The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has a legislated mandate to manage, promote, support and develop the fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing industries of this province. The intention is to contribute to the economic, environmental and social prosperity of Nova Scotia's coastal and rural communities.


Aquaculture division regulates, manages and develops the sector. We are responsible for aquaculture site leasing and licensing, environmental management, as well as aquatic animal health services, and community/public outreach activities.

Inland Fisheries

Inland Fisheries promotes recreational fishing opportunities throughout the province. We issue licenses, engage in management of non-resident sport fish and offer outreach services.

Education, research, and participation in habitat rehabilitation projects are also within our mandate. The branch operates three fish hatcheries to enhance salmon and trout stocks for our inland waters.

Marine and Coastal

Marine and Coastal Services provides marine advisory and coastal zone management services to the province's commercial fisheries and rockweed harvesting sectors. We support coastal infrastructure and development projects.

The division is responsible for fish processor and buyer licensing, and oversees the monitoring and enforcement of department acts and regulations.

The division also coordinates field staff in regional offices throughout the province. We ensure regulatory compliance and one-window access to programs and services for fisheries and aquaculture clients.

Agencies, Boards & Commissions

Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board

Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board provides long-term, stable lending services to the fishing and aquaculture industries. Our board operates as a Crown Corporation and is accountable to the public through its own business plan and annual reporting.

Funding can be obtained for vessel related loans, aquaculture seed stock/equipment and new entrants/new species licence loans. We also maintain a vessel inspection program for all new and used vessel purchases modifications, as well as annual maintenance inspections.