CARES Act funding plans approved for four states so far, each allocating funds differently


Third in terms of allocation value for approved states is Oregon, which has been allocated USD 15.9 million (EUR 13.4 million) of funding via the CARES Act. Of that total, USD 15.7 million (EUR 13.3 million) will be disbursed to eligible applicants.

In contrast to other states, Oregon has not established a set compensation amount for individual permit holders or fisheries. Instead, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has developed an “overarching approach” for the state’s spend plan.

All fishing businesses that have had losses of greater than 35 percent will document, through “affidavit and documentation,” both the relative and absolute dollar amount of lost revenue to the business due to COVID-19. Then, the absolute loss for all eligible applicants will be totaled – if the total exceeds the amount of funds available to the state, disbursements will be scaled relative to the proportion of funds available compared to the total claims.

“E.g., if available funds were 50 percent of total funds claimed, then disbursement would be limited to 50 percent of each claim,” Oregon’s plan states. “If total claims exceed available funds, a cap will be placed on the maximum disbursement allowed per applicant to help level disbursements, and disbursements re-scaled accordingly.”

In the event that funds actually exceed the amount of claims, then a second round of applications “may be solicited for a subsequent time period.”

Those eligible to apply for funds are commercial harvesters, commercial processors, mariculture operations, and recreational charter and guide businesses.

Harvesters are “limited to the commercial fishing vessel license holder for vessel-based harvesters or the commercial fishing license holder for non-vessel harvesters that do not also have a commercial fishing vessel license."

Processors are limited to those who purchase directly from commercial fishers and report on fish tickets to ODFW, or any non-reporting wholesale fish or bait dealers.

Mariculture operations must have either a shellfish grower, shellstock shipper, or shellfish shucker/packer certification from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and are not otherwise eligible for assistance under “1416 of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations for losses related to COVID-19.”

If the businesses are part of a broader business located elsewhere, only the Oregon-based component of the business may be claimed for Oregon funding.

Applicants must have a variety of documentation when requesting funding, including certification that the business is based in Oregon, relevant licenses and certification, identification of the timeframe used for losses in 2020 that are being compensated, gross revenues across all fisheries participated in, certification that revenue losses were greater than 35 percent, and more.

“PSMFC will notify applicants that did not meet Oregon’s eligibility requirements, or did not provide necessary certification and documentation, or whose claim exceeded supporting documentation,” the plan states. “These applicants will have one week to correct deficiencies for PSMFC review and final determination, after which all decisions will be final.”

Photo courtesy of Oregon Sea Grant


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