Cold Weather in Newfoundland Slows Cooke's Salmon Production
Cooke Aquaculture attributes recent downtime at its salmon processing plant in Harbour Breton, Newfoundland, to cold weather that has slowed the fishes' appetites and growth.
Nell Halse, director of communications at Cooke Aquaculture, told The Coaster in Newfoundland that the company chose to grow the salmon out more before processing, hence the inactivity at the plant.
"We target a 10-pound average on our fish for processing," Hales told the newspaper. "If you harvest them before they reach 10 pounds you limit the tonnage, the amount of product and the amount of work at the plant. It is just not economically viable for us to do that."
From May 22 to May 28, there were only two days of production at the plant. From June 1 to June 7, there was a one-shift operation instead of two.
Halse insisted that the decision has nothing to do with market conditions. Instead, the period of non-feeding that occurs due to cold water temperatures during winter lasted much longer this year.
"This decision has nothing to do with market conditions. As a matter of fact, we have demand in the market, which is causing us some grief because we have customers waiting for our product. It's completely an issue of the fish not being as big as we'd like due to the past cold winter," Halse said.