December 1, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Second Round of Federal Funding to Provide $5.7 Million in COVID-19 Relief to New York's Marine Fishing Industry

Governor Hochul Announces Second Round of Federal Funding to Provide $5.7 Million in COVID-19 Relief to New York's Marine Fishing Industry

Marine Fisheries Relief Program Will Provide Direct Payments to Help Address Pandemic-Related Business Losses

45-Day Application Period Opens Dec. 1

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced an additional $5.7 million in federal funding is available from New York's Marine Fisheries Relief Program, established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, to provide financial relief for New York's marine fishing industry. Eligible seafood, commercial marine fishing, marine aquaculture, and marine recreational for-hire fishing businesses are eligible to apply for the funding beginning Dec. 1. This funding is in addition to the $6.7 million in assistance provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, for a total of $12.4 million in aid for New York's seafood, marine commercial, and for-hire fishing industries after excessive business losses in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt New York's commercial fishing industry which is reliant on vibrant tourism, dining, and recreational opportunities," Governor Hochul said. "This funding is essential to assist businesses and coastal communities that have long played a vital role in the State's economic success. My administration remains committed to supporting marine fishing and seafood industries here in New York and will work tirelessly to ensure financial support is provided to all eligible candidates."

New York's marine resources are critical to the State's economy, supporting nearly 350,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars through tourism, fishing, and other industries. The total $12.4 million from the Marine Fisheries Relief Program allocation was determined by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries based on the total average annual revenues from New York's fishery-related businesses, which does not reflect the industry's total economic losses due to COVID-19. DEC worked cooperatively with NOAA Fisheries and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to receive approval for both New York Fisheries Relief Program Spend Plans that establish the framework for distributing the funding.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "For hundreds of years, New York State's fishing industries have shaped our economy and culture. These industries have experienced significant challenges and changes in recent decades, adapting to advancements in technology and the threat of climate change, while still providing valuable goods and services to New Yorkers. The COVID-19 pandemic challenged our economy in unexpected ways and will be felt for years to come, and the funding announced today will help ensure that the State's fishing industries have the opportunity to continue to build their legacy into the future."

Senator Chuck Schumer said, "This is a HUGE catch for New York's fishermen. I am proud to have hooked this historic $12.4 million in federal relief for businesses from the Great Lakes to the Long Island Sound. New York's marine fishing industry is still reeling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and this dedicated assistance will help one of our oldest heritage industries leave troubled waters and set sail on a path to recovery and a brighter future."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "This funding will provide much-needed relief to New York's marine fisheries. I'm proud to have worked to pass the CARES Act and will keep fighting to deliver federal funds to New York businesses as we continue to recover from the pandemic."

Representative Adriano Espaillat said, "As we continue to build back from this devastating pandemic, reestablishing our marine fishing industry, local tourism, and recreational fishing are essential in our economic recovery. I commend Governor Hochul on today's efforts to allocate this additional round of federal funding to ensure these necessary federal resources are available to help restore our local offshore ecosystems while combating climate change through initiatives such as New York's Artificial Reef Program and building clean water infrastructure."

All potential applicants are encouraged to review criteria in the Marine Fisheries Relief Spend Plan (PDF) posted on DEC's website. Applicants that received funding during the first round of the Marine Fisheries Relief Program are eligible to apply for the second round. Applications are posted on DEC's website and notices were sent to marine permit holders, stakeholder advisory groups, and other potentially eligible parties. DEC is accepting applications from Dec. 1, through Jan. 14, 2022.

Detailed instructions for completing the application electronically can be found on DEC's website. For more information, contact [email protected] or call (631) 444-0473.

After the application period is closed, DEC will provide an opportunity for those applicants whose applications were denied to appeal. DEC will work cooperatively with ASMFC to distribute funding to approved applicants and aid will be released once all received applications are processed. Some award recipients may be the subject of a federal audit.

New York State is undertaking a wide range of efforts to promote recreational fishing, restore marine ecosystems, strengthen Long Island's economy, and combat climate change. This includes the expansion of New York's Artificial Reef Program, the nation's largest offshore wind program, record investments in the Environmental Protection Fund and clean water infrastructure, a ban on offshore drilling, the passage of the 'bunker bill' to prohibit the use of purse seines for menhaden, and continued progress on the Long Island Shellfish Restoration Initiative.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

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