Disaster Relief Funds for Fisheries-Related Businesses

Updated October 19, 2020

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces applications will be available Nov. 4 for economic relief funds for the commercial seafood industry through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning Nov. 4, the application will be available to eligible members of the seafood industry on the Maryland OneStop website. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28, 2021.

​​​​The U.S. Secretary of Commerce announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding. The funding is provided by Sec. 12005 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also called the CARES Act, to states, Tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID–19. Maryland has been allocated $4,125,118.​


This web page will be updated as needed to help guide impacted businesses through the application and dispersal process. PLEASE CHECK BACK REGULARLY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Questions and answers about the funding to-date:

How will Maryland receive its allocation of funds?  
NOAA Fisheries will pass the funds to Maryland through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

What businesses are eligible?  
Tribes, commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, aquaculture businesses, and seafood wholesalers and processors whose residence is in Maryland.

Does every eligible business qualify for funding?
No. Only businesses that suffered a 35% loss caused by COVID-19 relative to previous years will qualify for these funds.

What businesses are NOT eligible?  
Seafood retail markets, restaurants, and boat yards are all currently ineligible.  Any commercial fishing businesses or operations involving freshwater species are also ineligible.  

When can businesses apply?  
Beginning Nov. 4, 2020, through Feb. 28, 2021.

What is a spending plan?
A spending plan explains to NOAA how the funds will be distributed and the criteria that will be used to qualify each applicant for the funds.

For additional questions, please email Maryland DNR at

For additional CARES Act information, visit: