Fact sheet: Multi-species Fishing School Boat


As part of the Skills and Partnership Fund (SPF) program, the Mi'gmaq Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association (MMAFMA) multi-species fishing school boat will provide training-to-employment services to support a total of 60 Indigenous men and women from the three communities of Gespeg, Gespapegiag and Viger in Gaspésie and Bas-Saint-Laurent. The total value of the agreement is $620,097 over 36 months. With this project, MMAFMA aims to improve the employability of the 60 Indigenous participants by offering a practical training program on board of its school boat, the NIGNAG, combined with theoretical training given by accredited trainers, including the École des pêches et de l’aquaculture du Québec (ÉPAQ) and the Institut Maritime du Québec.

In 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, the project also received financial support of $120,845 from the Maritime Initiative, a strategic partnership initative implemented by the Quebec regional office of Indigenous Services Canada. This financial contribution enabled MMAFMA to use the multi-species fishing school boat, acquired with the support of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), to train their first cohort in summer and fall 2017. The Maritime Initiative aims to boost the Indigenous maritime economy by developing the Indigenous workforce.

Three MMAFMA member communities, namely the Gespeg Micmac Nation, the Mi'gmaq of Gesgapegiag and the Maliseet of Viger First Nation, will provide classroom space for the months of theoretical training. The fisheries directors, fishing specialists working for the band councils, will also be involved in the project follow-up. The curriculum developed by ÉPAQ will be delivered by them and Renaud Sylvestre, accredited instructor.

Four sessions of teaching are offered: the first one is an introduction to fishing and aquaculture; session two is a fisher's helper or professional diver training; the third session focuses on the training and certification of captains, while the last one aims to improve the skills of captains in order to broaden their areas of expertise in various fishing and aquaculture activities. Participants in the captain courses will receive a Class 4 licence recognized by Transport Canada. Participants in the other training components will receive course credits that will enable them to continue training towards a vocational diploma or attestation.

The key expected outcome of the multi-species fishing school boat is to help make use of the fishing licences held by the communities of Gespeg, Gesgapegiag and Viger. Project participants will acquire qualifications and certifications required to enable them to make use of the unused fishing licences.

MMAFMA has also received Employment and Social Development Canada funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program for 2018. A contribution of $5,764 was granted to recruit a project assistant for 12 weeks.

Since 206, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has contributed $460,928 for the acquisition of the boat and licences as well as for training. The funding was provided under the Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management program.


Jocelyn Lubczuk
Press Secretary               
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Phone: 613-992-3474
Email: jocelyn.lubczuk@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Véronique Simard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
Phone: 819-654-5611
Email: veronique.simard@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Phone: 613-990-7537
Email: media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Phone: 514-283-7443
Email: dec.media.ced@canada.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
Phone: 819-934-2302
Email: RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
Phone: 819-994-5559
Email: media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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