Government of Canada and Province of Nova Scotia invest more than $10.3 million in the fish and seafood sector

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.

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 – to help ensure the sector can continue to meet these changing demands and to capitalize on the industry’s tremendous growth potential.

Today the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia are pleased to announce funding of more than $10.3 million for 12150484 Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Ocean Choice International Inc. The funding will support adopting some of the most advanced state-of-the-art processing and packaging equipment available. This retail packing plant and cold storage distribution centre will enable the company to conduct value-added, secondary processing and pursue new market opportunities in North America, Europe and Asia. The establishment of such a facility in Nova Scotia will provide a showcase within the fish and seafood sector related to advanced processing equipment.

Funding this organization will benefit Nova Scotia now and in the future. This project is anticipated to create 30 to 50 high-quality, year-round jobs in Nova Scotia. The contribution comes from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, as well as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, 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. ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program fuels economic growth by supporting small and medium-sized businesses as they scale up, enter new markets and creates well-paying jobs for Canadians. 

Quotes

"Canada’s fish and seafood sector is a vital part of our national blue economy, with Nova Scotia leading the way in exports. Ocean Choice International is helping our partners in the seafood sector adopt the latest, most efficient processing and packaging. Through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we’re investing in the tools and technology we need to ensure the hardworking women and men of Canada’s fisheries get the maximum value for their world-class product."

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

“Atlantic Canadian fish and seafood processors are working hard to adapt to rapidly changing economic realities, and our Government is ready to invest in their future success. Today’s announcement means more high quality, year-round jobs here in Dartmouth. And it means that this company will be able to adopt some of the most advanced state-of-the-art processing and packaging equipment available—including green technologies, contributing to a sustainable economy here in Atlantic Canada.”

Darren Fisher, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (ACOA) and Member of Parliament for Dartmouth – Cole Harbour, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This investment in value-added processing will help our seafood sector continue to meet increasing market demands for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “Our fish and seafood sector continues to provide quality career options for Nova Scotians and economic opportunities in our coastal communities.”

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

“Our new retail packing plant will introduce production capacity for market-ready retail and foodservice products for our suite of species, including scallops that are harvested off the coast of Nova Scotia” said Ocean Choice Chief Executive Officer Martin Sullivan. “This investment in the Halifax region makes strategic sense for Ocean Choice – it will create increased value which we will reinvest in our existing processing facilities and vessels; it will allow us to penetrate further down the value chain with consumer-ready products; it will bring us closer to global markets, including overnight delivery to central Canada and North East USA; and it will allow us to produce more value-added products in Atlantic Canada.” 

Martin Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Choice International

Quick facts

  • This funding is being provided to a subsidiary of Ocean Choice to establish a new state-of-the-art value added retail packing plant close to global markets. Ocean Choice is an Atlantic Canadian family-owned and operated international seafood company with extensive harvesting and processing assets throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. Ocean Choice is vertically integrated, focusing on harvesting, processing and marketing seafood through its fleet of five offshore vessels and five processing facilities with sales offices around the globe. The company sells a diversified range of seafood to over 400 customers in 30 countries around the world.

  • The repayable contribution of $10,339,504 to 12150484 Canada Inc., includes $8 million through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund and $2,339,504 through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.

  • 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 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.

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

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Associated links

Contacts

Olivia McMackin
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-571-9193
Olivia.Mcmackin@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada 
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Chris Brooks
Communications Director, Nova Scotia 
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902-830-3839
Chris.Brooks@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

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