Fuel assistance for commercial fishermen will be available by application this winter, the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust announced in a press release this week.

The trust said the newly announced vessel/vehicle/fuel assistance fund aims to help fishermen who were unable to participate in the scallop, black sea bass and scup program that took place late this summer. Both programs are funded by the nonprofit Catch Together, an organization that invests capital to support fishermen and fishing communities around the country. The original amount of $250,000 has been increased to $391,000 “in recognition of the vast hardships that both Island fishermen and the community as a whole are facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the release said.

The sea bass program this summer allowed the trust to buy 40,000 pounds of bass and 2,500 pounds of scup from Island fishermen at a price slightly above market. The fish has been filleted and frozen and will be processed into stews and bisques and distributed to Island food organizations this winter, the trust said in the release.

Now fishermen can apply for fuel assistance online at www.mvfishermenspreservationtrust.org/resources-for-fishermen. To pick up an application in person, or for more information, contact Peter Lambos at blackseabassmv@gmail.com.