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Fish Harvesters to Benefit from Enhanced Programme

21 May 2012

CANADA - Continuing with its commitment to strengthen and grow the province’s billion dollar fishing industry and address challenges experienced by fish harvesters, the Provincial Government has introduced further enhancements to the highly-successful Fisheries Loan Guarantee Programme.

The enhancements stem from industry input provided during the development of the Fishing Industry Memorandum of Understanding.

The announcement was made Friday, May 18 by Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, and Darin King, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, at the Fermeuse Marine Centre.

“As reflected by the announcement, the Provincial Government is delivering on its commitment to provide fish harvesters with options and flexibility in pursuing their business activities,” said Minister Hutchings.

“The bolstered programme will improve access to capital for fish harvesters seeking to combine their licences and enterprises in order to improve the viability of their businesses. These enhancements will invite positive outcomes and benefit fish harvesters, as well as the communities in which they live and work.”

Key elements of the expanded Fisheries Loan Guarantee Program include:

  • Flexible down payment features;
  • Eligibility of combined enterprises (two or more quotas per vessel);
  • Eligibility of licence and quota acquisitions;
  • Greater flexibility in choosing fixed or floating interest rates;
  • Added flexibility and extended repayment terms; and/or,
  • Refinancing of loans currently held by financial institutions or processors.

A complete list of all programme enhancements are included in the backgrounder.

“Enhancements to the Fisheries Loan Guarantee Programme are the next step in our government’s plan to strengthen the fishery, to ensure it remains sustainable and provides long-term benefits to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister King.

“A transition is undoubtedly taking place in this industry, being driven by global markets and the need for enterprises to be more competitive. To that end, enabling harvesters to access financing on reasonable terms demonstrates our government’s commitment and once again shows our confidence as a government that the fishery will play an integral role in our province’s economic success in the future, as it has in the past.”

Through the Fisheries Loan Guarantee Program, the Provincial Government helps fish harvesters secure the necessary financing to purchase, construct or upgrade vessels, and acquire new equipment. Since the programmes inception in 1980, the Provincial Government has guaranteed financial support totalling C$182 million for fish harvesters. The program has been highly successful with a default rate of only 1.1 per cent.

The Provincial Government’s guarantee is to the financial lender and in the event of a default the Fisheries Loan Guarantee Program does not guarantee the fish harvester’s payments to the financial lender.

TheFishSite News Desk



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