Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant now open for applications

News release

August 24th, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s fish and seafood harvesters are the driving economic force behind many coastal and rural communities. Canadians across the country have faced hardship due to COVID-19, but our fisheries have faced unique challenges. That’s why the Government of Canada created the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program – to meet those needs head-on.

Today the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program is open to self-employed fish harvesters wishing to apply. The application period will be open from August 24 through to September 21, 2020.

Harvesters interested in applying should go to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website. This site provides details about the program including guidance on eligibility and what documentation is required to complete the application process.

Totalling $469.4 million, the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program marks the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in more than two decades.

These funds will help to ensure that Canada’s fish harvesters receive the financial support they need and prepare the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

Quotes

“Today independent harvesters from coast to coast to coast are able to apply for much needed support through the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program. These supports will help ensure that the hard-working women and men of our fisheries have the funds they need to keep their employees on payroll, keep their business operations going, and keep supporting their families and communities. Canada’s fishers are a driving force in our nation’s economy, and by investing in them and their businesses, we are investing our country’s larger, economic recovery.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Service Canada is dedicated to supporting Canadians who are applying for the new Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant. The online application is intuitive and easy to use, and if they need additional assistance with their application, our call centre agents are ready to help them apply for these new financial measures.”    

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has announced additional targeted new initiatives to support Canadians, including Canada’s fishing, aquaculture and processing sectors, through the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:

    • the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, a new $62.5 million initiative to assist the fish and seafood processing sectors;
    • an investment of $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers, put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. This means the Government will provide $1,500, per temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure the isolation requirements are fully met.
    • the Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund to help Canada enhance its reputation as a country that provides legal, sustainable, high quality and value-added fish and seafood products; and,
    • the Surplus Food Rescue Program, a time-limited program to help manage and redirect existing surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity, in order to avoid food waste during the COVID-19 crisis.
    • the Government is also implementing temporary measures to support self-employed fish harvesters who rely on EI fishing benefits in the off-season. These measures will allow EI fishing benefits for these workers to be calculated using either their actual fishing earnings for their current claim, or their fishing earnings from their claim for the same season from the previous year, whichever is higher.

Contacts

Jane Deeks                                                      
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard             
343-550-9594
Jane.Deeks@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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


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