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CARES Act grants $2.5 million for American Samoa fishermen

Congresswoman Amata and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
Sources: Media release from Cong. Aumua Amata's office

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed a $2,553,194 CARES Act grant for coronavirus relief for American Samoa’s fishermen.

The news is part of a national announcement by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross allocating $300 million in fisheries assistance. Congress provided this funding in Sec. 12005 of the CARES Act, to States, Tribes, and Territories with coastal and marine fishery participants who have been negatively affected by COVID–19.

“Thank you to our hardworking fishermen who provide fish to feed the country,” said Aumua Amata. “Food security is a very real part of national security. Our fishing industry is important, and challenged by interruptions and costs because of the pandemic. Thank you to President Trump and Secretary Ross for this assistance.”

NOAA announced the agency will use these allocations to make awards to address direct or indirect fishery-related losses as well as subsistence, cultural, or ceremonial impacts related to COVID-19.

Fishery participants eligible for funding—including Tribes, commercial fishing businesses, charter/for-hire fishing businesses, qualified aquaculture operations, processors, and other fishery-related businesses—should work with their state marine fisheries management agencies, Territories, or Tribe to understand the process for applying for these funds.  

More information will be posted on the Department of Commerce’s NOAA Fisheries COVID-19 Updates webpage soon.