COVID-19: Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund opens on June 22, 2020, across Atlantic Canada

News release

Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund to open for applications on June 22

Fish and seafood processing businesses to get support from new Fisheries and Oceans Canada initiative

Moncton, New Brunswick, June 17, 2020 – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Fish and seafood processors play a vital role in the resilience of Canada’s food system and economy. They are at the heart of their communities, creating local jobs and buying products from Canadian fish and aquaculture harvesters. COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the sector, putting a significant financial burden on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they work to meet these challenges head-on.

That is why the Government of Canada has taken decisive action to support Canadians facing hardship as a result of the pandemic. The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF) is a $62.5 million fund that will help fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Western Canada get through the crisis and prepare for the economic recovery, so that their communities can continue to thrive.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, announced that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will accept applications from indigenous and non-indigenous fish, seafood and aquaculture processors wishing to access the fund as of June 22, 2020. ACOA will be delivering a total of $38.1 million in funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The CSSF will help fish and seafood processors put in place health and safety measures to help protect workers against COVID-19 and maintain Canadian jobs. 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. Bolstering the processing sector will be vital to supporting fish and seafood harvesters and strengthening Canada’s food supply chain. 

The CSSF is one part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing effort to support Canada’s fish and seafood sector, which has included over $500 million in investments this year through this Fund, the Fish Harvester Benefit and the Fish Harvester Grant.

More information on how to apply for the CSSF is available on ACOA’s website.


“Our fish and seafood sector feeds Canadians and employs thousands of workers. The Canadian Seafood Stabililization Fund will equip our partners in the industry to increase their capacity this year and to address the challenges posed by COVID-19. It will also have a greater, positive impact on our fisheries as a whole. Bolstering our processing sector is vital to supporting fish harvesters, and helps ensure our food supply chain remains open during these challenging times.”

– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

“As some regions reopen their economy, it is important for us to support small businesses every step of the way now more than ever. The fish and seafood processors are facing new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am happy that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is helping them to address the gap in this key sector for Atlantic Canada, which will help communities get through these challenging times. I want Canadians to know that we will be there with you so our regional economies can bounce back even stronger than before. Together we will rise above this crisis.

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

Quick facts

  • The Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) help businesses and innovators grow and succeed. They also ensure that Canada’s regions are heard in Ottawa and provide support to advance and diversify regional economies – so communities can thrive.

  • Because Canada’s RDAs focus on developing and diversifying regional economies, they are best suited to deliver fast and efficient support to Canadian SMEs in all sectors. They are on the ground every day, working with businesses and communities. They know where help is most needed.

  • Businesses in the fish and seafood processing sectors and organizations who support them in Atlantic Canada are encouraged to contact ACOA for more information on the CSSF.

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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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