Moncton, New Brunswick – Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council, announced a joint federal-provincial investment of $4.2 million through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. This funding will go to 26 projects across Southeast New Brunswick that focus on innovative technologies to improve productivity and sustainability in the lobster, snow crab and smoked herring processing sectors. It will enable these local organizations to be more efficient and adapt to meet national and international market requirements.
Edmond Gagnon, a family-owned seafood processing plant established in Grand Barachois since 1946, received $2 million to support the acquisition and installation of state of the art equipment for a new processing facility. The equipment will enable greater automation, product traceability, increased productivity, and market diversification by meeting the British Retail Consortium certification requirements.
In addition, 20 other processors share $2.2M for 25 projects to acquire and install specialized equipment:
- Ten projects are related to the lobster and snow crab processing sectors. New Brunswick accounts for over 50% of world production of frozen processed lobster, and approximately 25% of Canadian production of snow crab.
- Fifteen smoked herring processors are receiving funding for new equipment. The smokehouse sector is an important component of the seafood processing industry in New Brunswick, with 95% of the world’s hard cured smoked herring produced in the province.
Automation in the seafood processing sector is instrumental in maintaining a globally competitive industry through improved efficiency and productivity. The industry faces challenges in hiring workers, and automation with modern equipment allows for improved work conditions along with improved employee recruitment and retention.
Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force in Canada’s economy. The seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, and consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick are making strategic investments in the Province’s fish and seafood sector through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
“Fish processors are an important economic driver in the many coastal communities that I represent. Ensuring that Atlantic Canada remains a global leader in supplying high quality, sustainable seafood to the world is a top priority for our Government. These investments will go a long way in ensuring one of our most precious natural resources continues to be harvested and processed right here in Atlantic Canada.”
The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen’s Privy Council
“Canada’s fisheries are a vital part of our national blue economy, and the backbone of so many coastal communities. Through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we’re ensuring that the hardworking people of this sector have the technology and equipment they need to continue to harvest and process our world-class seafood, and earn the maximum value for that product.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
“The fish and seafood industry continues to be an important economic driver for our province. We are committed to supporting innovation and infrastructure that will position New Brunswick’s processing industry as a global leader in increasingly competitive markets.”
The Honourable Margaret Johnson, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, Province of New Brunswick
The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects as it begins its fifth year over the seven-year life of the program.The commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities, academia, industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply.
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.
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.
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.