SABRI ceas­ing mus­sel farm op­er­a­tion in St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet

En­ter­prise un­able to op­er­ate plant due to loss of rev­enue from shrimp cuts

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN ROBERTS

ST. LU­NAIRE-GRI­QUET, NL – St. An­thony Basin Re­sources Inc. (SABRI) has de­cided to dis­con­tinue its mus­sel farm op­er­a­tion in St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet af­ter this sea­son.

The en­ter­prise re­leased a notice to the St. An­thony and Area Cham­ber of Com­merce on Wed­nes­day re­quest­ing ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est from any­one who may want to make an of­fer to SABRI to pur­chase the op­er­a­tion – in­clud­ing both the farm and pro­cess­ing plant.

SABRI said it would ac­cept re­quests in writ­ing un­til noon on June 9.

“If there’s no in­ter­est, I guess there’ll be no mus­sels,” said SABRI ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor Sam El­liott.

El­liott told the North­ern Pen the de­ci­sion had to be made due to the loss of rev­enue from the cut to the com­pany’s shrimp al­lo­ca­tion.

“The mus­sel farm was never a prof­itable in­dus­try for us,” he said. “It cre­ated em­ploy­ment for three peo­ple, and we of­fered ser­vice to the lo­cal econ­omy and the tourist in­dus­try in the sum­mer by hav­ing the fresh mus­sels avail­able.

“With the sig­nif­i­cant loss of quota, from 3,000 tonnes to 468 tonnes (over two years), and a loss of rev­enue, it was just not sus­tain­able for us. In fact, there are a lot of things we’ll prob­a­bly not be able to do.”

Ac­cord­ing to El­liott, with this dra­matic loss in rev­enue, SABRI’s en­tire struc­ture will have to change. It is im­pos­si­ble to con­tinue op­er­at­ing as they did be­fore, he said, adding this was just the first de­ci­sion that had to be made.

“You look at all the grants and schol­ar­ships and stuff like that. If we don’t have the rev­enue, we’re not go­ing to be able to get them out. These de­ci­sions haven’t been for­mally made yet, but the mus­sel farm is the start.”

El­liott said the de­ci­sion to dis­con­tinue mus­sel farming will not im­pact the pro­duc­tion of their blue mus­sel pow­der weight loss sup­ple­ment.

The en­ter­prise has been look­ing for a com­pany to part­ner with to bring that prod­uct to mar­ket, and has reached a stage where it can be pro­cessed at other lo­ca­tions. There­fore, the St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity isn’t needed for its con­tin­ued devel­op­ment.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

A worker pro­cesses mus­sels at SABRI’s fa­cil­ity in St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Mus­sels run through the pro­ces­sor.

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