CARES Act round two money now available for inshore fishers

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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – Anglers who want help with COVID-related losses in 2020 can now apply. The Department of Marine Resources on Wednesday opened a web portal for the second phase of the CARES Act relief.

The first round of CARES relief funds only applied to COVID-related business losses from January to June 2020. However, the second round applies to both this period and to losses incurred from July to December 2020.

“Fishermen will have to show a loss of 35% to be eligible. this goes for any candidate, whether you are a commercial fisherman, charter fisherman or seafood processor/trader,” said Ryan Bradley, director of Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United.

This loss must be demonstrated, compared to the average of the previous five years. All anglers who did not apply for the first round can now apply for any loss in 2020.

“Biologically, (2020) was a pretty good season as far as shrimp and crab go,” said Vancleave commercial fisherman Frank Parker. “But economically we’ve been hit hard because all the major processors have been shut down with all the restrictions and things like that.

“We were able to catch our product, but we couldn’t sell it.”

In addition to suffering COVID-related losses in 2020, fishermen in southern Mississippi have also suffered this year.

“I think anglers are very excited to see some of this funding finally arrive,” Bradley said. “I think anglers have struggled this year.”

Parker said he received the money in the first round and also plans to request funds in the second round. The paltry display of his crab pots on Wednesday buoyed him up.

“I know it was a long and tedious process to get it for the second time. You know it took a long time to get it awarded and it happened,” Parker said. Couldn’t come at a better time Our season this year has been horrible with shrimp and crab just with the amount of rain we’ve had, not necessarily COVID related.

Those who did not receive all the relief requested in the first round will automatically be included for the January-June period, but will need to re-apply for the July-December relief.

“Any funding provided to fishers is greatly appreciated,” Bradley said. “I know our men and women who work hard on the water will be very grateful for this funding. It’s a grant, not a loan, and I hope as many fishers as possible can take advantage of it.

The first round of CARES funds distributed $1.43 million to 223 people in southern Mississippi. the second round has 3 million.

The deadline to apply for funds is November 19 at 11:59 p.m. If you would like to apply, click here.

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