Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick support lobster research and oyster aquaculture

News release

Ministers LeBlanc and Wetmore with AFF recipients following the announcement.
Ministers LeBlanc and Wetmore with AFF recipients following the announcement.

August 26, 2019

Shediac, New Brunswick — With the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s coastal communities rely on the fish and seafood industry as an integral contributor to local and regional economies. This is why today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Province of New Brunswick (NB) announced funding support to 21 projects through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding—a total contribution of more than $8.1 million —will see the implementation of innovative and sustainable growing methods, new automation technologies, and world-class applied research in the fishing and aquaculture industry.

Project Highlights

Homarus Inc., a subsidiary organization of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU) receives $2 million in funding from the Atlantic Fisheries Fund for a new marine laboratory as part of the new Homarus Centre. The Homarus Centre is a multi-million project that will provide lobster fishery industry awareness, education and research capabilities in a new modern facility. An additional $2 million funding in this project was announced today from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) receives funding for the delivery of the Oyster Farm Development Program (OFDP) to New Brunswick commercial oyster producers.  It supports eligible commercial oyster aquaculturists to adopt innovative and sustainable methods and equipment to grow oysters.

The Acadian Hatchery Inc. is establishing a new oyster hatchery operation in Cocagne, NB and receives support to purchase and implement new equipment and technologies. The hatchery will help by predictably providing spats for the oyster aquaculture sector.

L’Étang du Ruisseau Bar Limitée is specializing in the culture of the American oyster. It receives support to develop and produce the first Canadian strain of selectively bred Eastern Oyster for the Atlantic aquaculture industry.

Seventeen other businesses will also adopt innovative technology to count and grade oysters automatically, and store oysters. The automatic vision-based oyster grading systems will increase the oyster grading capacity while improving efficiency and productivity of operators and the wet storage facilities will help provide a consistent supply of oysters to market.

Funding these organizations will result in a positive impact on local and regional economies in New Brunswick. The contribution comes from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, and focuses on increasing opportunities and market value for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood products from Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects over the seven-year life of the program. The commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities and academia and industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply.

Eligible projects must focus on:

  • Innovation – to support research and development of new innovations that contribute to sustainability of the fish and seafood sector, and to create partnerships and networks that aim to promote and encourage innovations in the sector;
  • Infrastructure – to adopt or adapt new technologies, processes, or equipment to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the fish and seafood sector;
  • Science Partnerships – fisheries and aquaculture industry based partnerships with academia and institutions to enhance knowledge and understanding of the impacts of changing oceanographic conditions and sustainable harvesting technology


“The lobster fishery and shellfish aquaculture industries are major generators of economic activity in rural and coastal communities in the Atlantic Region. We are proud to fund these innovative projects, creating jobs, and providing the needed support to assist these companies to remain productive in markets close to home and abroad. Together, we will ensure that Canada’s well-known reputation for quality seafood products remains strong. ”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The Government of Canada understands the economic importance of the lobster fishery and oyster aquaculture in eastern New Brunswick, and it’s important that these industries be supported. Through this funding, our lobster industry will benefit from state of the art facilities to conduct the research required to ensure the sustainability of the fishery, and oyster aquaculture operators will be able to adopt the equipment and technology required to remain competitive and productive.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour

“The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is proud to support projects like this one for Homarus Inc. that propel innovation, promote diversification, build vitality in communities and enhance the regional economy. Supporting innovation and growing tourism throughout the region is a key priority under the Atlantic Growth Strategy. Homarus is a leader in lobster research and sustainability initiatives, and this investment is a significant step forward in expanding the organization’s research capacity and will broaden the scope of experiential tourism assets in this region.”

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The province of New Brunswick recognizes the importance of the lobster fishing industry which represents more than 800 million dollars in export revenues. The Eco-Centre project will benefit and educate the public on fisheries related topics and give Homarus better tools to continue their research.

Shellfish aquaculture is experiencing unprecedented growth in New Brunswick. Business initiatives supported by the program meet multiple priorities identified in the New Brunswick Shellfish Aquaculture Development Strategy that reaches out to 2021.  Our shellfish sector in this period is planning on growth targets of 10 percent increases annually to reach 30 million units sold in 2021.”

The Honourable Ross Wetmore, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Province of New Brunswick

Quick facts

  • The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will invest over $400 million over seven years to support Canada’s fish and seafood sector.

  • The federal government will provide 70% of the funding, with 30% coming from the Atlantic provinces.

  • The fund aims to help Canada’s seafood sector transition to meet growing market demands for products that are high quality, value-added, and sustainably sourced.

  • The Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) focuses on investments that lead to long-term employment and economic capacity building in Atlantic Canadian communities.

  • Eligible recipients include non-commercial/not-for-profit organizations such as local development associations, municipalities and their agencies, business or technology institutes, industry/sector associations, economic development associations, local co-operatives, universities and educational institutions.

  • The ICF continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Related products

Associated links


Jocelyn Lubczuk 
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Paul CJ LeBlanc
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Stay connected

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: