News release

Support for Seafood Industry Energy Efficiency Projects

Fisheries and Aquaculture
clean energy
climate change
Photo of fishing boats

Fishing boats are seen in Yarmouth County this spring. (Communications Nova Scotia / File)

The seafood sector across Nova Scotia will be able to do more to reduce its carbon footprint with the new Fisheries and Aquaculture Energy Efficiency Innovation Fund.

The program will support new projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by boats, buildings and other commercial fisheries and aquaculture operations. Funding is also available to support adoption of clean technology in the sector.

“Our industries are already leaders in fighting climate change through the investments they’re making to reduce energy use,” said Kent Smith, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “With this new funding, they’ll be able to do even more to build a sustainable future and grow while helping Nova Scotia get to net zero.”

Proposals are being accepted for projects that:

  • adapt emerging electric and hybrid technology for fishing vessels and fleets
  • install renewable energy systems
  • reduce emissions through equipment upgrades and new technology
  • conduct research to enable future emission-reduction projects.

The Province is investing $6.5 million in the three-year program.

The Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board has also created a dedicated lending program connected to the new fund. If needed, funding recipients can apply for a loan with reduced interest rates to support approved projects, making the program more accessible.

To launch the program, two demonstration studies on electric vessel conversion are being funded. Glas Ocean Electric, Halifax, will receive $198,000 to work with industry in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. Ignite Atlantic, a Yarmouth-based rural innovation hub, will receive $150,000 to support the sector in Digby and Sheet Harbour.


“The fishing and aquaculture industries play a pivotal role here in Nova Scotia and internationally. The industry generates significant revenue and employment opportunities across the province, supporting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. Investments in energy efficiency will lower costs, increase competitiveness and further position the sector as a global leader.”
Stephen MacDonald, President and CEO, EfficiencyOne, the non-profit operator of Efficiency Nova Scotia

“Our members have invested heavily to improve efficiency of operations with the co-operation of the Province through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund to pursue refrigeration upgrades, on-site energy retrofits and renewable energy systems, all with a goal of reducing operational costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s announcement will guarantee that this good work will go on and the Nova Scotia shore-based fish and seafood sector will continue to be leaders in this important work from their operations that feed a growing world.”
Kris Vascotto, Executive Director, Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance

Quick Facts:

  • the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board will make available $10 million over three years in dedicated lending to support eligible applicants
  • working with an on-site manager from EfficiencyOne, members of the industry have carried out 100 efficiency projects, reducing emissions by more than 5,600 tonnes – equal to taking 11,000 cars off the road – over the past three years
  • the fund is a commitment in Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth
  • the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables provided $2 million to the fund

Additional Resources:

Program details and application forms:

Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board lending program:

Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth:

Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act:

Fisheries and Aquaculture on X (formerly Twitter):