The Government of Canada announces $40 million for hard-hit shellfish sector in Atlantic Canada

News release

Investment will help shellfish operations recover from Hurricane Fiona damages, safeguarding key jobs

January 20, 2023 · Springbrook, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, people directly impacted by the storm have faced many challenges. With characteristic resilience, residents in those areas immediately mobilized to help their neighbours and rebuild. During this difficult time, the Government Canada has been there to help people, communities and businesses recover and rebuild.

The hurricane had a particularly devastating effect on shellfish producers and farmers. These are major employers that generate important economic benefits in many coastal, rural and small communities throughout the region. The sector also holds substantial growth potential because of global demand for farmed seafood.

In Atlantic Canada, losses, damages and cleanup costs from the devastating storm are extensive. Types of losses include product, crop, seeds, gear and infrastructure. The full extent of damages may not be known until spring 2023 as some shellfish operations had already begun to submerge their equipment at the time of the storm.

That is why today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced ACOA is providing financial support up to $40 million, over two years, to the shellfish sector in Atlantic Canada. The financial support from ACOA will assist shellfish operators and non-profit organizations that provide services to them with immediate needs like storm damage repairs, equipment replacement, cleanup, product loss, as well as longer-term projects for adaptations against extreme weather.

This announcement is another major step in ACOA’s effort to assist businesses and communities affected by Hurricane Fiona as part of the $300 million Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund.

The Government of Canada remains committed to helping Canadians overcome the impacts of Hurricane Fiona and adapt to the inevitability of future storms brought about by the effects of climate change. ACOA continues to work closely with other federal departments to develop targeted and flexible initiatives to assist in recovery and rebuilding efforts. More information on these measures will be made public in the near future. 


“Our government has been working collaboratively with hard-hit communities, sectors and businesses that suffered devastating losses as a result of this storm. The support we are announcing today for the shellfish sector will help filling gaps where no other support measures are available. This is one of many measures our government has initiated to maintain jobs after the hurricane took its terrible toll.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Quick facts

  • On October 4, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the Hurricane Fiona Recovery Fund (HFRF), which will provide $300 million over two years to support local communities, businesses and organizations affected by the storm and to help long-term recovery efforts. 

  • The Fund is a support measure to fill gaps for those who have exhausted all other sources of financial support, including insurance or other existing federal and provincial support measures, like their respective province’s disaster financial assistance.

  • ACOA is coordinating the HFRF and is working closely with communities, associations, businesses and all levels of government to assess needs and develop targeted and flexible initiatives to assist in recovery and rebuilding efforts.

  • The 2022 Fall Economic Statement established a provision of $1 billion in 2022-23 in anticipation of Hurricane Fiona-related requests from provinces under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). Through the DFAA, the government covers up to 90 per cent of eligible provincial expenses following a disaster.

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Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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