A total of $6.57M will be paid out to the commercial fisheries as financial assistance for the 2019 Mississippi Bonnet Carré Spillway Fisheries Disaster Recovery Program through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR).
Those commercial fishermen and seafood dealers who applied and were found eligible based on documented MDMR trip ticket landings from 2014- 2018 will receive an initial base payout.
The remaining funds will be used to reimburse fishermen up to a maximum amount (provided below) based off their documented losses through MDMR trip tickets as a result of the 2019 Bonnet Carré Spillway opening. From the award, nearly $6M will be distributed to commercial fishermen in a two-phase payment with the following specifications derived from MDMR trip tickets:
For those with oyster licenses and associated landings/tickets during the reference time period, a base payout of $15,000 dollars will be allocated due to the extensive and long-lasting impact of the oyster mortality associated with the spillway (118 individuals total).
For those with no oyster licenses, but valid licenses in other fisheries and associated landings/tickets in the reference period, a base payout of $7,500 dollars will be allocated (139 individuals total).
For those with losses that exceed the base payments associated with each group, fishermen will be reimbursed for losses up to $108,598.60 per applicant. These losses were derived using trip tickets from 2019 compared to the reference time period of 2014-2018 (85 individuals total). For those with no landings/tickets associated with their licenses in the reference period (2014-2018), only 2019 license fees will be reimbursed for each fisherman (29 individuals total).
The remaining funds of the award will be allocated for seafood dealers, off-bottom oyster aquaculture harvesters and licensed live-bait fisheries.
The distribution for these groups is as follows:
*$12,718.31 will be provided to dealers (31 individuals total)
*$18,774.65 will be provided to Off-Bottom Aquaculture (7 individuals total)
*$18,774.65 will be provided to Live-Bait Fishery (7 individuals total)
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes.
Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.