Public Health Agency of Canada

07/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/21/2021 07:54

Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick fund 26 projects in the fish and seafood processing sector

July 21, 2021

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.