Minister Jordan Announces the Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant to open on August 24th

News release

August 5th, 2020 - Ottawa, OntarioCanada’s fish and seafood harvesters are the driving economic force behind many coastal and rural communities. Hardship and uncertainty are felt across the economy due to COVID-19, but our fisheries have faced unique challenges that require direct solutions.

In May, the Government of Canada announced $469.4 million in funding to establish the new Fish Harvester Benefit and the new Fish Harvester Grant. This is the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in nearly two decades. The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program was designed to work within the unique pay structures and seasonal nature of the fishing sector. It will help to ensure that Canada’s hardworking fish harvesters get the financial support they need right now, while also positioning the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, today is pleased to announce that the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program will open for applications on August 24, 2020, through to September 21, 2020.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Employment and Social Development Canada have worked hard to ensure that detailed information about the application process is accessible in advance of its opening. Detailed information is available now to ensure that all interested parties are prepared to apply on August 24th. All harvesters wishing to apply should visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website to determine if they are eligible and find out what documentation is required to complete the application process.

Our fisheries are a driving force in Canada’s economy. They are vital to our country’s food chain, and an integral part of the culture and way of life for coastal communities. The Government of Canada will continue to support fish and seafood harvesters because when our fisheries thrive, all of Canada benefits.


“Our fisheries operate under a unique structure and have faced distinct challenges throughout this pandemic. That’s exactly why we created the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program– to meet those needs head-on. We’ve been working around the clock to develop a simple, accessible system to deliver over $469 million to Canada’s fish harvesters as smoothly and quickly as possible. That’s why it was important for us to announce this in advance of August 24th, to ensure applicants have time to prepare. Our goal is, and has always been, to get the hardworking women and men of Canada’s fisheries the support they need, and that’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.”

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

“We are ensuring Canada’s fish harvesters have the support they need in this sector. Service Canada is dedicated to supporting Canadians applying to the new Fish Harvester Benefit and the new Fish Harvester Grant. Clients who need assistance are encouraged to call our specialized call centre – for additional support during the application process.”

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 is helping Canada enhance its reputation as a country that provides legal, sustainable, high quality and value-added fish and seafood products.
    • The Surplus Food Rescue Program is  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.
  • On May 14, 2020 the Government of Canada announced that it would propose measures that would allow self-employed fishers to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims). Additional details will be shared as soon as they are available.


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Stay connected

Page details

Date modified: