NJ cleared to provide $ 11 million in aid for sinking fishing industry

Months after the pandemic rocked the New Jersey fishing industry, millions of dollars in federal coronavirus the relief is set to finally flow to the fishermen who need it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration approved New Jersey’s plan to spend $ 11.3 million in federal fisheries assistance, U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, D-6th Dist., announced Tuesday. The approval allows state authorities to begin distributing the money, which was allocated to the state under the $ 2,000 billion CARES law that became law in March.

The funding will be available in the form of grants to companies in the fishing industry whose revenues have fallen by at least 35% during the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy subsequently announced Thursday. Applicants seeking funding will need to show their income over five years and appropriate tax identification.

“The fishery is an integral part of New Jersey’s identity and a vital part of our economy,” said Governor Murphy. “This subsidy program will help these businesses recoup the losses they have suffered during very difficult times. And we can all play a part in supporting the New Jersey fishing industry by buying from local seafood suppliers and enjoying the fishery through boat rental operations and retail outlets. ‘bait and equipment.

New Jersey’s fishing industry is estimated at $ 2.5 billion, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Pallone added that the industry supports around 50,000 jobs.

“This is another step in the right direction to ensure that the New Jersey fishing industry gets the funding it needs to weather the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing economic storm,” said Pallone. “This pandemic has been devastating for the men and women of our state’s fishing industry, and I am fighting to make sure they receive the promised federal funds. Our fishing communities need help now, which is why it is so important that these funds be released quickly. “

Funding requests will be accepted by the DEP as of October 19. Eligible businesses include commercial fisheries, aquaculture businesses, seafood processors, seafood merchants, charter pleasure boats, and bait shops.

Other businesses, such as ship repair shops, seafood retail stores, and restaurants, are not eligible for relief funding.

To further support commercial fishermen, DEP and the State Department of Agriculture have launched a program Support New Jersey Seafood website to help customers find local businesses. A similar tool is being developed for recreational fishing businesses, according to DEP.

Earlier this week, Murphy also announced $ 100 million in the CARES Act funds would be made available to families and small businesses.

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Michael Sol Warren can be reached at [email protected].

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