WDFW seeks contribution from fishing industry for $ 40 million in relief spending
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks input from commercial fishermen, shellfish farmers, charter boat owners, seafood processors and members of the public as it develops a plan to spend $ 40 million in funds Federal relief for members of industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding is part of an additional $ 255 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) approved by the US Congress that followed an initial credit of $ 300, including the Washington State received $ 50 million last summer. The current allocation includes $ 30 million for all federally recognized tribes in the coastal states and the Great Lakes and $ 15 million for the Great Lakes states.
“We are delighted to be able to begin the process to provide another round of relief funds distributed to support members of the commercial seafood, charter and shellfish aquaculture industry here in Washington State.” Said Ron Warren, director of fisheries policy for the WDFW. “We applaud our federal leaders for tirelessly advocating for this funding. As we craft a fair and balanced plan to distribute this funding, it is critical that we hear from those members of the industry most affected by the pandemic.
In coordination with the Governor’s Office, WDFW will work with the State Departments of Agriculture and Commerce to develop criteria for receiving financial assistance based on guidelines from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Once developed, Washington will submit its plan to the NOAA Fisheries for approval and then to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to handle the application process and distribute the funds.
To learn more and provide feedback, industry members are invited to tune into a public meeting online from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8: https://zoom.us/j/ 96045781724
For more information on how to participate and to find call details, visit wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/commercial/federation-disaster-assistance/cares-act. The meeting will be recorded and posted online so that people can also watch the meetings afterwards at their convenience.