Fish Harvester Benefit And Fish Harvester Grant Now Open For Applications

August 24, 2020

BRITISH COLUMBIA – Canada’s fish and seafood harvesters are the driving economic force behind many coastal and rural communities. Canadians across the country have faced hardship due to COVID-19, but our fisheries have faced unique challenges. That’s why the Government of Canada created the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program – to meet those needs head-on.

The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program is open to self-employed fish harvesters wishing to apply. The application period will be open from August 24 through to September 21, 2020.

Harvesters interested in applying should go to the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website This site provides details about the program including guidance on eligibility and what documentation is required to complete the application process.

Totalling $469.4 million, the Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program marks the single largest investment in Canada’s fisheries in more than two decades.

These funds will help to ensure that Canada’s fish harvesters receive the financial support they need and prepare the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.

The Government of Canada has announced additional targeted new initiatives to support Canadians, including Canada’s fishing, aquaculture and processing sectors, through the COVID-19 pandemic, such as:

  • the Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund, a new $62.5 million initiative to assist the fish and seafood processing sectors;
  • an investment of $50 million to help farmers, fish harvesters, and all food production and processing employers, put in place the measures necessary to follow the mandatory 14-day isolation period required of all workers arriving from abroad. This means the Government will provide $1,500, per temporary foreign worker, to employers or those working with them to ensure the isolation requirements are fully met.
  • the Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund to help Canada enhance its reputation as a country that provides legal, sustainable, high quality and value-added fish and seafood products; and,
  • the Surplus Food Rescue Program, a time-limited program to help manage and redirect existing surpluses to organizations addressing food insecurity, in order to avoid food waste during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • the Government is also implementing temporary measures to support self-employed fish harvesters who rely on EI fishing benefits in the off-season. These measures will allow EI fishing benefits for these workers to be calculated using either their actual fishing earnings for their current claim, or their fishing earnings from their claim for the same season from the previous year, whichever is higher.


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