East Coast Seafood lobster plant rebuild could take years

Published on
March 26, 2018

An early-morning fire that completely destroyed East Coast Seafood’s Paturel International facility on Deer Island in New Brunswick, Canada, on 1 March will take at least two years to completely recover from, according to East Coast representatives. 

The fire, which affected Paturel International’s lobster processing facility, occurred when the plant was not in operation and no injuries were reported. The fire marks the second time in six months that one of Paturel’s facilities has gone up in flames, after the company’s lobster tank house on the opposite side of the island burned down in September. 

Despite the loss of the processing facility, East Coast said that its product delivery will continue as scheduled. The company has shifted lobster production demand to one of its other 12 facilities in North America, according to East Coast Seafood President and CEO Chris Maze. 

“In the weeks since the fire, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of support from both the local and industry community at large,” Maze said. “We want to thank everyone for the tremendous role they’ve played in employee services and placement opportunities, and to our internal teams for ensuring minimal service interruptions to our customers.”

According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, the fire put roughly 100 employees out of work, a blow to the economy of Deer Island. Located in the West Isles Parish census subdivision of New Brunswick, the total population of the area according to the 2016 census was just 797.

Maze said the company is working hard to put a permanent plan in place.

”As we’ve said since the beginning, we are extremely grateful that no one was hurt and for the strong redundancy of our vertical business infrastructure,” he said. “ While we’re still working hard to put a permanent plan in place, we remain committed to people first – including our employees, our customers, and an unwavering focus on our respective growth strategy for the future.”

Danielle Elliott, communications officer for the New Brunswick Fire Marshal, said the fire is still under investigation and the Office of the Fire Marshal is unable to comment on its cause.

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