COMMERCIAL FISHING APPEAL GUIDANCE

The CARES Act requires that recipients of funds experienced a greater than 35% revenue loss in 2020 from COVID-19 as compared to their previous 5-year (2015-2019) average.  According to the records held by the Department's Landings Program, your revenue loss from any fishery did not exceed 35% for January-June 2020 as compared to your average for January-June 2015-2019.  You can appeal this finding by performing your own calculation based on your own records of your revenue.   

Please note:

  • You may do your calculation for a single species/fishery, or for all your commercial fishing activity combined. 
  • You may do your calculation for a different series of months than the Department used. 
  • The DMR Landings Program is not able to provide landings records to applicants within the timeframe of the appeal/application period.  Please use your own records of your revenue from these activities to make this calculation. 

Example Calculation:

  • Determine which month or months in 2020 you believe that you have experienced your greatest revenue loss from COVID-19, as compared to your previous 5-year average.  If you use multiple months, they must be consecutive.  You must use a complete month, and you cannot include months that have not yet occurred. 
    • For example, you could compare your revenues for March 2020 to your average revenues for March 2015-2019, OR you could select multiple months to compare, such as March-June 2020 to March-June 2015-2019.
  • Determine the species or fishery for which you experienced the greatest revenue loss in those months in 2020.  You may use a single species or fishery, or you may combine your fishing activity for multiple species.
    • For example, you could look at your revenue from only one fishery in which you participate, such as lobster, or you could look at your net revenue from all your fishing activity.
  • Calculate your prior 5-year average for the month(s) you have selected, for the species or fisheries that you decided to use.
    • If there are years between 2015-2019 in which you did not hold a license for that species or fishery, you do not need to include those years in your calculation of your prior 5-year average.  You can average ONLY those years in which you held that license.
    • If you held a license during a specific year, but did not fish that year, you must include that year in your calculation of your prior 5-year average as a zero.
  • Divide your 2020 revenue for the months and species/fisheries you used in your calculation by the average revenue you calculated for the prior years in which you were licensed.
  • Subtract that value from 1 to find your percentage revenue loss.
  • If your percentage revenue loss is greater than 35%, you may submit an appeal.

For example, if a fisherman’s average revenues for March-June for 2015-2019 were $10,000, but their revenues for March-June 2020 were $2,000, he/she would divide $2,000/$10,000 to calculate 0.20. 1-0.20 = 0.80, or an 80% reduction in revenues.

To submit an appeal, visit: https://bit.ly/37jwmjL