CARES Act Funds Available for Fishery-Related Businesses

The working waterfront at Bowers Beach in Kent County


Application Period Will Be Open from March 22 Through May 5

Saltwater fishery-related businesses that suffered severe revenue declines in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for financial relief from March 22 through May 5, 2021. Delaware was awarded $992,013 in federal CARES Act funds to provide financial relief to eligible fishery-related businesses that experienced greater than 35% decline in net revenue during the March 1 through Dec. 31, 2020 COVID-19 impact period, compared to their historic average revenue.

Delaware saltwater fishery-related businesses eligible to apply for CARES Act funds are:

  • 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 dealers
  • Seafood processors

Eligible businesses applying to DNREC for CARES Act funding must complete an affidavit through which the applicant will self-certify the business’s revenue decline. An eligible business must demonstrate on the self-certification affidavit that its net revenue during the 2020 COVID-19 impact period decreased by more than 35% compared to the business’s average annual net revenue during 2015 through 2019. For businesses in operation less than five years, but for at least one full year during 2015 through 2019, the net revenue loss during the COVID-19 impact period will be compared to the business’s average annual net revenue for its year(s) of operation.

The maximum amount of CARES Act 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, with a minimum award of $100.

The application affidavit and additional CARES Act information are available at or by request from the DNREC Fisheries section within the Division of Fish and Wildlife, at 302-739-9914.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie,; Michael Globetti,