Government of Canada and Province of Nova Scotia invest more than $44 million in the fish and seafood sector

News release

February 4, 2021 - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of 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 and consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia are making strategic investments in the fish and seafood sector through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund – to help ensure the sector can continue to meet these changing demands and to capitalize on the industry’s tremendous growth potential.

The funding – with a combined total contribution of more than $44 million – will support 11 projects focused on the adoption of new technology and partnerships that will improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the fish and seafood sector. The funding will enable these local organizations to provide high quality seafood and to preposition their organizations for a successful return to regular business in a post COVID-19 world.

Funding these organizations will benefit local and regional economies in Nova Scotia now and in the future. 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, academia, industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply. 


“Canada’s fish and seafood sector brought in over seven billion dollars in international revenue last year – with Nova Scotia leading the way. But we know there is still potential for growth. The projects we are supporting through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund will help our fisheries adapt to ever-changing markets and become even more sustainable and productive. And a stronger fishery means more jobs for coastal Canadians, and more prosperity in our coastal communities.”

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

“Nova Scotia’s seafood quality is world-renown and this support for our fishery sector will go to enhance equipment, innovation, productivity, and COVID-19 protections. It will help our seafood industry remain safe and sustainable, and provide top quality seafood products to the world. We are excited to join with our federal partners, DFO, in these important investments.”

The Honourable Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture

Quick facts

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

  • The federal government will provide 70% of the funding, with 30% coming from the Atlantic provinces.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

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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

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