Government of Canada and Province of Newfoundland and Labrador invest in technology to improve quality and productivity in the province’s fish and seafood sector

News release

December 16, 2020              

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  - Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of so many coastal communities and a driving force in our national economy. At the same time, the seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, consumers are increasingly emphasizing sustainability and quality. This is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador today is making strategic investments through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. These funds will help the industry innovate, invest in new technology, and collaborate with scientists, marketers, and other institutions in order to maximize the value of their product.

The funding — a total contribution of more than $26 million — invests in 134 projects that focus on modernizing technologies to improve quality of landings and increase productivity and sustainability in the fish and seafood sector of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Supporting the groundfish and sustainably growing the aquaculture sector continue to be key priorities.

Specifically, investments are being made in:

  • Harvesting – 110 projects for fish harvesters, to invest in innovative equipment and technologies that will advance onboard handling techniques and increase productivity and quality of products for local enterprises.
  • Processing – 17 projects targeting advancements in processing technologies, diversification and product quality improvements to improve competitiveness, thus adding value to the industry.
  • Aquaculture – 7 projects to support further growth of the salmonid and shellfish sectors, by investing in innovative technology to increase productivity, improve product quality and support growth and innovation in the supply and service sector.

Funding these important initiatives will help transform the provincial fish and seafood sector, resulting in a positive impact on communities and local 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. 


“Canada’s seafood sector has so much to gain from innovation and technology. The projects we are funding in Newfoundland and Labrador will help create jobs, increase productivity, and strengthen sustainability practices for the long-term. This is about ensuring the women and men of the fisheries can get the maximum value for their product – now and for generations to come.”

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

“Here in Newfoundland and Labrador the fishery employs over 16,000 people in over 400 communities, and remains a significant contributor to the provincial economy. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada share many of the same goals and objectives with respect to growing the seafood sector and supporting our rural communities. This provides me with the assurance going forward that together we can achieve our objectives.”

- The Honourable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture

“We’re making our Province’s fishery more competitive and more sustainable by investing in new technology. This is how we create lasting economic opportunities here at home.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl

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

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Craig Renouf
Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-637-2923 or 709-640-6922

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