Gov. Ralph DLG Torres announced yesterday that assistance for the CNMI’s fishing community should be ready for pick up this afternoon, Friday.
According to Epiphanio E. Cabrera Jr., administrator of the Office of Grants Management and State Clearinghouse, the awards arrived the morning of Oct. 14, 2021. The CNMI Fishermen Relief Program was made possible through funding assistance received from CARES Act (Section 12005), which provided assistance to tribal, subsistence, commercial, and charter fishery participants affected by the novel coronavirus.
Within the CNMI, there were a total 1,205 applicants to the fisheries program. Of the said total, there are a total of 1,180 awards to the CNMI under the subsistence and commercial programs—1,153 of 1,172 subsistence applications and 27 of 33 commercial applicants.
When asked just how much assistance each applicant received, Cabrera said each subsistence applicant was to receive a one-time payment of $755.68.
“Commercial applicant awards are based on figures provided by the business that reflected actual loss. Award disbursements were based on a formula put together by the CNMI Division of Fish & Wildlife and approved by the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission. The CNMI received an appropriation of $1 million to the program of which $871,299.04 was distributed among subsistence fishermen and $97,919.09 to commercial applicants. The remaining funds went to administrative fees on both state and commission levels,” said Cabrera.
Applicants are being asked to visit their local post office for their awards starting this Friday afternoon. Tinian and Rota awards may take additional days for distribution due to transit times to the islands.
“We would like to thank the public’s patience and understanding throughout the past few months and also reminds the CNMI fisheries community of a second round of Fisheries Relief Assistance that will be coordinated through the Department of Lands and Natural Resources’ Division of Fish and Wildlife. Special recognition and appreciation to the Office of Grants Management led by administrator Epi Cabrera and his hardworking team for leading this initiative,” said Torres.
All concerns and inquiries regarding the distributed awards should be addressed to:
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
205 SE Spokane St, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97202-6487 (PR)