There are significant changes to regulations for those wanting to enter or grow their business in Nova Scotia's fishery sector.
The new regulations include reduced loan approval wait times through increased lending limits, expanded financing to include loans for quota and reduced and variable interest rates along with an increased amortization term.
The announcement was made this morning by Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill.
He tells CJLS News the changes came directly from industry and will make a real difference for new entries into the industry.
"For those who want to grow the industry and those who want to start thinking about succession planning. This is going to save people money on major loans, it's reducing the financial risk to get in to the industry."
Churchill says the changes came about through a collaborative effort by industry, government and the loan board.
"These were practical changes for financing options that the industry has been pushing for."
Churchill says it will ensure the fishing industry can be grown into the future.
Meanwhile Denny Morrow, chair of the Fisheries and aquaculture Loan Board says the changes reflect the confidence that the board has in the long-term sustainability of the fishery.
"The seafood industry is the number one export item in this province by far. There's a need for capital."
Heather Mulock of the Coldwater Lobster Association says the regulations will help grow the sector.
"There's a lowered interest rate, a lower administration fee, the cap has gone from one million to five million, which allows for new entrants that might want to look to get a full enterprise with a license and a boat."
She says it's also good news for seasoned fishermen who may want to do modifications to their boat or buy a new one.
(CJLS photo: MLA Zach Churchill and Denny Morrow, chair of the Fisheries and aquaculture Loan Board)
**From the release:
The changes will streamline processes, which supports government's goal of reducing regulatory burden on Nova Scotia's businesses.
The new regulations offer:
-- reduced loan approval wait times through increasing lending limits from $1 million to $5 million
-- expanded financing to include loans for quota and other fishing and seafood related activities
-- reduced interest rates
-- open and closed specific term loans, variable interest rates and an increased amortization term from 20 to 30 years
-- loan prepayment
The board has supported the fisheries and aquaculture in Nova Scotia for more than 80 years. Financing is available to clients who are likely to succeed and provides reasonable rates for people in the industries to finance their business.