Support for Aquaculture and Fisheries


Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund

The Government of Canada has announced that it is providing $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector through the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund. This will help businesses:

  • access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
  • add storage capacity for unsold product;
  • comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
  • support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and,
  • adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.

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Support for Canada’s Fish Harvesters

The Government of Canada has also announced up to $469.4 million in new measures to support Canada’s fish harvesters, who are economically impacted by the pandemic but cannot access existing federal measures. This investment builds on the $62.5 million for the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund announced last month to help Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector.

The Government of Canada will:

  • Launch the Fish Harvester Benefit, a program worth up to $267.6 million, to help provide income support for this year’s fishing seasons to eligible self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons crew who cannot access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Support will be provided to those that experience fishing income declines of greater than 25 per cent in the 2020 tax year, compared with a reference period to be identified. This measure covers 75 per cent of fishing income losses beyond a 25 per cent income decline threshold, up to a maximum individual entitlement equivalent to what is provided under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ($847 per week for up to 12 weeks).
  • Launch the Fish Harvester Grant, a program worth up to $201.8 million, to provide grants to help fish harvesters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account or equivalent measures. This will give them more liquidity to address non-deferrable business costs. The program would provide non-repayable support of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence. Size of the non-repayable support will vary depending on the level of fish harvesters’ historic revenue.
  • Propose measures or changes to Employment Insurance (EI) that would allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharespersons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons (winter and summer claims).

Additional details on these measures will be made available.

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Safety Documents for Vessel Owners, Captains & Crews

The Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia has developed a number of documents to assist vessel owners, captains & crews reduce the transmission of COVID-19. These documents and checklists, as well as Transport Canada’s Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations checklists and On-Board Familiarization and Training checklists are available on their website.

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Self-Isolation for Fishery Workers coming to Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Public Health Order generally requires self-isolation for all fish harvesters and processing plant workers coming into Nova Scotia. The Province of Nova Scotia has developed a Fact Sheet to address some of the likely scenarios that cause fishery workers to come to Nova Scotia and explains how the Public Health Order applies.

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Perennia Seafood COVID-19 Response Program

The Perennia Seafood COVID-19 Response Program provides financial assistance to commercial entities in the fishing, aquaculture, marine plant harvesting and seafood buying/processing sector in Nova Scotia to support implementation and development of operational changes required to allow for business continuity and safe workplace practices needed as a result of on-going COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions.

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Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council

The Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council has compiled a number of resources to aid the sector during this pandemic. The resource page included safety practices, funding information, and helpful federal and provincial links.

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