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Hurricane Irma Fisheries Disaster Funding

May 8, 2020 - CARES Act

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce recently announced the allocation of $300 million in fisheries assistance funding to go to states, Tribes, and territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID–19. This funding will be provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act (Sec. 12005). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is actively working to provide additional information about this program to the public by developing a CARES Act web page. Additionally, you may email us your CARES Act questions by clicking the link below. Until FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management’s (DMFM) CARES Act website is operational, you may find additional CARES Act information by visiting the websites listed below.

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that as of April 10, 2020, FWC has already distributed approximately $19 million dollars in relief funding to individuals and businesses that were adversely affected by Hurricane Irma.


It is imperative that your contact information is current and up to date in our online CLS system as this is where we get the information used for mail outs, including relief applications and payments. If your information is not current you may be missing out on important information and/or opportunities.

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Governor Walking

Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017, and continued a northward track, leaving a trail of destruction across Florida. Damages to vessels and businesses due to this storm exceeded $93 million and reported revenue losses were nearly $130 million.

In June 2018, NOAA Fisheries allocated $44,563,431 to respond to the 2017 Hurricane Irma Disaster for Florida and to provide relief for businesses that rely on Florida’s commercial and recreational fishing industry.

Ten projects are being funded under this grant. They include:

  1. Lobster Trap Replacement
  2. Direct Payouts to Commercial Fishers
  3. Redundant Power Supplies for Wholesale Dealers.
  4. Improvement or Uninsured Repair to Wholesale Dealers.
  5. Direct Payouts to Wholesale Dealers
  6. Direct Payout to Charter Businesses
  7. Coastal Habitat Restoration
  8. Marine Debris Recovery
  9. Florida Marine Fisheries Infrastructure Recovery Grant Program
  10. Coral Rescue, Spawning, Larval Propagation, and Brooding.

Wholesale Dealer (WD) and Saltwater Product License (SPL) Applications

Due Date:  May 16, 2020

If you operate a Wholesale Distributor (WD) business and/or are an SPL license holder in one of the counties determined to be eligible for disaster assistance and did not receive a WD and/or SPL application, or have other Hurricane Irma Disaster Recovery questions or concerns, please email us at

In the email, please include:

  • your name;
  • WD and/or SPL license number; and
  • Telephone number where you may be reached.


Charter License holder Applications

Due Date:  May 23, 2020

If you did not receive an Irma Relief Charter License Application, or have other Hurricane Irma Disaster Recovery questions or concerns, please email us at

In the email, please include:

  • your name;
  • license type and number(s); and
  • Telephone number where you may be reached.

You may also contact the Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554.