A lobsterman moves traps at the stern of a boat while fishing, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, off Portland, Maine. The pandemic has posed significant challenges for the state's lobster fishery, which is the nation's largest, but members of the industry reported a steady catch and reasonable prices at the docks. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

PORTLAND, Maine — More than 2,000 Maine fishermen are expected to receive federal coronavirus aid before the end of the year, the state’s top fisheries officials said Tuesday.

The state received 2,700 applications for the aid, which will total $19 million, Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher said. Some 2,100 will receive direct payouts before Jan. 1, he said.

The remaining 600 applicants are still in the auditing process, Keliher said. The aid was made available for commercial fishermen, aquaculturists, fishing charter operators and seafood dealers and processors who suffered losses due to the pandemic.

The pandemic has disrupted the seafood industry, which is one of the most important sectors of Maine’s economy. The state is America’s largest producer of lobsters.