The Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) is working collaboratively with NOAA Fisheries to distribute the funds appropriated by Congress for various fishery disasters. Currently, NOAA Fisheries has requested the three interstate commissions administer the fishery disaster programs.

Update September 14, 2020 - The Alabama Marine Resources Division is now accepting applications for CARES Act funds to assist in the recovery efforts of Alabama’s seafood-related businesses such as commercial fishing, processing, marine aquaculture, and charter for-hire. The funding is available for financial damages incurred from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Please go to to learn more about the Alabama program and to fill out an application.

UPDATE: September 8, 2020 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) CARES Act Plan has been approved. LDWF will start accepting applications on September 14, 2020 and the application process will close on October 26, 2020. Please go to for more information on the LDWF program and to apply online.

UPDATE: May 13, 2020 - The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act identified $300 million for fisheries and aquaculture. The GSMFC has been notified by the Department of Commerce that they will be assisting fishery participants affected by COVID-19 in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The state of Florida will be working with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). For information about the ASMFC plans, please click on the following link: (

For Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the individual state agencies will develop their own spend plans consistent with the CARES Act and NOAA Fisheries’ guidance and the GSMFC will administer the distribution according to the states’ spend plans. All spend plans must describe the main categories for funding, including direct payments, fishery-related infrastructure, and fishery-related education that address direct and indirect COVID-19 impacts to commercial fishermen, charter businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, subsistence/cultural/ceremonial users, processors, and other fishery-related businesses. Once a spend plan has been approved by NOAA Fisheries, the GSMFC will process payments to eligible fishery participants on behalf of the states.

Fishery participants eligible for funding include Tribes, commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses. They should work with their state marine fisheries management agencies to understand the process for applying for these funds. Please note for the purposes of Sec. 12005 funding, businesses farther down the supply chain including vessel repair businesses, restaurants, or seafood retailers are not considered “fishery-related businesses.”

State Marine Resource Agencies & Primary Contacts

State Agency Contact
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Robin Riechers
Director Coastal Fisheries Division
LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
2000 Quail Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Richard Williams
225-765-0121 Ext. 1322
Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, MS 39530
Traci Floyd
Deputy Director, Marine Fisheries
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Marine Resources Division
P.O. Box 189
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
Scott Bannon
Florida Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

Additional Information


As details become available, we will update our website. If you have questions please e-mail Jeff Rester at

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  • Phone:
    (228) 875 5912
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  • Address:
    2404 Government Street
    Ocean Springs, MS 39564