Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund Gets Makeover

Fisheries

Anchovies (Public Domain)

The federal government is giving its newly reopened Canadian Fish and Seafood Opportunities Fund (CFSOF) a makeover to make the program more streamlined and more responsive to the sector’s needs.

First launched in 2018, the national cost-sharing federal, provincial, and territorial program aims to help the sector access new consumer markets and identify new branding opportunities.

Thanks to the changes made to the $42.85M program, applicants will now be able to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the fund at any time, rather than by responding to specific calls. Successful applicants at the EOI stage will be invited to submit a full proposal at the next step of the application process.

For those interested in applying, the CFSOF provides non-repayable grants that fund eligible activities in participating provinces and territories, which are British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Ontario, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Eligible applicants are nonprofit organizations, such as industry associations and Indigenous groups, operating on a national, regional, or sector-wide basis.

Since its launch, the fund has provided seven projects with $4.8 million in funding, for an average disbursement of $685.7k.

“The new continuous intake process is more straightforward, responsive, and adaptable to industry needs, especially during these uncertain times,” said Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Minister Bernadette Jordan. “Canada has high-quality, world-class seafood and we will continue to find new ways to help promote the industry, their products, and support the women and men in our fisheries.”

The Canadian fish and seafood sector generates approximately $3.1 billion in GDP each year. In April, the federal government also announced the launch of a $62.5 million Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund to help the sector through the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, to help mitigate the loss of markets for fresh products.

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