Update on CARES Act funding for Hawai‘i’s commercial fishing industry

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) recently passed by Congress includes an allocation of $300 million for fisheries assistance. The funding is to states, including Hawai‘i, with coastal and marine resources.

DAR will receive Hawai‘i’s portion of the allocation through NOAA Fisheries. NOAA is currently in the process of working with a contractor to develop guidance for states to formulate spend plans. Such guidance has not yet been received by DAR, but is expected within weeks. Spend plans are to be developed and approved by NOAA by August, and DAR is in the process of refining its plan.

Q. How much CARES Act money will Hawai‘i receive?
A. Hawai‘i’s allocation is $4,337,445.

Q. Who is eligible?
A. Participants eligible for funding will include commercial fishing businesses, charter fishing operators, aquaculture operations, fish processors, and other fishery-related businesses.

Q. What’s the process moving forward?
A. DAR is in the process of talking with various stakeholder representatives and fishery managers to get input on the most equitable way to distribute funds. At the same time, DAR is gathering economic data on the various fishery sectors to inform this effort.

Q. What is the timeline for distributing payment?
A. It will likely be a month or more before applications are available.

This announcement will be updated as more information becomes available.