Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick fund new technology for snow crab vessels

News release

November 7, 2023                                         

Moncton, New BrunswickWith the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s coastal communities rely on the fish and seafood industry as an integral contributor to local and regional economies. This is why the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick today announced funding for a new technology for snow crab vessels in New Brunswick, through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF).

The funding, with a total value of $670,073, will help nine snow crab companies install refrigerated seawater systems in their vessels. These systems allow crab harvested at sea to be stored in seawater while on board, reducing injuries and overall stress on the crab which has a positive impact on the quality of the meat and helps to limit mortalities. Refrigerated seawater systems also allow vessels to potentially stay at sea for longer periods, which increases productivity and operating efficiencies.

The contribution is from the $400-million AFF, funded by the federal and provincial governments. The AFF focuses on increasing opportunities and market value for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood products from Atlantic Canada.

Introduced in 2017, the AFF will continue to invest in projects over its seven-year life. 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 snow crab fishery is an important economic driver for coastal communities in Atlantic Canada. We are proud to fund new and innovative technologies, such as refrigerated seawater systems, so that local companies can continue to offer high-quality fish and seafood to markets here and abroad, while increasing their productivity. Together, we will ensure that Canada’s well-known reputation for quality seafood remains strong.”

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The snow crab fishery significantly contributes to the economies of many communities in New Brunswick. New and innovative technologies, like refrigerated seawater systems, will assist local companies in providing high-quality seafood to local and global markets. The Government of New Brunswick is pleased to support the project.”

The Honourable Margaret Johnson, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Province of New Brunswick

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, the federal government will cost share on projects with Atlantic provinces on a 70/30 basis.

  • 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.

Associated links


Jérémy Collard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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