Ice Assistance Emergency Program


May 2019

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will provide financial assistance, through the Ice Assistance Emergency Program, to eligible fish harvesters in affected areas of Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec who have been prevented or delayed from fishing because of ice conditions in their fishing areas. Assistance payments will be issued by Service Canada to eligible recipients on behalf of DFO.

Fish harvesters whose EI Fishing Benefits have ended may experience a prolonged period of time without any source of fishing-related income because they could not safely leave port. The Ice Assistance Emergency Program was created to help alleviate the financial hardships faced by the affected fish harvesters. This is a special grant program provided by DFO and is not an extension of EI benefits.

In order to be eligible, applicants need to fish out of a port in the ice-affected areas; must have established and exhausted an EI Fishing Benefits claim based on their fishing activity in 2018, and must not currently be eligible for or be receiving any EI benefits.


Fish harvesters will be eligible for up to $508 per week. Fish harvesters may become eligible for the grant two weeks following their 2018 EI Fishing Benefits end date but not before the start of the program period in their affected area.

Fishing earnings in the program period (including sealing), but not other income, will be deducted from the ice assistance payments dollar-for-dollar from the week they are earned and from subsequent weeks of the program.

Application forms:

The Ice Assistance Emergency Program application form will be available on the DFO website at, and at DFO and Service Canada offices in the ice-affected areas, as of June 10, 2019.  


To be eligible for assistance, applicants must fish on a vessel operating in one of the ice‑affected areas. These areas are:

Eligible Ice-Affected Areas Program Period (6 weeks)
Notre Dame Bay/Fogo (Cape Freels to New Bay Head) May 5 to June 15
Green Bay (New Bay Head to Cape St. John) May 5 to June 15
White Bay - North (Cape St. John to Cape Bauld) May 5 to June 15
Northern Peninsula - North (Ferrole Point to Cape Bauld) May 5 to June 15
Quebec – Lower North Shore (Blanc Sablon to Kegashka) May 5 to June 15
Labrador Straits (Blanc Sablon to Cape St. Charles) May 5 to June 15
West Coast (South of Ferrole Point to Cape Ray) May 5 to June 15
Labrador (North of Cape St. Charles) May 26 to July 6

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