HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's fish and seafood industry is getting nearly $45 million from the federal and provincial governments to help it weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money will be taken from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund and will go toward such things as equipment upgrades and at-work protections against the novel coronavirus.

The $44.7 million will be dedicated for 11 projects that benefit seafood processors and associations.

Any member of the fish and seafood sector may apply.

The announcement was made today by federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell.

Nova Scotia says its fish and seafood industry supports about 18,000 direct jobs and had exports worth about $2.3 billion in 2019, representing 38 per cent of the province's total exports.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021.