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Hawaii Fishing Sector Set to Get Help From CARES Act

Honolulu – Hawai‘i’s struggling fisheries could be getting some help. On Thursday, the Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding provided by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). This funding is to states, tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fisheries who have been negatively affected by COVID–19.

The DLNR and its Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is currently in the process of developing a spending plan, which, if approved by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will allow fishery participants to apply for financial relief from Hawai‘i’s $4.3 million portion. “This is welcome relief for our struggling local fisheries,” said Brian Neilson, DAR Administrator. “Unfortunately, it will only cover a fraction of the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, so we continue to encourage residents to support our local fishers and seafood producers as much as possible.”

Fishery participants eligible for funding include commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses. For questions about eligibility or the application: dlnr.aquatics@hawaii.gov.