Eligible recipients of the relief funding include tribes, commercial fishing businesses, for-hire fishing businesses, aquaculture businesses and seafood wholesalers and processors in the state who have suffered at least a 35% loss of revenue during the pandemic.
“The fishing and seafood industries are integral parts of the economy, history and culture of Massachusetts,” Baker said. “Our administration remains dedicated to supporting these industries, and we look forward to getting these needed relief funds to impacted fishermen and businesses as quickly as possible.”
Massachusetts received the third-highest aid from the CARES Act for the seafood industry, getting $27.8 million.
The state’s Division of Marine Fisheries worked alongside a seafood industry advisory panel to develop and administer a spending plan.
The plan allocates funding proportional to the scale of each sector, with seafood processors receiving $13.8 million, commercial fisherman receiving $11.8 million, aquaculturists receiving $1.2 million and for-hire boats receiving $1 million.
“These funds will be a needed lifeline for the Commonwealth’s fishing and seafood businesses, as well as the families and coastal communities who rely on these industries,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said.
Applications will be mailed over the next month to all potentially eligible participants.