Fisheries Interest Relief Program

The new ‘term debt’ interest relief program will provide assistance to PEI fish harvesters. This new interest relief program will provide relief for qualified applicants that meet the eligibility noted below, and demonstrate a minimum 30% decrease in fish-related revenues for the 2020 fishing season (12 months of interest relief).  Additionally, clients that currently have their debt with Finance PEI will be eligible to defer their principal payments for the same 12 month period (May 1st, 2020 – April 30th, 2021).  

The total obligation of the Government of Prince Edward Island under the Fisheries Interest Relief program will not exceed twelve million, five hundred thousand dollars ($12,500,000). The Government of Prince Edward Island reserves the right to pro-rate payments  at any point during the program should the total interest rebate/claims from the cumulative fishers exceed twelve million, five hundred thousand dollar ($12,500,000). 

Eligibility

Eligible applicants must be a PEI Resident (supported by 2018 personal tax returns if required) and must also demonstrate its operations are on PEI and within one of the following sectors:

  • Lobster; 
  • Rock crab; 
  • Tuna; 
  • Herring; 
  • Mackerel; 
  • Silverside; 
  • Mussels;  
  • Clams and quahogs; 
  • Oysters and other aquaculture;

Eligible harvesters must meet the following criteria:

  • Must provide documentation to validate debt is with an arm’s length entity (i.e. related party debt is not eligible for interest relief);
  • Must provide documentation to validate debt was incurred for the purpose of earning income on PEI for fishing activities.

Businesses that are in the process of receivership as per the Canada’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, or have been so in the past, are not eligible for this program. The applicant has a satisfactory credit rating and must not have any defaulted outstanding debt obligation on file in the provincial central default registry.

What are the program details?

Fisheries Interest Relief Program is being administered by Finance PEI on behalf of the Department of Fisheries and Communities, where the Department of Fisheries and Communities will reimburse interest expense incurred for 12 months that is owing by PEI fish harvesters for existing term debt (lines of credit are excluded) with their financial institutions (i.e. chartered bank, credit unions and Finance PEI) prior to May 1st, 2020.   

  • Interest relief is only eligible for ‘term debt’ directly related to fishing activities, and held with a financial institution (i.e. chartered banks, Credit Unions, BDC and FPEI/PEI Century Fund).  For greater clarity, the program excludes revolving credit (i.e. lines of credit and related party debt).
  • The program will provide interest relief on term debt incurred on or before May 1, 2020 (The program will not exceed twelve months).
  • Fish harvesters with loans through Finance PEI and can show a 30% decrease in fish related revenues for the 2020 fishing season (compared to 2019) will also qualify for principal payment deferral for the same 12 month period (May 1st, 2020 – April 30th, 2021). 

What is the process to apply?

Fish harvesters will apply at the end of their fishing season for all species (i.e. completed fishing for all operations including lobster, tuna, oyster, and etc).  It is the collective revenues of all fishing activities of the applicant being assessed to the prior year revenues. Only applicants that demonstrate a minimum of 30% loss in fish revenues for the entire year will qualify for this program.

  • Financial reporting to demonstrate a decrease in revenue over fishing season (demonstrating minimum of a 30% decrease). Fish harvesters will apply after each of the approved sectors listed above, fishing seasons close to demonstrate a minimum of 30% loss in fish revenues compared to the prior year;
  • Financial reporting under this program must be consistent with its tax reporting practices (cash or accrual basis). Finance PEI reserves the right to review and request additional information to validate decrease revenues (including but not limited to financial statements, fish statements, tax returns and any other document as required;
  • Finance PEI reserves the right to offset any interest relief eligibility against other amounts owing to either Finance PEI or the Department of Fisheries and Communities; 
  • Harvesters/operators who provide false or misleading information to obtain access to this program will be subject to full repayment with interest, plus any other penalties as deemed appropriate by the agency or authorities. 

You will need to provide the following information in the web-form: 

  • Annual revenue information 
  • Shareholder, partner information 
  • Existing financing information 

You may upload the following documentation to the web-form:

  • Interim income and expense statement and balance sheet for current year to date
  • Fisher statement from processor or buyer
  • Term debt agreements with financial institutions (including, but not limited to, loan documents) confirming interest rates and the related purpose of the term debt
  • Pre-Authorization for Credit Transactions (Company Void Cheque or Direct Deposit Banking Information)

What is the payment process?

Upon approval of an application under the Fisheries Interest Relief Program, Finance PEI and the Department of Fisheries and Communities will process payment of interest relief on approved claims.

How do I apply? 

Click the 'Apply Now' button below. 

Contact information

For information about interest relief, contact fisheriesinterest@gov.pe.ca 

This program is a joint partnership of Finance PEI and the Department of Fisheries and Communities. 

Finance PEI

General Inquiries

Development Lending and Property Management
2nd Floor, 94 Euston Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7M8

financepei@gov.pe.ca