Feds commit $62.5M to Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector
This investment will allow Canada's fish and seafood processing sector to safely process fish products
OTTAWA — On April 25, the Government of Canada announced $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector.
The money is earmarked for personal protective equipment (PPE) and to help fish and seafood companies adapt their plants to comply with health directives, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said during his daily press conference.
“As we fight COVID-19, people who work in fish and seafood processing plants across the country are playing a crucial role when it comes to putting food on our tables,” Trudeau said.
“This funding will help ensure that they can continue their important work.”
This new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund 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 market demands.
“The women and men in our fish and seafood sector have been feeding this country for generations,” said Bernadette Jordan, minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, in a prepared statement. “Through the new Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, our government is investing directly into this sector, ensuring the industry has the support it needs to adapt to current realities brought on by COVID-19.”
This investment will allow Canada’s fish and seafood processing sector to safely process, store, package, and distribute products, sourced from fish harvesters and aquaculture operators.
The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will be delivered through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada.
“It has been the top priority of our members to ensure the health and safety of our frontline employees while we continue to provide the essential service of supporting the food supply chain,” Fisheries Council president Paul Lansbergen said in a statement.
“Many additional measures have been put in place to respond to social distancing mandates and market disruptions, which have come with significant costs.”
Further details on how and when processors can apply for assistance will be confirmed at a later date.