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CARES Act Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many important parts of Louisiana’s economy, including fisheries. Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provides $300 million in funding to assist hard-hit fisheries in states and territories. Louisiana received $14.8 million in assistance—the eighth largest amount received by states and territories receiving funding. Louisiana has chosen to address fisheries economic losses through direct payments to eligible applicants. Funds will be provided to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission which will work with LDWF to distribute these funds.


Program Eligibility

To be eligible for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Resident of Louisiana, or if a business, domiciled in Louisiana
  • Participated in the saltwater fishing industry in 2018 or 2019 in one of the following sectors (see program guidelines for specific requirements):
    • Commercial fisherman
    • Owner of a commercial fishing vessel
    • Seafood dock
    • Seafood processor
    • Seafood broker/dealer (purchases and sells seafood but is not a dock or a processor)
    • Aquaculture operation (marine or saltwater species)
    • For-hire/charter captain
    • Federally recognized Native American tribe
  • If you are required by law to hold an LDWF license or permit to operate, you must possess the appropriate 2020 LDWF resident license or permit.
  • Experienced at least a 35% loss in revenue for 2020 (see program guidelines for specific requirements)
  • At least 18 years old
  • Businesses must be registered and in good standing with the Louisiana Secretary of State.

Additional Resources


Apply for the Program

Applications open: 8 am on September 14, 2020

Applications close: 11:59 pm on November 23, 2020


Funding allocation has been structured so that ALL applications submitted before the deadline will be considered. LDWF is aware that many individuals wishing to apply for this program may have been adversely impacted by Hurricane Laura. LDWF will continually assess the application process and make adjustments as necessary.

Please review the official program guidelines before applying for the program.

You must complete and submit an application, along with any additional required documents. If you are not required by law to hold an LDWF license or permit to operate, you must provide proof that your business was active in 2020.

Application Instructions

View instructional videos on how to complete your application below.

Commercial Fishermen

Wholesale Dealers

Charter Captains


For general questions, please contact LDWF at 855.262.1764 or 225.765.3980.
For language assistance or assistance submitting an application, please contact the South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) at 800.630.3791.