Letter: Fisheries fund will help the seafood industry

Published on March 20, 2017

As minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, I want to discuss the importance of the new federal Atlantic Fisheries Fund and to encourage industry engagement on this fund.

Our government brought the needs of harvesters, processors and aquaculture operators to our partners in Ottawa and delivered $100 million in new federal funding to help them thrive during a time of transition. This funding builds on other new federal support that our government has been bringing home to Newfoundland and Labrador on a scale our province has not seen in many years. 

In addition to the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we will also access millions more in funding from the federal government’s $1.5-billion Ocean Protection Plan to protect our waters, the resources within them and the people who rely on them. This funding will play a key role in studying and managing fish stocks at a time when our provincial fishery resources are changing.

Over the next few years, federal investment in the province’s seafood sector will far exceed the $280 million that was promised but never delivered by previous Progressive Conservative administrations at the federal and provincial level. At the same time, our government will join industry in leveraging this funding with our own multi-million-dollar investments, and will continue to develop our own new initiatives to help industry, like the Seafood Innovation and Transition Program.

We heard harvesters, processors and aquaculture operators tells us that they are facing uncertainty and need help accessing new markets, managing our resources and competing globally. Together with our federal partners, we are making new funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars available to respond to their needs, create jobs and promote prosperity in our seafood sector, and in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

I look forward to engaging industry players about the Atlantic Fisheries Fund this year, and to securing even more support for them in the future.

Steve Crocker, minister
Fisheries and Land Resources