Shrimp processing plant Notre Dame Seafoods, in Twillingate. (Photo: NDS Twillingate)
Shrimp processing plant closes in Newfoundland
Friday, June 23, 2017, 02:10 (GMT + 9)
Twillingate-based shrimp processing plant, in Newfoundland and Labrador, will permanently close as a result of the declining resource, contributing to a drop to seven from 13 of the shrimp plants operating in the province since 2009.
Ray Hynes, Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) chair at the Twillingate plant -- Notre Dame Seafoods-- said that the factory employing close to 100 workers during peak processing season, was a pivotal piece in the economy of the area and its loss will surely be felt for years to come.
“We are sad to hear the terrible news today that close to a hundred people are permanently out of work. We must ensure that these workers and their families get the support they need. In recent years we have worked with the Mayor and the town, so we know exactly how important this plant is to Twillingate,” pointed out Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor president.
Sullivan also commented that the closure is a stark reminder of the need of long-term solutions to ensure sustainable communities are built around the fishing industry.
“Both federal and provincial governments must step-up to establish the approaches for both plant workers and harvesters to transition to a new fishery,” the union president added.
As groundfish stocks recover, a natural decline in shellfish is also happening, which has resulted in dramatic quota cuts for shrimp in recent years, leaving the province’s eight shrimp processing plants short on supply.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is facing a pivotal moment in the fisheries. A well-managed transition period is crucial for fish harvesters and processing plants to make the shift back to a groundfish focused fishery,” said Sullivan.
FFAW’ representatives claimed that for years, the entity has been calling for the removal of the offshore in SFA 6 to benefit both inshore harvesters and plant workers in the province.
The offshore trawlers hold approximately 60,000 tons of northern shrimp quota in all shrimp fishing areas, while the inshore holds 7,239 tons, with access to area 6 alone.