NDP

New Loan Deposit Program for Fishing Industry

June 14, 2011


Fishermen in the province can now sell their commercial fishing business through a new deposit loan program that will help with succession in the industry.

“This initiative will make life more affordable for younger fishermen who are looking to start their own fishing business,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau, today, June 14. “It is important that we have programs available that encourage new entrants to the fishing industry.”

Under this program, the Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board will lend the deposit on a licence package and help arrange the financial payments by the new fisherman to the retiring fisherman. The licence package may include the boat, licence and gear or the licence and gear. A maximum of 25 per cent of the purchase price of the package will be provided.

“Many of our commercial fishermen are getting near retirement and want to sell their business, but the younger generation may not qualify for a total financing package to purchase a licence, boat and gear. This program makes the purchase of licences more accessible,” said Mr. Belliveau.

The term of the loan for a licence is for a maximum of 20 years and for a boat is 20 years less the age of the vessel. A minimum five per cent deposit is required for new entrant licences and a 10 per cent deposit is needed for new species licences. Interest is the government rate that is in effect at the time of the loan.

The province introduced the loans for licences program in 2009. One hundred and sixty-three loans have been approved for lobster, crab, groundfish and tuna licences since the program began.

Program information and applications are available on the department website www.gov.ns.ca/fish/fishlb