June 9, 2004
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)
Province signs MOU with High Liner Foods and Icewater Seafoods
Trevor Taylor, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today announced that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will see the province acquire the Enterprise Allocations of the Arnold�s Cove fish plant and see a local company, Icewater Seafoods, operate the facility. As part of the agreement in principle, the provincial government will make a strategic investment totalling $3.5 million.
"The Arnold�s Cove facility is state-of-the-art and has a skilled workforce. However, High Liner Foods made it publicly known some time ago that it was realigning its business activities, and the plant has been up for sale," said Minister Taylor. "The potential closure of this modern plant, which employs approximately 400 people in rural areas, has been a significant concern. Today�s announcement will lay the groundwork for Icewater Seafoods to implement its long-term strategy that should bring much-needed stability to area economies. I expect that this will come as a relief for communities stretching from Clarenville to Southern Harbour."
Minister Taylor also raised the suggestion that repatriating groundfish quotas to the province was possibly more significant in the bigger picture. "We as a government have been particularly aware of the likelihood that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians could forever lose the historical groundfish allocations associated with the Arnold�s Cove fish plant," said the minister. "In the event that groundfish stocks rebound, our provincial economy will need high-tech plants like the one in Arnold�s Cove, and we must preserve our right to fish the waters along our shores. This is the right thing to do for Arnold�s Cove today and the right thing to do for future generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians generally. "
Icewater Seafoods will be operated by Bruce Wareham, the plant�s current manager. The government�s investment is consistent with its policy of not providing loan guarantees, direct financial assistance, or subsidies to primary processing companies.
Media contact: Alex Marland, Communications, (709) 729-3733
2004 06 09 2:00 p.m.