The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund
On April 25, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, a $62.5 million initiative to help fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and the West adapt to the challenges of COVID-19, such as market instability and compliance with new safety guidelines, and to effectively deal with inventory.
Bolstering the processing sector is vital to supporting fish and seafood harvesters and ensuring our food supply chain remains open. The CSSF will help fish and seafood processors retain employees and put in place health and safety measures to help ensure they are protected. It will increase plant capacity to process, store, package, and distribute healthy, high-quality products, and to adapt processes and marketing to suit changing consumer demands.
Support for fish and seafood processors
Through the CSSF, Indigenous and non-Indigenous fish and seafood processors in Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Western Canada will obtain funds for the following activities:
- Increase storage capacity to more effectively deal with raw materials and manage inventory;
- Adopt new equipment to keep workers safe, such as protective equipment, while also improving the quality of their products, updating packaging, and increasing their business’ productivity; and,
- Develop new products or adapt existing products to respond to new market demands and conduct market development and entry activities, including viable transportation solutions.
Regional Development Agencies will deliver funds from Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) work on-the-ground with local small- and medium-sized businesses. They understand their region’s economic needs and economic reality. That is why Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, and Western Economic Diversification Canada to deliver quick support to this key sector.
The breakdown of the CSSF is based on the size of the fish and seafood processing industry in each region. The breakdown is as follows:
- Atlantic provinces – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA): $38,140,000
- Quebec – Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED): $9,142,000
- Western Canada – Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD): $9,018,000
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans will reserve $6.2 million to address emerging industry pressures.
Fish, seafood, and aquaculture processing businesses, as well as not-for-profit organizations that support the sector in Western Canada can soon apply for funding to assist with investment projects that meet the objectives of the CSSF. We recognize that many processors have already significant investments to address the challenges of COVID-19, and therefore eligible costs will be retroactive to March 15, 2020.
In British Columbia, applications will be received by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Eligible fish and seafood processors based elsewhere in Western Canada will apply directly to WD. All potential applicants are encouraged to consult WD’s website for up-to-date information on CSSF.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be a small- or medium-sized enterprise located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba;
- Be a federally or provincially licensed fish processing facility or a registered processor of wild capture or aquaculture products;
- Were a viable business before the COVID-19 pandemic and plan to continue to operate their business or resume operations; and,
- Can demonstrate that their business currently meets health and safety requirements.
- Be a not-for-profit organization not engaged in fish and seafood processing, but whose activities support the fish, seafood and processing industry in Western Canada.