CARES Act Assistance
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many important parts of Louisiana’s economy, including fisheries. As a result of the pandemic, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CARES 2.0) providing $255 million in funding to assist hard-hit fisheries in states and territories. Louisiana received $12.4 million in assistance that will be available to Louisiana fishermen and others in the industry who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana has chosen to assist with those economic losses through direct payments to qualifying participants. Funds will be provided to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission which will work with LDWF to distribute these funds.
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
- If you are required by law to hold an LDWF license or permit to operate, you must possess the appropriate 2021 LDWF resident license or permit.
- Experienced a greater than 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.
- LDWF Certified Commercial Fisherman Form
- LDWF Certified Charter Boat Fishing Guide Form
- Louisiana Department of Revenue Sales Tax Exemption Application
- W-9 Form
- Board Resolution Form
- CARES Act Legislation
- LDWF CARES Act Application and Spending Plan (submitted to NOAA)
Apply for the Program
Funding allocation has been structured so that ALL applications submitted before the deadline will be considered. Application processing time is approximately six weeks. Processed applications are then submitted to the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission for payment upon completion of the program.
The following documents may be needed to apply for this program. We recommend that you gather these documents prior to starting an application.
- Copy of photo ID
- The last 6 years (2015-2020) of tax return forms. Form 1040/Schedule C, Form 1120, Form 1120-S, or Form 1065 will be required. Additional forms, tax receipts, revenue records, etc. may be needed during the application process.
- Applicants who entered the fishery less than 5 years ago or applicants who have not yet filed taxes in certain years will be allowed to indicate such on the application.
- Applicants who reside in Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, St. Mary, or Vermillion parishes will be allowed to forgo submitting their tax information due to the impacts of Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
- Applicants who already submitted their tax documentation during the original application process will not be required to re-submit.
- For applicants not required to have a LDWF license or permit, proof that the business is active in 2021 is necessary. Examples of acceptable documentation include municipal permits, occupational licenses, quarterly tax payment records, sales or financial reports, and payroll reports.
- For applicants not required to submit LDWF trip tickets, proof of business activity in 2018 or 2019 is necessary. Examples of acceptable documentation include municipal permits, sales or financial reports, and payroll reports.
- Applicants who already submitted their proof of business documentation during the original application process will not be required to re-submit.
- W-9 Form
- New certified fisherman/charter captain forms
Previous CARES Program Applicants
Individuals who applied for the first round of CARES Act payments will be required to apply again but will not need to submit 2015-2019 tax information or the certified fisherman form if those documents were submitted and accepted during the first round.