US lobster processor tries to save closed plant from auction

The founder of Maine-based processing operation Sea Hag Seafood, Kyle Murdock, hopes to thwart an auction of his seafood processing plant, scheduled for 17 June.

The seafood processing plant, which stretches over a 7.5-acre expanse on the edge of Long Cove in Tenants Harbor, Maine, has seen its share of problems, including an electrical incident that lost the company nearly an entire processing season in 2013 when the property was purchased. Sea Hag’s used its remaining funds and a working waterfront grant courtesy of the Land for Maine’s Future program to build a wharf one year later. However, according to Tom Miragliuolo, a senior planner with the working waterfront grant programs, the company did not follow the proper appraisal protocol necessary to receive the funds.

This shortcoming and a number of other factors led to Sea Hag’s closure on 30 April, and it looks as though the plant may have to shutter its doors permanently, Murdock said.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, Sea Hag Seafood may be closing its doors for good this summer,” he said to the Bangor Daily News.

The official property owners, Sea Hag Holdings – which consists of a group of investors that Murdock reports to every day – made a decision to sell the plant via auction. Murdock continues to search for other options.

“I am still striving everyday to bring a deal to the table that will delay the auction and return our processing business to operation,” he said. "With increasingly challenging market conditions, it became clear to us last fall that we needed to make changes to our business model and negotiate a new agreement with the property owner and our other creditors.”

As of now, the company will still sell and bait live lobsters as Sea Hag Fish and Lobster Co.


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