Coastwide
Chris Chase / SeafoodSource

USA - CARES Act Spend Approvals Clears USD 13.2 Million for Fishery Aid in Four States

Four states that recently gained CARES Act spend plan approvals are now in the process of distributing aid, which all together totals just over USD 13.2 million (EUR 11.2 million) in funds.

The four states – North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Rhode Island – represent collectively less funding than many individual states. Currently just over USD 114.1 million (EUR 97.1 million) in funds have been cleared for release through spend plans, with the largest recipient so far – Massachusetts – receiving just over USD 28 million (EUR 23.8 million).

The funding for the CARES Act, which was established in response to hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, was released in May, with USD 300 million (EUR 255 million) released to 31 states, federally recognized tribes, and territories.

Every state has been using its own methods to allocate funds based on NOAA criteria. A key part of the spend plans is ensuring that businesses receiving funds have suffered revenue losses of greater than 35 percent in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest four states are no different, with each state allocating funds in different ways to different percentages of the seafood and fishing industry, split into three categories by NOAA: commercial fishing and qquaculture, seafood sector (which includes processing and dealers), and for-hire fishing (recreational operations).

“Spend plans will outline the state, territory or Tribe’s eligibility criteria, application process, allocation method, and applicable timeline that will be utilized to distribute federal assistance to the fishery participants in need,” NOAA Fisheries Director of Public Affairs John Ewald told SeafoodSource in August as the first spend plans were approved. “This approach provides individual states the flexibility to address the priority needs among their fishery participants in their geographic area.”

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