Fishing, seafood and aquaculture industries along the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador are receiving a shot in the arm from the Canadian government.
With the aim of supporting local and regional economies in the region, Canadian authorities have announced funding support for a total of 147 projects through the CAD $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
The funding, totalling CAD $25,327,448, aims to modernize equipment and improve quality, productivity, and sustainability in the Newfoundland and Labrador fish and seafood sector.
"Newfoundland and Labrador has a world-class fishery with incredible potential, and our harvesters and processors have the know-how and determination to grow the fishery," said Gudie Hutchings, Canada's Minister of Rural Economic Development.
"The Atlantic Fisheries Fund is helping unlock that potential, to create more good jobs in the fishery and more value for our province.”
The majority of the Newfoundland and Labrador projects focus on the harvesting sector, with 116 grants made to support businesses investing in new equipment and technology innovations for onboard handling techniques and quality improvements.
In the processing sector, 22 projects were funded to allow companies to access modern processing technologies and enhance product quality enhancements, in a bid to improve competitiveness and add value for the industry.
Five aquaculture projects have also been funded, in support of sustainable development of oyster and salmon farming in the region. Meanwhile, four indigenous partnership projects also received funds to support sustainability and modernization of equipment.
The project funding is drawn from Canada's Atlantic Fisheries Fund, a joint initiative of Canada's federal and provincial governments, which is to invest CAD $400 million over seven years to support Atlantic Canada’s fish and seafood sector. Federal government provides 70% of the funding, with 30% coming from the Atlantic provinces.
Eligible projects must focus on innovation, infrastructure and scientific partnerships, and the fund is open to applications from a wide variety of actors in the fish and seafood sector: commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities and academia, and industry associations and organizations, including research institutions.
“Investments through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund strengthen the seafood sector in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
"We are proud to contribute to innovation and technologies to help make the sector more efficient, increase sustainability, and enable the sector to compete on a global level," she added.