Home > CARES Act - The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

CARES Act - The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

CARES Act - The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Current Status as of September 28th, 2020


Applications will become available once spend plans have been submitted by the respective state / US territory and approved by NOAA Fisheries. The Commission is not aware of when either will occur. Please continue to monitor our site for updates.

The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act identified $300 million for fisheries and aquaculture. PSMFC has been notified by the Department of Commerce that they will be assisting fishery participants affected by COVID-19 in Alaska, Washington, California, Oregon, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Federally Recognized Tribes in Alaska, and Federally Recognized Tribes on the West Coast.

For information on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission CARES Act efforts: GSMFC and ASMFC

For additional NOAA Fisheries CARES Act / Coronavirus information:
Commerce Secretary Announces Allocation of $300 Million in CARES Act Funding
NOAA Fisheries Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The Commission has been working with the states, tribes, and US territories to provide guidance on developing spend plans consistent with the CARES Act and NOAA’s guidance. Spend plans must describe the main category for funding, including direct payments, fishery-related infrastructure, fishery-related education that address direct and indirect COVID-19 impacts to commercial fishers, charter businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, subsistence/cultural/ceremonial users, processors, and dealers. Please note, for the purposes of Sec. 12005 funding, businesses farther down the supply chain including vessel repair business, restaurants, or seafood retailers are not considered “fishery-related businesses.” Each spend plan must be reviewed and approved by NOAA.

Upon receipt and approval of individual spend plans, the Commission staff will work with the states, tribes, and US territories to communicate and disseminate; information, applications, and other correspondences to fishery participants for requesting funds. We will work with the entities on the best avenues for distributing correspondences using various associations and agency contacts. Specific deadlines will be established in which all applications must be received; it will be noted that late applications will not be accepted.

Summary of Allocations**
Entity Allocation of Sec. 12005 Funding
Alaska $50,000,000
Washington $50,000,000
California $18,350,586
Oregon $15,982,827
Federally Recognized Tribes on the West Coast $5,097,501
Hawaii $4,337,445
American Samoa $2,553,194
Federally Recognized Tribes in Alaska $1,000,000
Guam $1,000,000
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands $1,000,000
**Final award amounts will be different due to Hollings and other assessments


Oregon CARES Act Information

The application period for Oregon’s Sec. 12005 CARES Act Fisheries Assistance has CLOSED.

Applications were required to be postmarked by September 8th 2020 for participation. Distribution of payments will begin as soon as all applications are processed. The Commission is uncertain of precisely when this will occur but is working diligently to expedite the process. Checks will be mailed sometime in the fall of 2020.

Fishing businesses are a vital part of Oregon’s economic and cultural health, and impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a serious toll on these businesses and the communities they support. Consistent with Section 12005 of the federal CARES Act, NOAA Fisheries allocated nearly $16M to eligible Oregon businesses participating in marine and/or anadromous fisheries. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife developed a Spend Plan for eligibility and claim requirements consistent with the CARES Act after extensive input from the fishing industry. NOAA recently approved the Spend Plan, which allows the application period to begin.

In recognition by coastal legislators and other state leaders that these federal funds would be unlikely to address all of the COVID-19 impacts to Oregon’s fisheries industry, an additional $2.5 million of state CARES Act relief funds were distributed by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services to PSMFC for support. PSMFC will distribute the funds as supplemental payments to recipients of the federal CARES Act funds that were distributed directly to the PSMFC by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Eligibility and claims for these funds will generally follow the same requirements and timelines as the $16 million, which is outlined in Oregon’s Spend Plan and application materials.

The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission is the fiscal agent NOAA Fisheries Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for Oregon for both the federal and state funds. PSMFC will review applications and disburse payments of approved claims to eligible applicants. It is anticipated that total claims will exceed available funds. If so, all disbursements will be scaled to available funds as described in Oregon’s Spend Plan. The PSMFC anticipates disbursements to begin sometime in September 2020.

“Marine and anadromous fisheries are vital to the economic and cultural health of the state. We know businesses on the front lines of these fisheries are hurting, and we hope these federal and state funds will help provide emergency relief for some of the pandemic’s impacts this past spring. We encourage all eligible fishery businesses to apply,” says Ed Bowles, Fish Division Administrator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

All applications must be completed, signed and mailed to the PSMFC with a postmark no later than the September 8, 2020 deadline.



Oregon’s Sec. 12005 Coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act Spend Plan





California CARES Act Information

The application period for California’s Sec. 12005 CARES Act Fisheries Assistance has CLOSED.

California Fisheries Relief Funding Available for Select Sectors Affected by COVID-19

Coastal and marine fishery participants - including licensed commercial fishermen, fish buyers, aquaculture businesses, charter boat owners and guides - who have experienced a loss of income due to the effects of COVID-19 may be eligible for federal relief funding disbursed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

The funding is part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This more than $2 trillion economic relief package provides direct economic assistance for American workers, families and small businesses that have been impacted COVID-19. About $18 million in CARES funding was earmarked specifically for fisheries assistance in California.

CDFW estimates that there are more than 11,500 potentially eligible applicants for this funding, including individuals who work in the offshore, shoreside, aquaculture, commercial passenger fishing vessel and guide sectors.

Eligibility will be based on, among other things, a minimum 35 percent loss of fishing related income due to COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2020. Applicants must also submit documentation demonstrating active involvement in a qualifying sector.

PSMFC will mail claim forms to all potentially eligible applicants to the address on file with CDFW. Forms and documentation must be returned within 30 days to be eligible for disbursement. Following the close of the 30-day response period, final disbursement totals will be calculated and relief checks will be issued to qualified applicants. CDFW is requesting all potentially eligible applicants update their address on file by Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. Address verification instructions are available:


California’s Sec. 12005 Coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act: Spend Plan


If you have CARES Act related questions please email: cares@psmfc.org or call toll-free: 1-877-695-3457

If you have been displaced from your current residence due to wildfires in OR and CA, please send an e-mail to cares@psmfc.org stating the following: (1) name and address used on the W-9 submitted to PSMFC; and (2) new address due to displacement.