Cape May County Revolving Fishing Loan Program

The Cape May County Revolving Fishing Loan Program is the only program of its kind in New Jersey.

The Cape May County Revolving Fishing Loan Program provides low interest loans to the commercial and party boat fishing industry.  The purpose of the loan is to support the Cape May County fishing industry and generate and/or retain jobs and stimulate economic growth.  Under the direction of the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders, E Marie Hayes serves as the liaison and works with the Fishing Loan Committee to determine eligibility.

The Revolving Fishing Loan Program started in 1984 with a grant provided through the Small Cities Community Block Grant Program with oversight by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.  The Cape May County loan program has been extremely successful over the years and is the only program of its kind in New Jersey.  The seven member Revolving Fishing Loan Committee meet to review applications an make recommendations to fund projects.  As the loans are repaid the funds are returned to the program and available for new borrowers.

The success of the program lies with the stringent guidelines set by the Board of Chosen Freeholders and the experience and knowledge of the industry of the fishing loan committee.  Over the years more than $3 million in loans have been approved to support the Commercial and Recreational fishing industry.  The Cape Ports of Cape May/Wildwood are the largest is the state and represent nearly $90 million dollars in sales, creating jobs and supplying fresh seafood for the world. 


Who is eligible to participate?

Commercial fishing vessel owners, party and head boat owners, dock owners and processors, aqua-culturists and related support businesses with a knowledge of the fishing industry are eligible to apply.  Financial stability and strength of the project are key elements in the approval of funds.  The program is open to Cape May County residents or vessels that originate from Cape May County ports.

What type of projects are eligible?

Eligible projects include the purchase of vessels, equipment and repairs.  The purchase of land and building relative to the commercial and recreational fishing business. Also included is construction costs for expansion, rehabilitation/renovations and the purchase of fishing permits, licenses and/or certificates.  

The safety loan program allows for the purchase of U.S. Coast Guard required safety equipment.

How much money is available?

There are two loan programs that are available to those who have met the eligibility requirements.  The Revolving Fishing Loan Program will lend from $10,000 to $300,000 to owners who have met the credit requirements and have a project that will create or retain jobs in the fishing industry.

The Safety Loan Program will lend up to $10,000 per vessel with a limit of three vessels for the purchase of safety equipment.

What is the interest rate?

The interest rate had been set at 2% for both the Commercial and Party Boat Loans and the Safety Loans. 

What are the terms?

The maximum term for the Commercial and Party Boat Loans is 7 years.  The term for a Safety Loan is 5 years.  Late fees are assessed at 5% of the balance.  There are no penalties for early repayment.

Where do I apply?

Click here for a copy of the loan application.

You can deliver your loan application to the following address:

Cape May County Department of Tourism

Revolving Fishing Loan Program

4 Moore Road DN 135

Cape May Court House, New Jersey  08210

Participating Lending Institutions:

To insure the stability of the program, emphasis will be on loan packages involving shared participation with financial institutions and the revolving loan program.

Cape May County Revolving Loan Committee

Rodney Fox, Chairman

Charles Barto

Lisa Calvo

Eleanor Bochenek

Diane Wieland

Mike Monechetti, Alternate

Cape May County Revolving                 Fishing  Loan Program

Cape May County Board of County Commissioners
Gerald M. Thornton, Commissioner Director, Liaison

Contact:  Diane Wieland, Director

                609 463-6415


Fishing Fleet CM
Fishing Boats
party boat