Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia fund projects to boost innovation and productivity in the fish and seafood sector

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By Milthon Lujan

Dartmouth, Canada.- With the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s coastal communities rely on the fish and seafood industry as an important contributor to local economies. This is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia today announced funding support to 11 regional organizations through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.


The funding—a total contribution of more than $1.2 million—will see the implementation of innovative projects and new technologies in the fish and seafood sector.

Project Highlights

Deep Vision Inc. receives funding to test and pilot an innovative new camera system which will automatically locate North Atlantic Right Whales when near the surface of the ocean, helping to mitigate the risk to the endangered population.

Ceilidh Fishermen’s Co-op Ltd. receives funding to acquire and install new technology that will allow the enterprise to transition into a more efficient lobster grading process and improve quality control.


Fairhaven Holding Ltd. receives funding to purchase new equipment that will support more efficient harvesting techniques, leading to higher quality catch, improved fishing operations, and minimized waste.

We’koqma’q First Nation receives funding to convert an existing fresh water hatchery from a facility that is constantly drawing large amounts of water to flow through the tanks and then exit through an outflow, to a fresh water re-use facility which would reduce the amount of water needed as well as chemical costs, significantly lower risk from disease, and improve production.

Granville Gates and Sons Ltd. receives funding to purchase and install new packaging and product handling equipment to expand its line of value-added seafood products and improve productivity.

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Shandaph Oysters receives funding to purchase and install new equipment (i.e., a finger crane) to increase efficiency and productivity on cultured shellfish aquaculture leases.


James L Mood Fisheries Ltd. receives funding to install an integrated and digitized data entry system to facilitate traceability of their products and automate payments to harvesters.

Bill & Stanley Oyster Company Ltd. receives funding to purchase and test an end-to-end software system to incorporate radio frequency identification tanks and readers throughout its shellfish processing facility. This will improve the company’s shellfish traceability program.

Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council receives funding to coordinate training opportunities for safety and knowledge of fish harvesters in Nova Scotia. This will support professionalization of the fishing industry.

Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association receives funding for the adoption of new processes and certification that will permit the Chedabucto Bay Shrimp Trap Fishery to expand into new markets that require the Marine Stewardship Council product certification.


Premium Seafoods Ltd. receives funding for the purchase of new technology for the refurbishment of a fish processing plant to process whelk. The equipment will help improve the effectiveness of its seafood processing.

Funding these projects will help boost innovation and productivity in the fish and seafood sector in Nova Scotia, and support more than 90 middle class jobs, to the benefit of local and regional economies. The contribution derives 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.

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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.


“Innovation in this sector, which is integral to the Canadian economy, means more job opportunities for small coastal and Indigenous communities across Atlantic Canada. Through the AFF, we are delivering strategic investments in the fish and seafood sector for future generations.” say Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Together with our partners, we’re growing our exports, and supporting innovation to ensure our fisheries and aquaculture industries remain strong, prosperous, and sustainable for generations. This significant investment in one of our most important economic sectors—the seafood sector—will help grow our economy, creating more jobs for young Nova Scotians and opportunities for our coastal and rural areas.” say Keith Colwell, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Province of Nova Scotia

Quick facts

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.

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The annual contribution by the Nova Scotia seafood sector to the Canadian economy has been more than $2 billion in recent years, providing direct employment for over 17,000 people in Nova Scotia.


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.

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