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Friday, March 18, 2022

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.1 Million in Federal Funds for Massachusetts Seafood Processing Industry

 Baker-Polito Administration Announces $1.1 Million in Federal Funds for Massachusetts Seafood Processing Industry

 

BOSTON- The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program (SPRS) has made $1.1 million available to Massachusetts’ seafood processors and wholesale dealers for expenses related to Covid-19. The program, which is administered by the Department of Fish and Game’s (DF) Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), will reimburse eligible seafood processors and wholesale dealers permitted to operate in the Commonwealth.

 

“The Baker-Polito Administration looks forward to working with industry partners in developing the application process to make it seamless for seafood processors to apply and receive these critical funds in a timely fashion,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “The Division of Marine Fisheries has done a great job with the administration of two rounds of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding, and we look forward to assisting our seafood processing industry with this latest round of federal funding.”

 

The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) plans to distribute approximately $1.1 million to eligible seafood processors to reimburse for costs in the following categories: workplace safety measures, market pivots, retrofitting facilities, transportation, worker housing, and medical services. Eligible applicants must have held a Massachusetts Wholesale Seafood Dealer Permit in 2020 or 2021, must be endorsed for processing activities, and must have records of eligible expenses incurred between January 27, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

 

“The Covid-19 pandemic seriously impacted Massachusetts’ commercial seafood industry, particularly during times when consumers were not eating out in restaurants,” said Division of Marine Fisheries Director Dan McKiernan. “We were happy to coordinate the distribution of more than $50 million in federal CARES Act funds to commercial fishermen, aquaculture operations, the for-hire fishing sector, and seafood processors and wholesale dealers. This additional funding will help the industry with unexpected costs related to the pandemic.”

 

In the coming weeks, DMF will develop an application for this program in coordination with industry partners. DMF will then mail applications to all potentially eligible permit holders and work with applicants throughout the application period to ensure that eligible beneficiaries provide the required documentation to receive payment through this block grant program.

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