Government of Canada and Province of Newfoundland and Labrador fund projects to boost quality and productivity in the fish and seafood sector

News release

August 13, 2019        St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador

With the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s coastal communities rely on a sustainable and prosperous fish and seafood industry as a vital contributor to local and regional economies. This is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced funding support to the harvesting and processing sectors through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding—a total contribution of more than $8 million dollars—will see 59 projects that will work to modernize harvesting technologies, improve the quality of landings, and increase productivity and sustainability of operations.

More specifically, investments are being made in:

  • Harvesting Sector – 48 projects targeting investments in harvesting and onboard handling technologies to improve quality, sustainability, and enterprise productivity in groundfish (cod) and shellfish (shrimp) fisheries.
  • Processing Sector – Seven projects for provincial seafood processors. Three are focused on modern processing technologies for groundfish (cod and flatfish), one on handling technologies for production of live shellfish products, one on increasing processing productivity for seafood products, and two projects will focus on innovative ways to use waste and under-utilized groundfish by-products.
  • Indigenous communities – Four  Indigenous community projects: one  with the Innu Nation to modernize onboard handling equipment to improve productivity in the Greenland halibut fishery in Davis Strait; one project with the Nunatsiavut Government targeting the development of small boat scallop and whelk fisheries in northern Labrador; and two projects with the Miawpukek First Nation, involving investments in modern harvesting technology and fisheries development.

Funding these projects will help improve quality and productivity in the fish and seafood industry in Newfoundland and Labrador, resulting in a positive impact on local and regional economies.

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. 


“Thousands of families in Newfoundland and Labrador depend on sustainable and prosperous fisheries to support their livelihoods. I am pleased to be in St. John’s with Premier Ball announcing a strategic investment for the fish and seafood sector. This new funding will help create more jobs in coastal and Indigenous communities across Newfoundland and Labrador. Through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we are supporting the people that work in the fish and seafood sector to ensure that this industry is prosperous for generations to come.”

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

“August 2019 marks the second year of the Atlantic Fisheries Fund and to date we have invested over $28 million to create and advance new opportunities for producers of high-quality fish and seafood products.  Working together with the Federal Government, we are supporting the fishery of today and preparing for the fishery for tomorrow and ensuring this industry is sustainable for future generations.”

The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“As we address the challenges of today’s changing fishery, we advance best through sound strategic planning and innovation, supported with appropriate investment. Newfoundland and Labrador continues to lead the way in investments and projects through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund; our leadership is a testament to the vision of industry and community leaders who put forward quality projects. We anticipate many more projects and investments, as together we create, develop and grow the fishery of the future, one that is thoroughly sustainable and value-added.”

The Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources

Quick facts

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

  • For the fund, Atlantic provinces will cost share on projects with the federal government on a 70/30 basis over the life of the program.

  • 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.

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Toll-free program contact: 1-844-795-9718

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

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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