Government of Canada and Province of Newfoundland and Labrador invest in projects to increase value and sustainability in the province’s fish and seafood sector

News release

August 12, 2021

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador - Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and are a driving force for the 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 Newfoundland and Labrador are making strategic investments through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding announced today— a total contribution of more than $11 million — invests in 36 projects that focus on equipment modernization, and improving productivity and sustainability in the Newfoundland and Labrador fish and seafood sector.

Specifically, investments are being made in:

  • Harvesting – 28 projects for fish harvesters, supporting new equipment and innovative technologies that will advance onboard handling techniques and increase productivity and quality of products;
  • Processing – five projects targeting advancements in processing technologies, diversification and product quality improvements to improve competitiveness and add value for the industry;
  • Aquaculture – two projects enabling adoption of new technology and processes to support sustainable development in the oyster and salmon sectors; and,
  • Indigenous partnerships – one project with the Torngat Joint Fisheries Board, investing in Adaptive Remote Imaging Sonar (ARIS) technology to collect information about Arctic Char which will better inform total allowable catch decisions for food, social, ceremonial, and commercial Arctic Char fisheries.

Funding these important initiatives will have a positive impact on local and regional economies in Newfoundland and Labrador. 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. 


“The fisheries sector is a significant contributor to the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. The projects we are supporting today will help ensure the women and men of our fisheries have access to the state-of-the-art technology and equipment they need for this sector to continue to thrive.”

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

“Newfoundland and Labrador continues to lead the way in investments and projects through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. Our leadership is a testament to the vision of industry and community leaders who put forward quality projects. We look forward to seeing many more projects and investments, as together we create, develop and grow the fishery of the future, one that is thoroughly sustainable and value-added.”

The Honourable Derrick Bragg, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture

“Our harvesters and processors are at the forefront of the fishery of the future.  It is my honour to invest in their skills, expertise, and vision to improve the value and sustainability of our seafood sector. The Atlantic Fisheries Fund was inspired by their hard work and dedication to help those making out province’s legendary industry for today’s harvesters and as well as future generations.”

Scott Simms, Member of Parliament for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame

"With this welcomed investment in Newfoundland and Labrador's fishing sector, we are supporting the local economy, helping our communities and strengthening our Indigenous partnerships. By investing in our fishing sector today, we will grow the sector to be more sustainable and modernized for tomorrow. We will always be there for the dedicated workers in our fishing sector who give so much to this vital industry."

Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador

“Newfoundland and Labrador was built on the fishery and this sector continues to play a vital role in our province’s economy.  Our rural towns continue to thrive in part due to the economic spinoffs the fishery provides.  By supporting these projects, we will help ensure our fish harvesters and all those involved will have access to the most advanced technology and equipment needed to continue in this ever evolving sector”

Churence Rogers, Member of Parliament for Bonavista -Burin-Trinity

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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