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PEI approves financial aid for storm-hit aqua industry

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After sustaining major damages due to Hurricane Fiona, Canadian province Prince Edward Island has made financial aid available to its aquaculture industries and launched a survey to assess the destruction.

Upended tree roots in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Hurricane Fiona made landfall in late September and damaged provincial infrastructure

According to a local press release, island fishers and aquaculturists who experienced damage due to Hurricane Fiona can access immediate financial supports and request clean-up assistance from the Province.

The island’s aquaculture industries may be eligible for financial assistance through the Provincial Disaster Financial Assistance Programme (PDFAP).

The PDFAP can reimburse fishery and aquaculture operators with revenues of $2 million or less and who employ no more than the equivalent of 20 full-time employees for the following losses that are not covered by their insurance providers. This can include:

  • Repairing damage to and loss of gear as well as to fishing and harvesting equipment;
  • Replacing and repairing outbuildings such as bait sheds;
  • Replacing or repairing business equipment and inventory;
  • Clean-up costs of debris, hazardous materials and waste disposal; and,
  • Incremental labour costs for clean-up and inventory transportation to alternate storage facilities.

“The effects of Fiona on fishers and aquaculturists are clear and we know that they need some financial help now.

As a province, we have worked hard with our federal partners to ensure that the provincial disaster financial assistance programme will cover some of the costs to our commercial fishery and aquaculture industries,” said Minister of Fisheries and Communities, Jamie Fox.

Along with provincial seafood industry associations, the Department of Fisheries and Communities and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have developed industry specific damage assessments surveys to help both levels of government fully understand the scope of longer-term impacts of Hurricane Fiona. The survey results will be used to design appropriate support programmes to meet the needs of impacted fishers, aquaculture producers and seafood processors.

“There are thousands of PEI residents whose livelihoods depend on our seafood industry and the results of these surveys will help us and the federal government design support programmes to help industry get back on their feet,” added Minister Fox. “These results will also help drive important conversations on how governments and industry can build more resiliency for the next storm.”

All Island seafood industry members will receive the surveys to complete from their respective associations later this week. Island shellfish lease holders will also receive their industry’s survey from DFO.

Click here for more information on the support programmes.