COVID-19: Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund launches on June 22, 2020


The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will soon accept applications for the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) in Atlantic Canada. ACOA has been allocated a total of $38.1 million in funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to support fish and seafood processors in the region.

The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund
On April 25, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, a $62.5 million initiative to help fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Western Canada adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, such as market instability and compliance with new safety guidelines, and to effectively deal with inventory.

Bolstering the processing sector will be vital to supporting fish and seafood harvesters and ensuring our food supply chain remains open. The CSSF will help fish and seafood processors retain employees and put in place health and safety measures to help ensure they are protected, such as reusable protective equipment. It will increase plant capacity to process, store, package, and distribute healthy, high-quality products, and to adapt processes and marketing to suit changing consumer demands.

Support for fish and seafood processors
Through the CSSF, indigenous and non-indigenous fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Western Canada will obtain funds for the following activities:

  • Increase storage capacity to more effectively deal with raw materials and manage inventory;
  • Adopt new equipment to keep workers safe, such as reusable protective equipment, while also increasing the value-add of their products, updating packaging and increasing their business’ productivity; and
  • Develop new products or adapt existing products to respond to new market demands and conduct market development and entry activities, including viable transportation solutions.

Regional Development Agencies will deliver funds from Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) work on-the-ground with local small and medium-sized businesses. They understand their region’s economic needs and economic reality. That is why Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada to deliver quick support to this key sector.

The breakdown of the CSSF is based on the size of the fish, seafood and aquaculture processing industry in each region. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Atlantic provinces – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA): $38,140,000
  • Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED): $9,142,000
  • Western Canada – Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD): $9,018,000

Fisheries and Oceans Canada will retain $6.2 million to respond to emerging industry pressures related to COVID-19, including for example, providing additional funding in regions where there is a high demand for support.  

Application details
Fish, seafood, and aquaculture processing businesses, as well as not-for-profit organizations that support the sector in Atlantic Canada will soon be able to apply through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to assist with investment projects that meet the objectives of the CSSF. We recognize that many processors have already made significant investments to address the challenges of COVID-19, and therefore eligible costs will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.

All potential applicants are encouraged to consult the ACOA website for more information on the CSSF prior to submitting an application, and contact ACOA by telephone with any additional questions.

ACOA will accept applications as of June 22, 2020. Each application will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is fully committed. For more information, including details on how to apply, please visit the ACOA website.

Eligible applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a business located in Atlantic Canada;
  • Be a federally or provincially licensed or registered processor of wild capture or aquaculture products;
  • Were a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations; and
  • Can demonstrate that their business currently meets health and safety requirements.
  • Be a not-for-profit organization that supports the fish, seafood and aquaculture processing industry in Atlantic Canada.

Please consult the ACOA website for more information on how the CSSF will be delivered in Atlantic Canada.

For more information about other emergency support offered by ACOA and the Government of Canada, please visit the ACOA COVID-19 response page.


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Cathy Thériault
Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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