COVID Relief Funding for Saltwater Fishery-Related Businesses

Delaware has received nearly $3 million in relief funding from the federal government to distribute to eligible saltwater fishery-related businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Applications for relief funds were accepted through March 17, 2022.

Contact Us

DNREC Fisheries Section
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Delaware Spending Plan

Delaware was awarded $2,959,612 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAPA). The funds are to be distributed, based on Delaware’s Spending Plan, approved by the National Marine Fisheries Service, to eligible saltwater fishery-related businesses that experienced a net revenue loss of more than 35% in 2020 due to the pandemic and were not “made whole” by the CARES Act Section 12005 or other CARES Act assistance they received.

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 CAPA COVID-19 funding may be submitted to the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife through March 17, 2022.


Fishing BoatsRelief 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).

An applicant cannot be made “more than whole” when combining the amount of financial assistance received from CARES Act Section 12005, other programs in the CARES Act (e.g., Payment Protection Program), and an applicant’s traditional revenue stream for the year 2020.

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, were not “made whole” by the CARES Act Section 12005 or other CARES Act assistance they received, and have a Delaware business license, commercial fishing license, or aquaculture lease operating in Delaware.

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