Aquaculture Research and Development Funding Program

Aquaculture development presents a significant growth opportunity for Nova Scotia. A diverse, productive aquaculture sector that incorporates science and technology for continuous advancement will be a key contributor to the Nova Scotia economy.

The Nova Scotia Aquaculture Research and Development Funding Program funds research and development projects that support sound science to address industry challenges and encourage further innovation in aquaculture. Three funding streams are supported as part of this initiative: Aquaculture and Resource Interactions; Advanced Planning for Aquaculture Development; and Industry Growth and Innovations.

Please note: The Department is not currently accepting applications for the Aquaculture Research and Development Funding Program.

Aquaculture and Resource Interactions

Research funded as part of this focus area will be established as part of a directed study process in which the Department identifies the regulatory or science issue that requires further study in order to contribute to improved industry management.

Advanced Planning for Aquaculture Development

Research funded as part of this focus area will allow the Department to expand current knowledge and information relating to aquaculture growth and expansion potential in the Province.

Industry Growth and Innovations

Research funded as part of this focus area will be established as part of a call for proposals process that supports innovative ideas being brought forth to tackle industry challenges or support increased production and industry advancement.

Priority areas for funding encompass new and innovative technologies and techniques to address the following:

  • Mitigation of environmental impacts;
  • Improved egg and seed security;
  • Improved performance of various life stages; and/or
  • Improved production through efficiency.

Research proposals must be submitted for evaluation by the Department using criteria and conditions outlined in the application package. The Province may contribute up to 50% of eligible project costs. For more information please contact Nathaniel Feindel, Manager of Aquaculture Development at 902-875-7450 or

Aquaculture Development Areas

Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs) help identify areas for potential marine aquaculture development through a science-based collaborative review process.

The Department works collaboratively with relevant groups on the collection of social, economic and ecological data to help identify areas for new development in advance of receiving applications from industry. The type of information collected and how it is analysed is the same as what is required as part of the normal aquaculture lease and licence application process.

Expansion of aquaculture areas are not limited to ADAs and industry may explore other areas within the province for marine aquaculture development. A lease and licence are required to operate a marine aquaculture site in the province, including within ADAs. Choosing an established ADA reduces the burden for operators who may not have the resources to do important initial scoping research. ADAs are part of governments strategy to support continued growth in aquaculture production while being environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Aquaculture development areas are enabled under Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

Past Research and Development Projects