Fish Harvester Benefit and Fish Harvester Grant Application Deadline Extended to October 5

News release

September 18, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario - The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program is delivering financial support to self-employed harvesters across the country who are facing hardships brought on by the economic impact of COVID-19. The Program provides eligible indigenous and non-indigenous fish harvesters with the financial support they need right now, while also positioning the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

The Program opened for applications on August 24th, and since then the Government has been listening to harvesters to ensure the Program reaches as many eligible Canadians as possible. Today, we are pleased to announce that we are extending the application deadline by two weeks, with the online portal now closing on October 5th.

Harvesters are encouraged to visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website to find guidance on eligibility and what documentation is required to complete the application process.

Applications are now being accepted until 6:00 p.m. EDT / 3 p.m. PDT on October 5th.


“Our Government has said since day one that we will always look at ways we can adapt our COVID-19 support programs to ensure as many Canadians as possible can benefit from them. This extension means that all eligible harvesters, including those who have been on the water during their active season, have the same opportunity to apply and receive the financial support they need now. Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped protect millions of jobs, provided emergency support to families, and kept businesses afloat throughout the pandemic. I encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant to visit the DFO website and learn how to apply.” 

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

“Since the beginning of the crisis, we have focused on providing Canadians with the support they need as they work together to contain the spread of COVID-19. I am proud to be part of today announcement and encourage every eligible harvester to apply for the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant through a client focused, easy to use online application. Our agents are ready to help applicants, should they require additional assistance with their application.”

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:

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

  • 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;

  • the Surplus Food Rescue Program, a time-limited program to help manage and redirect existing surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity to avoid food waste during the COVID-19 crisis; and

  • the Government is also implementing temporary measures to support self-employed fish harvesters who rely on Employment Insurance (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.


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

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 

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