Clearwater-owned company reintroducing Atlantic cod to Newfoundland processing operation
For the first time since a 1992 fishing moratorium went into effect, Atlantic cod is being processed and filleted once more in St. Anthony by Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada-based company St. Anthony Seafoods, according to a recent report from The Northern Pen, a local newspaper.
St. Anthony Seafoods, which is owned by Clearwater Seafoods (75 percent share) and St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (25 percent share), began trial runs for processing the cod on 15 August, in partnership with Northern Lights Seafood. Northern Lights Seafood’s owner Andy Schnare expects full production at the plant to commence this week, if all goes well during the trial period.
“We’re hoping if everything goes well, it will be something for the future to look forward to,” Schnare told The Northern Pen. “And we’re sure everything will go well.”
Schnare and Northern Lights are providing the filleting equipment and the market foothold for the St. Anthony processing initiative – the company has established markets for filleted cod, Schnare said.
The cod being processed comes from local harvesters, the Northern Pen reported. Whereas these fishers had to previously sell and truck their cod to Icewater Seafoods in Arnold’s Cove on the Avalon Peninsula due to the moratorium, they now have the option to have it produced locally, which could mean potentially better value for their catch, the newspaper said.
“I’m excited about it from SABRI’s perspective,” St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) Executive Director Sam Elliott said. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, trying to find a solution so fishermen wouldn’t have to sell their fish on an open receipt to somewhere else.”
“Hopefully it’ll make them more comfortable that they’re selling it at home,” Elliott added.
St. Anthony Seafoods’ plant workers are similarly enthused by the development, as they’ve struggled to attain more hours. Over the past two years, significant cuts in the quota for inshore shrimp – the plant’s main product – had limited the amount of work available for the plant’s staff. The reintroduction of cod processing to the facility “means a little more work for them,” The Northern Pen said.