Close Facebook
Twitter Instagram Youtube

March 21, 2022

Contact: Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795


(22/P013) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Marine Fisheries Administration is receiving $826,807 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Seafood Processors Pandemic Response and Safety Block Grant Program to create the NJ Seafood Processor COVID-19 Assistance Program, Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced today.

The DEP’s Marine Fisheries Administration is partnering with New Jersey’s Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture to provide reimbursements for eligible COVID-19 expenses incurred by New Jersey’ seafood processors, including processing vessels and dealers, between Jan. 27, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021.

“New Jersey’s fishing industry is a mainstay of our culture and economy, and many of these important businesses—including seafood processors—were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Commissioner LaTourette said. “DEP is proud to partner with the industry to ensure that this new funding goes a long way in helping seafood processors recover from operational challenges, continue business and be even more resilient and successful in the future.”

Eligible activities for reimbursement include:

  • Workplace safety measures;
  • Retrofit of facilities for worker and consumer safety;
  • Market pivots;
  • Medical costs associated with providing or purchasing COVID-19 testing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused seafood businesses to take extra measures to ensure the safety of their employees and customers,” New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher said. “With these funds becoming available, we encourage those who are eligible to apply to receive financial compensation for their efforts.”

Applicants eligible for reimbursement must have held all required valid licenses and permits to operate as a seafood processor and/or dealer within the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service required timeframe. Neither cost sharing nor matching funds are required.

An at-sea processor is a vessel or other floating platform that can move from one location to another either in state waters or waters in an exclusive economic zone and receives and processes fish. A dealer is the first entity to purchase and receive fish before selling directly to restaurants, markets, other dealers, processors or consumers.

“Seafood processors took action to protect consumers and workers during the pandemic and these grants are important for them to recover some of those costs,” said New Jersey Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

The application period for the New Jersey Seafood Processor COVID-19 Assistance Program will open this spring. The date will be announced here. A list of Frequently Asked Questions is also available at the link.
Sign up for the Marine Fisheries Grants and Assistance email list here.

Email questions to or call (609) 748-2020.

Follow Commissioner LaTourette on Twitter and Instagram @shawnlatur and follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP, Facebook @newjerseydep, Instagram @nj.dep and LinkedIn @newjerseydep