Aquaculture CARES Act Fisheries Relief

Aquaculture businesses can check this page for application status and other updates related to CARES Act Fisheries Relief.

Round Two funding for Aquaculture businesses

Round Two applicant list and application status: Round Two Aquaculture CARES Act Fisheries Relief Application Status

Program Overview: 
The Round Two CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program is now closed. ASMFC mailed payments to eligible recipients on October 7, 2021.

Basic Program Eligibility:
1. Must have held a 2020 Massachusetts Shellfish Propagation or Aquaculture permit.

2. Must have commercial sales connected to your propagation or aquaculture permit in either 2017, 2018, or 2019.
3. Must have suffered greater than 35% gross revenue loss under this permit during March 15-June 30, 2020, OR March 15-October 31, 2020, caused by COVID-19 relative to the previous 5-year average during the same timeframe. If you qualified in Round One for a payment, you did not need to recalculate a greater than 35% loss for Round Two, however you did need to fill out a Round Two application to ensure proper payment.
4. Must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application.
5. Must be in good standing with the State and Federal Government.
6. Must be a Massachusetts resident. 
7. Assistance from this and other COVID-related relief must not make the applicant “more than whole” regarding their 2020 revenue. Your 2020 aquaculture revenue under this permit combined with applicable federal COVID-related relief cannot exceed your typical annual aquaculture revenue under this permit based on the prior five years’ average.

Tiering & Payment Share:
• Eligible participants were tiered by maximum reported ex‐vessel income as reported by Primary Buyer(s) to SAFIS for the three‐year period, 2017 to 2019. See below for the defined shares and tiers according to ex-vessel income. Ex‐vessel income is defined as revenues for the first sale of legal‐sized cultured shellfish or other cultured product to a primary buyer. Any null reported prices by primary buyers were replaced with annual averages for the reported species/market/grade/unit of measure during calculations of ex‐vessel income.
• All aquaculture activity occurring on any commercial permit that could be associated directly to the shellfish propagation or aquaculture permit is included in the maximum income by year calculation.
• Aquaculture commercial activity that occurred on a permit associated to the same individual/corporate name as a shellfish propagation and/or aquaculture permit was granted solely to that propagation permit holder. Any employee landings that had more than one parent permit had landings split evenly among the parent permits. Additionally, other commercial permits that could be linked to propagation permitholders were included.
• If you were found eligible in Round One, you were pre-qualified for Round Two under the same tier.
Round Two recipients received their assigned share unless that amount made them “more than whole”. In this case, you received your “maximum payment value”, as identified during the application process.  
• T
he total number of shares was calculated after applications from all four sectors (Seafood Processing, For-hire, Aquaculture, and Commercial) were qualified and appeals resolved. The Aquaculture shares are shown below.



Tier Minimum

Tier Maximum




> $0





> $7,500





> $49,286





> $91,071





> $132,857





> $174,643





> $216,429





> $258,214





> $300,000



Additional Resources for


If you have any questions about this aquaculture relief program, please email us at