This page, Seafood Processor CARES Act Fisheries Relief, is offered by

Seafood Processor CARES Act Fisheries Relief

Seafood Processors and Wholesale Dealers can check this page for application status and other updates related to Sec. 12005 of the CARES Act.

Please see the details of the program below. To check on the status of your application, please click on the link below:

Seafood Processor Application Status for CARES Act Fisheries Relief

Status: Applications were mailed to all 2020 Wholesale Dealer permit holders on August 21, 2020 and must be postmarked by September 12, 2020. The pre-application questionnaire was distributed by email and/or mail to all potential applicants and was due back to DMF by July 29, 2020. A list of application status by permit will be linked at the top of this page once applications are mailed.

Program Overview

Basic Program Eligibility

  1. Wholesale dealers and processors must hold a 2020 Wholesale Dealer permit and have held a 2019 Wholesale Dealer permit.
  2. Businesses must have suffered a documentable 35% or greater loss in revenue compared to the previous 5 year average due to Covid-19 impacts during the eligibility period (if one or more years are inactive, calculation of the average must be detailed). The eligibility period for losses is March 10, 2020 (Governor Baker’s State of Emergency declaration) through June 30, 2020.
  3. Assistance from this and other federal relief programs plus 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 revenue earned across the previous 5-year period.
  4. Wholesale dealers and processors are eligible to apply in the state(s) where their facilities are physically located.  
  5. Only seafood Wholesale and Processing activities will count toward eligibility criteria.
  6. Businesses must have average annual wholesale seafood sales of at least $100,000 over the past 5 years.
  7. At least 70% of total wholesale business revenue must be from wholesale seafood sales.

Tiering & Payment Share

  • Payments will be scaled to eligible recipients based on the number of employees. Businesses with multiple permitted wholesale seafood dealer locations operating under one Employer Identification Number (EIN) should apply once but payment will be scaled based on aggregate employee counts from all facilities.  
    • Pre-application questionnaires were distributed to all permitted Wholesale Dealers to collect data on employee counts and analysis of these data led DMF to define the following tiers.
      Tier Share Tier Minimum Tier Maximum
      1 1 >0  5
      2 2 >5 10
      3 3 >10 20
      4 4 >20 40
      5 5 >40 80
      6 6 >80 120
      7 7 >120 160
      8 8 >160 Maximum

  • Applicants will be able to appeal their assigned bins by providing documentation on employee counts.
  • Once all applications have been qualified and appeals resolved, the number of permit holders in each tier will be determined, the total number of shares can be calculated, and the payment per eligible permit holder set.
  • Once all payments have been established, if the relief amount will make your business “more than whole”, DMF will work with you to take a lesser amount so that you don’t have to forfeit payment all together.


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 seafood processor relief program, please email us at and put SEAFOOD PROCESSOR in the subject line.