Ocean County, NJ - Calling all commercial and recreational fishing businesses who incurred losses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bait and Tackle shops, aquaculture businesses, recreational fishery businesses including for hire businesses can apply for a share of 11.2 million in aid.. About 30 million pounds of fish are brought into Ocean County ports each year, with a worth of more than $46 million annually. Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari announced today that online applications are immediately available on the state Department of Environmental Protection website at njdepsage.intelligrants.com. Those looking for more information can also be found on the Ocean County Government Webpage at www.co.ocean.nj.us. in the Coronavirus update box.

Again, eligible businesses include commercial fisheries, aquaculture businesses, processors, dealers, and recreational fishery businesses, including for-hire businesses as well as bait and tackle shops.

            To be eligible applicants must meet the following guidelines:

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  • Applicants must have experienced a greater than 35 percent loss in fishery-related revenues between March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, as compared to their 5-year average revenue for the same time period.
  • Individual applicants must be New Jersey residents and business applicants must be located in New Jersey.
  • Applicants must have been in business for at least one year prior to 2020.
  • Applicants will be required to provide a total estimate of revenue for the full year of 2020 and provide information on all Covid-19 related financial assistance that they are receiving.
  • Applicants must meet all mandatory licensing and permitting requirements for 2020.

“I want to thank Gov. Phil Murphy for making this money available to our fishing businesses,” Vicari said. “From Tuckerton to Point Pleasant Beach our fishing community has a long and prosperous history in Ocean County.” Since the pandemic began, fishing revenue in New Jersey is down about 35 percent, according to the DEP.

Applicants have 30 days to apply for a grant and the amounts awarded will be based in part on the total number of applications submitted.

Vicari advised qualified business and boat owners to get their applications in early.“All qualified commercial and recreational fishing business owners should submit an application immediately,” he said. “Please take advantage of this important program.”