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Lobster Gear Program

What is the Lobster Gear Program?

The Lobster Gear Program provides lobster harvesters with straight-forward access to the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) funding for the following approved lobster gear:

  • Electric lobster pot haulers
  • Automatic banding machines
  • Insulated lobster containers, including those with the honey-combed interior to allow lobsters to be separated
  • Pump and tank and tray holding systems

This is the complete list of gear covered by the project. All other gear, including lobster crates, is not covered.

This Program has been extended through 2023.

Terms of Funding

Please be advised that going forward all applicants for the Lobster Gear Program must be pre-approved by the AFF before purchasing lobster gear under the Program.

To be pre-approved, a harvester must submit his or her name and FIN number to the FFAW so that the AFF can confirm that you meet the conditions to participate. We anticipate that the pre-approval process will take two to three days. You will be contacted as soon as we have a response from the AFF. We cannot accept your application without pre-approval.

Harvesters are eligible for 80% of the total eligible purchase to a maximum payout of $5,000. This means that the Program will cover gear purchased at a value of up to $6,250.

Harvesters who participate in the Program must follow AFF rules regarding the selling of gear purchased with AFF funds. Gear purchased with Program funds cannot be sold to anyone else for at least 36 months from the date of purchase. If gear is sold during the 36-month prohibition, the harvester must reimburse AFF for all AFF funds provided to pay for that gear.

How to Apply

Harvesters wanting to purchase any of the above-noted gear can do so at their convenience and from the seller of their choice.

Once the gear is purchased, and in your possession, you must submit the receipt and completed application form to FFAW-Unifor.

Eligible applicants need to have had landings recorded by DFO in the past 3 out of 5 years. Commercial landings are not essential to qualify. Landings can also be proven from a notation in the log book or by receipts for lobster sold locally. Please note that the application requires the following:

  • FIN
  • Enterprise Number
  • Copy of Lobster License
  • Proof of Purchase

New entrants are exempt from the three year activity. Any harvester who has acquired their license after 2018 is deemed a new entrant for the purposes of this Program. AFF is requiring that all harvesters be either new entrants or have had activity in three years dating back as far as 2018. Activity in this sense can be a blend of sales slips and logbooks, but covering 3 different years. Harvesters are not required to provide all their activity in those years, rather, just any particular week of activity that proves them eligible.

Submitting Multiple Claims

Harvesters can submit multiple claims, but the entire rebate paid out for all claims combined cannot exceed $5,000 or purchases at a value of up to $6,250.

For example, if you purchased gear in 2021 with a total value of $4,000, you will receive a rebate for $3,200. If you want to purchase additional gear in 2023, you can purchase gear up to a total value of $2,250 and receive a rebate of $1,800. The total rebate provided to you during the project would total $5,000.

Carefully review the application form prior to making your purchase to ensure you will qualify.

If You Have Already Applied To AFF

If you have previously submitted an application to AFF for any of the approved lobster gear, those applications are now being covered under the FFAW Program. Please complete the FFAW Lobster Gear Application Form and submit it with all of the required information.

Additional Information

Carefully review the application form prior to making your purchase to ensure you will qualify.

If you have any questions about the Program, please contact Aaryn Lambert at the FFAW office via email to; or by phone: 709-576-7276 ext 230.