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Fisheries and Aquaculture
August 27, 2010

Investment of $8 Million Supports Aquaculture Expansion

With a commitment of $8 million, the Provincial Government is supporting Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. to carry out a $23.5 million expansion of their operations in this province. In addition to expanding their marine cage farming operations in the Coast of Bays region, this expansion will include the construction of a salmon smolt hatchery in Stephenville. The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, made the announcement today at a news conference in Stephenville. The minister was joined by Larry Ingalls, owner of Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd., and Tony Cornect, MHA for Port au Port.

"This project will enable the province’s aquaculture industry to achieve the critical mass necessary to attract further private sector investment in the province," said Minister Jackman. "The new hatchery, in particular, is an important component of growing the province’s aquaculture industry to the next level. Completion of the hatchery will ensure security of smolt supply for the provincial industry, provide for greater biosecurity in the transport of smolt and provide the opportunity for our industry to take advantage of the full growing season. It will reduce overall costs for smolt, provide greater flexibility in stocking fish and increase the competitiveness of the industry."

To assist the company with setting up operations in the province, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will provide 50 per cent of the cost of setting up the hatchery and 25 per cent of the cost of expanding the marine farming sites. This funding will be provided through the Aquaculture Capital Equity Investment Program and will be based on a matching investment from the company. In return, the Provincial Government will have an equity position in the expanded company until the development is completed and the provincial investment is repaid in seven years.

"Our company is looking forward to expanding operations in this province," said Mr. Ingalls. "We look forward to working with the Provincial Government and in particular we are pleased to be able to establish a salmon smolt hatchery in the Stephenville area."

It is anticipated that by 2013, Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. will create approximately 600 jobs in the province. It is expected that 150 of these jobs will be directly on aquaculture sites or at the hatchery. Approximately 450 of these jobs are expected to be created in processing and service sectors within the aquaculture industry. The company’s major operations will be located at Harbour Breton and Pool’s Cove. The hatchery will create a number of professional positions for highly skilled workers in the Stephenville area and produce 4.5 million salmon smolt annually.

"This project demonstrates that the aquaculture industry is helping to diversify the economy throughout the province," said the Honourable Joan Burke, MHA for St. George’s-Stephenville East. "Our government committed to the people of Stephenville that we would bring new employment to the region and we are pleased to see the arrival of the aquaculture industry to the area."

The Aquaculture Capital Equity Program was created in 2006 to leverage investment from private sector companies and the Federal Government for aquaculture development in the province. Over the past four years, an estimated $105 million in investment has been leveraged for aquaculture development, most of which is from outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This project will certainly have a positive impact on our local economy and skilled workforce as we work to diversify our economy," said Port au Port MHA Tony Cornect.  "Aquaculture continues to grow and play a vital role in today’s economy, and projects such as this will encourage future investments in the region."

In 2009, the Newfoundland and Labrador aquaculture industry reached record levels of production and market value. The 2009 market value for provincial aquaculture increased to $92 million, representing a rise of 45.9 per cent over 2008.

"The aquaculture industry has been growing significantly under the leadership of the Williams Government, providing rural Newfoundland and Labrador with new, sustainable opportunities for economic growth and employment," said Tracey Perry, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune. "I am delighted with the expansion by Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. to produce smolt here in the province and to increase their grow-out operations in the Coast of Bays. I look forward to continued growth and opportunities for employment all across this great province as we continue to develop this industry." 

"We look forward to the growth of our industry and the associated economic benefits that these investments will bring," said Minister Jackman. "Our government has invested a lot to foster growth and development of the province’s aquaculture industry and we are reaping the rewards of that investment. It continues to be a top priority for our government."


Media contacts:

Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Larry Ingalls
Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd.
Bernadette Noseworthy
Executive Assistant to
the Hon. Joan Burke
MHA, St. George’s- Stephenville East
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424

Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. Expansion

The new $11 million hatchery will provide Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. with control of its smolt production and decrease biosecurity risks for the company and for the province’s aquaculture industry overall. The new hatchery will also expand production capability.

Smolt produced in this province will be larger and more robust, thus increasing the survival rate and resistance to disease. As well, the industry will be able to stock farm sites at more opportune intervals. Self-sufficiency in smolt production is a key objective for both the company and provincial aquaculture industry. Currently, the provincial industry imports most of its smolt from outside the province. At present, the only active salmonid hatchery in the province is located at Daniel’s Harbour.

For the provincial aquaculture industry, the greatest challenge to continued growth and profitability is the lack of hatcheries located within the province. The new Northern Sea Farms Newfoundland Ltd. hatchery will enable the company to expand from the current level of 1.4 million fish produced per year to 4.5 million. The expanded production will generate over 11 metric tonnes of fish by 2013, at a total value of $72 million.

Northern Harvest Sea Farms Newfoundland Ltd. was formed in 2007 by Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. to establish a salmon aquaculture business in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2008, Northern Harvest Sea Farms Newfoundland Ltd. acquired the assets of Nature Sea Farms Inc. in this province. Since its formation, the company’s production has reached 3,500 metric tonnes of salmon valued at $26 million in 2009.

Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. of New Brunswick has operated successfully in salmon farming in that province for the last 25 years. The primary principals of the company are the Ingalls family of New Brunswick and the Stavis family of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Ingalls family has a combined 74 years of experience in the aquaculture industry as owners and operators of fish farms in Canada and Chile. North Coast Aquafoods LLC is equally owned by Norm and Jim Stavis, who are also owners of North Coast Seafoods, a major seafood wholesaler in the United States.

The company plans to develop an $11 million salmon smolt hatchery in Stephenville, in conjunction with a $12.5 million capital investment to expand its sea cage operations over the next three years. These expanded marine farm sites will be used to grow the additional smolt being produced at the hatchery. At peak production, the company anticipates the hatchery will supply their farm sites with 4.5 million smolt per year. Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd. operates farm sites in the Coast of Bays Region, with sites located in Fortune Bay, Harbour Breton Bay, Great Bay de l’Eau and Hermitage Bay.

As part of Northern Harvest Sea Farms Ltd.’s strong commitment to biosecurity, the project will include a $300,000 water treatment system to dispose of waste water from the project.

2010 08 27                                                  11:25 a.m.

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