Building on aquaculture success
Upgrades to Nova Scotia fish farm will increase production, create jobs in Indigenous community
March 18, 2021 · Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
A strong, sustainable ocean sector is vital to Atlantic Canada’s economy and coastal communities. With federal support, WFN Fish Farm Limited Partnership (WFN) is upgrading its steelhead trout farm to increase production, meet growing market demands and create new jobs in We’koqma’q First Nation.
Federal investments in aquaculture growth
Today, Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, announced a total of $2,050,000 in Government of Canada contributions to help WFN increase production and expand into new markets. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The upgrades at WFN will increase the number of fish harvested each year, expand the company’s freezing and packaging capacity and create jobs in the rural community.
Strategic investments in projects like this one are helping producers and processors throughout Atlantic Canada grow and compete, building stronger communities and a more resilient, sustainable ocean economy.
“Today’s investments will have an immediate impact at the community level for We’koqma’q First Nation. By supporting them in their important aquaculture equipment upgrades, we’ll help create meaningful, long-term job opportunities in a sector that is critical to our national economy and food supply chain. As we work together to grow Canada’s blue economy, we will continue to ensure that Indigenous communities are benefitting from stronger, more sustainable ocean industries.”
- The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“We are proud to work with Indigenous communities like We’koqma’q First Nation to help companies like WFN scale up their operations and create jobs. It’s thanks to projects like this, that fresh local seafood products find their way across from coast to coast to coast and even globally, making Nova Scotia seafood consumers’ first choice.”
- Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
“By focusing on quality and sustainability, in recent years, We’koqma’q, through WFN Fish Farm Limited Partnership, has proudly become one of Atlantic Canada’s largest producers of steelhead trout. This investment allows us to further meet the growing demand for our seafood product within Atlantic Canada and beyond, creating an opportunity to widely share our story and re-invest profits to support our community and our people – through employment, social services and improved infrastructure. Today is a proud day for We’koqma’q!”
- Chief Annie Bernard-Daisley, We’koqma’q First Nation
Established in 2019, WFN Fish Farm Limited Partnership (WFN) is a seafood processor owned and operated by We’koqma’q First Nation that operates a steelhead trout farm across multiple locations in Nova Scotia. Its facilities range from fish hatching and juvenile production to processing and packaging. Consumers can buy WFN products at grocery stores across Atlantic Canada.
WFN reinvests all profits back into the business or the community for social programs such as housing initiatives and daycare.
WFN will use the funds to upgrade its harvesting barge and cages and install a new automated feeding system to reduce operational costs. The company will also install a new flash freezer and packing equipment to sell individually frozen products through its retailers.
WFN currently employs 77 people and these upgrades will enable it to hire seven more.
ACOA is providing:
o A $700,000 non-repayable contribution through its Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
o A $350,000 non-repayable contribution through the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund (CSSF).
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is providing a $1,000,000 non-repayable contribution through the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI).
The Government of Canada is developing a Blue Economy Strategy to grow our ocean sectors through job creation, inclusion and conservation. Canadians are invited to share their views in an online engagement portal, which will collect diverse perspectives from coast to coast to coast, helping shape a strategy that will contribute to sustainable oceans, drive investment in our ocean industries, and create jobs in coastal communities as Canada charts its economic recovery from COVID-19. Online engagement is open until June 15, 2021.
Canada’s ocean industries contribute approximately $31.7 billion to Canada’s GDP every year, and we want this number to grow. By investing in our fish and seafood processing sector at a critical time we are paving the way for a stronger more resilient blue economy of the future.
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Communications Director, Nova Scotia
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Chief Operating Officer
WFN Fish Farm Limited Partnership
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