USDA OK’s CARES Act funding for watermen in Maryland and Virginia
MARYLAND – Help is on the way for Watermen in Maryland and Virginia. The USDA recently approved them for access to CARES Act funding. The funding would apply to watermen who deal in oysters and clams.
Local watermen tell 47ABC this funding is greatly needed, as demand for fresh seafood declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s like any trade or industry. You make your living full time harvesting seafood, selling seafood, processing seafood. When that demand isn’t there the bills don’t just stop at the mailbox,” said Executive Director of the Maryland Oystermen’s Association Jim Mullin.
Mullin tells 47ABC the end of the oyster season was looking promising until COVID-19 hit. “A lot of guys lost out – and the ladies – in the last half of the month of oysters season. Just the bottom dropped out. It’s the same with the packers and the ones that are in the wholesale retail business,” said Mullin.
The approved funding comes under the umbrella of CARES Act money for farmers and ranchers. The deadline to apply is December 11th, 2020. To find more information on how you can apply for the CARES Act money, click here.