This page, Commercial Harvest CARES Act Fisheries Relief, is offered by

Commercial Harvest CARES Act Fisheries Relief

Commercial fishermen can check this page for application status and other updates related to Sec. 12005 of the CARES Act.

To check on the status of your application, please click on the link below:

Commercial Harvester Application Status for CARES Act Fisheries Relief

Status: The Commercial CARES Act Fisheries Relief Program has ended and the participant list has been finalized. Checks were mailed on November 10, 2020, to those eligible to receive relief funds. These applications were mailed to all Commercial permit holders on September 9, 2020; and all applications and appeals were due October 10, 2020. 

• ASMFC mailed 1099 forms to recipients on February 24, 2021.
• For 2020, if you have been made 'more than whole' by this relief payment, please see guidance to return relief funds: MA CARES Act Fisheries Relief Payment Return
• Relief payments received from the Seafood Tariff Relief Program do not count toward the 'make more than whole' equation

Program Overview

Basic Program Eligibility
Must hold a current (2020) Massachusetts Commercial Fishing permit as of July 31, 2020.
2. Must have suffered 35% gross revenue loss during March 10–July 31, 2020, caused by COVID-19 relative to the previous 5-year average.
3. Must have had landings during period of March 10 – July 31 in any calendar year from 2017 – 2019.
4. Must meet a minimum of $15,000 fishing ex-vessel income in any calendar year from 2017 - 2019.
5. Must be 18 years of age or older as of July 31, 2020.
6. Must be in good standing with the State and Federal Government.
7. Must be a Massachusetts resident and not be receiving CARES Act Sec. 12005 commercial fishing aid from another state. A non-resident who does not hold a commercial fishing permit in another state may be eligible in Massachusetts.
8. Assistance from this program, other forms of COVID-19 pandemic related relief, and traditional revenue must not make the applicant more than whole. The determination of “made more than whole” will include the calendar year and be based on a comparison to the average annual revenue earned across the previous 5-year period.

Tiering & Payment Share: 
Eligible participants were placed into one (1) of six (6) tiers based on their highest annual commercial fishing revenue during 2017-2019 using SAFIS dealer data.
• Applicants were able to appeal their assigned tier, providing acceptable documentation for a revised revenue calculation.
• Payment shares were scaled by tier. Tier 1 received 1 share per eligible permit, Tier 2 received 2 shares per eligible permit and so on.

Tier Annual Revenue Payment Amount
0 <$15,000 $0
1 $15,000 - $31,341 $6,359.58
2 >$31,341 - $69,997 $12,719.16
3 >$69,997 - $116,326 $19,078.74
4 >$116,326 - $221,929 $25,438.32
5 >$221,929 - $583,832 $31,797.90
6 >$583,832 $38,157.48

• Since all applications have been qualified and appeals resolved, the number of permit holders in each tier have been determined, the total number of shares calculated, and the payment per eligible permit holder is set.

Accessing your catch data


Please see the Massachusetts CARES Act Fisheries Relief FAQ Sheet for answers to eligibility and application related questions. If you have any questions about this commercial fishing relief program, please email us at and put COMMERCIAL in the subject line.