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NJ Fisheries Disaster Aid Information


The Expression of Interest Application Period Closed October 31, 2014

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife facilitated application for Fisheries Disaster Direct Assistance Grants for individuals and businesses in New Jersey's fishing industries that have documented uninsured losses as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Approximately $2.1 million in federal funding has been approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for New Jersey as part of a federal fishery disaster that was determined by the U.S. Department of Commerce for the states of New Jersey and New York.

The first step in the Fisheries Disaster Aid process was the completion of an Expression of Interest pre-application. Expression of Interest pre-applications were accepted from October 1, 2014 until October 31, 2014 from individuals and/or businesses in six fishing-related sectors: bait and tackle shops, commercial dealers, commercial fishermen, for-hire (party and charter) operations, marinas and shellfish/aquaculture.

The Expression of Interest pre-application must have been completed to be considered for any direct assistance.

The following guidelines applied to all applicants:

  • Documented proof of a minimum of $5,000 of eligible uncompensated losses;
  • Have eligible unmet needs after accounting for all Federal/State, local and/or private sources of disaster-related assistance including, but not limited to, flood insurance proceeds, reimbursement from FEMA, other state and federal grant programs;
  • Submit a completed application with all required paperwork within the 30-day application period(s);
  • Applicant must have been operating in New Jersey as of the date of the storm;
  • All for-hire applicants must have been registered with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program as a for-hire operation in 2012;
  • All commercial fishermen must have had a valid 2012 commercial fishing license issued by the Division of Fish and Wildlife;
  • All commercial dealers must show valid documentation of commercial landings and sales from 2012 at the operation seeking direct assistance;
  • All shellfish and shellfish aquaculture operations must have had a valid 2012 commercial shellfish license or other appropriate license (ex. commercial shellfish dealer, valid shellfish lease);
  • Other fishing related businesses serving the fishing industry (marinas, bait and tackle shops) must provide affidavit that business is related to fishing industry.

Eligible Losses:

  • A loss suffered with respect to damage resulting from Superstorm Sandy where there remains an unmet need for repair or replacement.
  • Activities already undertaken (i.e. out-of-pocket expenses) as part of an individual's or business's recovery effort may also be eligible for reimbursement.
  • Examples of eligible losses include, but are not limited to:
        * Lost/damaged fishing gear
        * Lost/damaged/ruined product (ex. marketable fish, bait, tackle)
        * Replacement/repair of equipment (ex. freezers, forklift, vessels, storage units)
        * Replacement/repair of infrastructure (ex. bulkheads, facilities, electricity, office space)
        * Lost revenue/income in November and December when compared to previous two years documented income
  • No duplication of benefits

Fisheries Disaster Process/Timeline:

  • Submission of Expression of Interest Pre-Application
  • Expression of Interest application review and initial qualification determination
  • Submission of supporting and additional documentation; Documentation includes:
        * Verification in business/operation at time of storm
        * Documentation of at least $5,000 in losses
        * Documentation of all losses
        * Documentation of any reimbursement claims
        * Verification of information submitted
        * W-9 form
  • Review of all submitted materials
  • Final qualification determination and grant award amount
  • Processing for payment


Please use the following methods to contact a grant administrator who will assist with any questions:

609-292-1057 - Commercial Fishermen and Shellfish/Aquaculture
609-292-1055 - Commercial Fishermen and Commercial Dealers
609-292-9942 - Bait and Tackle and Marinas
609-984-0232 - Bait and Tackle and For-Hire

E-mail: - all sectors


Expression of Interest Announcement Letter (pdf, 85kb)
NJ Grant Proposal (approved by NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service) (pdf, 125kb)
Summary of New Jersey's Fishing Industry Losses and Impacts Due to Hurricane Sandy (pdf, 500kb)
Hurricane Sandy Fisheries Disaster Information (November/December 2012 announcement)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: June 10, 2015