Future Fishers Program
The purpose of the Future Fisher Program is to:
- provide mentoring, training and financial support to new entrants into the Prince Edward Island lobster fishery to become knowledgeable on various aspects of the fishery and better positioned for success.
- assist the fishing industry to develop a solid foundation with a new generation of fishers in Prince Edward Island.
There are three components to the Future Fisher Program:
- Facilitation Assistance by a Program Manager.
- A training program involving all aspects of the lobster fishery.
- Interest rebate assistance which requires active participation in the coaching and training components.
Who is eligible for funding assistance?
- An eligible applicant* must have purchased a Class A lobster license after January 1, 2009 or demonstrate that 2009 was the first fishing year (as recognized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans) and not have held a Class A lobster license in previous years.
- Must be a resident of Prince Edward Island and be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- Only one applicant will be accepted per fleet under the Future Fisher Program and this shall be the license holder.
*An applicant who is working towards the ownership of a fishing fleet may be eligible for assistance towards the training component upon successful approval under the program.
What assistance is eligible for funding?
Interest rebate component
- reduce interest costs for a period of three consecutive years for fishing operations acquired by the applicant.
- maximum assistance per applicant will be $3,000 per year over a three-year period resulting in a maximum contribution related to interest relief of $9,000.
Interest relief will be calculated as follows:
- Applicants who have completed Grade 12 or equivalent will be eligible to receive a 2% contribution per annum on loans up to $150,000 related to acquiring a lobster enterprise.
- Applicants who have yet to complete Grade 12 or equivalent will be eligible for a financial contribution of 1% per annum on loans up to $150,000 related to acquiring a lobster enterprise until such time the applicant attains Grade 12 or equivalent In addition, each applicant is eligible to receive an additional $1,000 to assist towards the costs of training initiatives. Assistance for training initiatives will be normally cost-shared between the department and the applicant on a 50-50 basis.
How do I apply?
You can download the application form and submit it to the program manager at the Future Fisher Program. The program manager will then require a meeting to discuss your application.
What are the guidelines for the program?
- The applicant must submit an application prior to any financial commitment being made under this program.
- The applicant must possess the necessary license* required to be eligible for funding under the program.
- The applicant must agree to meet and discuss the application with the Program Manager and submit information on education status and financing as required so that a recommendation can be made on the application for department approval.
- Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. If the number of applications exceeds budget allocation, new applications may not receive program funding.
- If the applicant is approved under the program, a letter and Contractual Agreement will be forwarded to the applicant which, when accepted, will constitute a contract between the applicant and the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
- An applicant, who has yet to purchase a core fishing licence, including lobster, is eligible to enter the program and receive funding towards training initiatives and work towards gaining ownership of a core enterprise within three years of approval.
- Applicants must work towards completion of milestones in their training plan to be eligible for interest relief.
- Applicants must be borrowing money for the purpose of a fleet purchase. Interest rebate will be paid on loans approved by a recognized financial institution (chartered banks, Credit Unions, PEI Lending Agency) providing that the loan is to purchase the fishing related assets.
- The applicant must agree to provide the Program Manager with a loan approval letter from his/her lending institution, outlining terms and conditions and an annual statement verifying the loan is still in existence.
- The applicant may be required to re-pay all or a portion of the interest relief if the fishing enterprise is sold at any time during the three year period of approval.
- The department may refuse to consider an application if there is evidence of misrepresentation of pertinent information or if the application does not conform with the spirit of the program.
- In any matter of difference between the Minister and the applicant throughout the life of the project, the decision of the Minister will be final.
Is there a deadline for the program?
Applications under the program will be accepted until March 31, 2021.
For more information contact:
Program Manager, Future Fisher Program
PEI Department of Agriculture & Fisheries
PO Box 1180, Montague, PE C0A 1R0
Tel: (902) 838-0635 Fax: (902) 838-0975
Toll Free: 1-877-407-0187