MONCTON, NB – The Maritime Fishermen’s Union is giving $6.8 million to the provincial government to complete early repayment of an $11-million loan provided in 2010 to support the sustainability of the lobster fishery in eastern New Brunswick.
“The fishing industry is a vital part of our province’s economy, society and culture,” says Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “This financial support was used to help the Maritime Fishermen’s Union work toward establishing a fleet rationalization plan that would support the overall sustainability of the lobster fishery in eastern New Brunswick.”
Downsizing the lobster fleet was aimed at strengthening the industry’s economic viability, and the loan helped the union access matching funds from the federal government’s Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Program.
“Financing like this, which comes at the right time for strategic purposes, is key to helping to make our industry sustainable and competitive,” says union president Carl Allen. “The hard-working men and women we represent are proud to be repaying the province in full, and years ahead of schedule.”
The fish and seafood sectors are important to the province’s economy, creating thousands of jobs in rural and coastal communities.
In 2016, New Brunswick was Canada’s second-largest exporting province for fish and seafood at more than $1.6 billion. That’s the seventh straight year the value of those exports increased, and it represents an increase of nearly 30 per cent since 2014.
Exports of lobster, the province’s largest seafood export product, were valued at $800 million in 2015.