AUSTIN- Due to the ongoing effects of the COVID – 19 pandemic, the commercial fishing industry is now able to apply for funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This bill was passed by Congress in March 2020 and includes $300 million for coastal states. Texas has been allocated almost $9 million to distribute to eligible commercial fishing sectors.
Eligible sectors of the commercial fishing industry include for-hire guides, commercial fisherman and wholesale dealers. Both resident and non-resident commercial license types in these sectors may be eligible to receive a payment if the applicant is be able to show a greater than 35% loss to the business associated with the license type. In determining the loss percentage, the impact period will cover the 12-month period from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The year 2020 average will then be compared to the last five year’s average to determine if the greater than 35% loss threshold is met. Other criteria specific to each commercial fishing sector must also be met.
The application deadline is March 18, 2021.