CARES Act Relief Funding for Fishery-related Businesses

The state of Delaware has received relief funding from the federal government to distribute to eligible fishery-related businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Contact Us

DNREC Fisheries Section
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Approved Spending Plan Self-certification Affidavit

Delaware was awarded $992,000 of CARES Act funds in 2020 to distribute to eligible fishery-related businesses that experienced a net revenue loss of more than 35% in 2020 due to the pandemic. Funding will be distributed based on Delaware’s Spending Plan approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service.

Delaware will receive additional funding for fishery-related businesses from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.

The loss must be calculated as net revenue loss for the COVID-19 impact period (March 1 through Dec. 31, 2020) compared to the applicant’s historical average net revenue.

The maximum amount of funding distributed to an individual fishery-related business will depend on the number of applicants and the amount requested by each applicant relative to total available funding.

Applications for CARES Act COVID-19 funding are being accepted by the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife from March 22, 2021 through May 5, 2021.


Fishing BoatsThe relief funds are available to saltwater fishery-related businesses that have incurred net revenue losses greater than 35% during the COVID-19 impact period compared to their average net revenue for the prior five full years (2015 through 2019).

If the fishery-related business was in operation for less than the specified five years, the average net revenue for the number of years that a business operated through 2019 may be used, but the business must have operated for at least one full year during 2015 through 2019.

The fishery-related business did not need to operate during the entire COVID-19 impact period in 2020 but must have operated for at least 28 consecutive days during the impact period.

The fishery-related business owner/licensee must be at least 18 years old.

Non-resident owners/licensees of a Delaware fishery-related business must be a resident in a state that did not receive CARES Act Section 12005 assistance.

Net revenue is income minus direct expenses. For commercial fishing, net revenue is calculated for all fishing licenses/permits combined, not by individual fishery.

Eligible Saltwater Fishery-related Businesses

  • Commercial Fishing
  • Shellfish Aquaculture
  • For-hire Recreational Fishing (includes charter and head boats)
  • Bait and Tackle Shops (revenue must come from the sale of saltwater bait and tackle, and 75% of the shop’s revenue most come from those sources)
  • Seafood Processors
  • Seafood Dealers

Applying for CARES Act Funds

Download and complete the self-certification affidavit and return it to DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Section, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901 or by email to

Applicants can call 302-739-9914 to receive the affidavit by mail.

Completed affidavits must be received or postmarked by 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on May 5, 2021.

Applicants do not need to submit financial documentation with the application. However, all applications are subject to audit by NOAA Fisheries or other state and federal entities.

Applicants will be informed of their eligibility within 30 days of receipt of a complete application.

Allow up to 30 days to receive payment for an approved application.