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: Commercial applications were mailed on September 9, 2020, to the address on your DMF-issued permit. Returned applications and appeals must be postmarked no later than October 10, 2020. You can check the link above to see that you were mailed an application. This linked document will be also be updated as applications are received so that you can check the status of your application or appeal. If you are concerned you did not receive an application or that DMF has not received your returned application and/or appeal, please email and put COMMERCIAL APPLICATION in the subject field.

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 may appeal their assigned tier, providing acceptable documentation for a revised revenue calculation.
• Payment shares are scaled by tier. Tier 1 will receive 1 share per eligible permit, Tier 2 will receive 2 shares per eligible permit and so on:

Tier Annual Revenue Payment Share
0 <$15,000 0x
1 $15,000 - $31,341 1x
2 >$31,341 - $69,997 2x
3 >$69,997 - $116,326 3x
4 >$116,326 - $221,929 4x
5 >$221,929 - $583,832 5x
6 >$583,832 6x

• DMF cannot calculate exact individual payments until all applications and appeals are processed and a total number of qualified permit holders is available. DMF will update this page with payment amounts by tier once all recipients have been determined.

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.