Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

This page was last updated on October 19, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to provide $300 million for economic assistance to participants in the U.S. seafood industry financially affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  On May 7, 2020 the Secretary of Commerce announced the specific allocation of those funds to states, Tribes and territories with coastal and marine fisheries participants, based on historical revenues associated with eligible sectors.  Maine has been allocated $20 million to provide relief to eligible participants.

Letters have been sent to commercial fishermen indicating if they are eligible to apply for relief funds or not, based on an anlysis of DMR's landings data. Those deemed eligible have been given instructions on how to apply. Those deemed ineligible have been given instructions on appealing DMR's decisions.

Letters have also been sent to aquaculturists, for-hire saltwater fishing guides, and wholesale dealers informing them that they will need to make a determination of their eligibility to receive funds based on their own records since DMR does not have records to determine their eligibility. They have also been given instructions on how to apply if they are able to determine, through their own records, that they are eligible.

A Frequently Asked Question document is available at

To Apply or Appeal: