Government of Canada and Province of Nova Scotia invest $1.4 million in lobster quality for Cape Breton

News release

July 16, 2021 

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force in our national economy. 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 Nova Scotia today are making strategic investments through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding—a total contribution of more than $1.4 million—will see the implementation of updated technologies, equipment and processes to improve holding, handling and processing of lobsters, ultimately resulting in improved lobster quality.

The Harbour Authority of Point Aconi is receiving over $330,000 in AFF funding to assist its members with the adoption of equipment and technology which will improve the harvest, handling and holding of live lobsters on vessels. Improvements to onboard holding practices will help to maintain live lobsters in the best possible condition improving quality, vitality, and value.

The Inverness South Fishermen’s Association is receiving over $1.1 million in AFF funding to undertake modifications to members’ vessels that incorporate new equipment and technologies to improve holding practices, water quality and aeration. Improvements to onboard holding practices will help to maintain lobsters in the best possible condition, improving quality, vitality, and value.

Quality starts at the ocean with the harvester. With investments like these, harvesters are able to make onboard improvements, through live well and water quality monitoring, to reduce lobster mortality and improve the landed condition of the lobster at port.

Funding these organizations will have a positive impact on local and regional economies in Cape Breton and in the Province. 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. 


“Nova Scotia exports more seafood than other parts of Canada, and Cape Breton is a vital part of that fishery. The local projects we are supporting will help ensure the women and men of our fisheries have access to the state-of-the-art technology and equipment they need to thrive. Through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we’re ensuring Canada’s seafood sector continues to harvest and sell the world-class product we’re known for around the world.”

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

“Nova Scotia’s lobster quality is recognized around the world, and we continue to strengthen our position as a leader. These investments will help these harvesters make improvements to the holding, handling and transportation of live lobster, which is so important in world markets.”

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

"I’ve been fortunate to work closely with the many fishing communities across Cape Breton-Canso, and have seen first hand the impact they have on our local economy. I’m proud to be a part of a government that knows the importance of investing in this industry. I look forward to following the Inverness South Fisherman’s Association work to improve the onboard holding practices, that will help to maintain lobsters in the best possible condition, improving quality, vitality, and value of fresh catch."

Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso

"Our small craft harbours are a vital part of the fishing economy that has been the pillar of communities across Cape Breton for generations. 90% of our seafood industry product is landed at small craft harbours meaning these investments are going to the core of our coastal communities and to key infrastructure in Canada’s growing blue economy."

Jamie Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

Quick facts

  • The Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) 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.

  • Through investments in third-party initiatives like these projects, AFF is able to extend its programming support in a more efficient manner.

  • Toll-free program contact: 1-844-795-9718

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Olivia McMackin
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 

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