CETA deal supplemented work this summer at Port au Choix shrimp plant, says OCI CEO
Doesn’t make up for work lost due to inshore shrimp quota cuts
Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice International (OCI), says the CETA (Canada-European Trade Agreement) agreement has helped facilitate some additional work at the Port au Choix shrimp plant this summer. However, it hasn’t been able to make up for the hit workers took from the inshore quota cut.
OCI processes shrimp at the plant in Port au Choix. With tariffs lifted thanks to CETA – Canada and the European Union’s free trade agreement – OCI has been able to process some shrimp there for European markets they couldn’t before.
“The industrial shrimp that’s produced on the offshore boats, if we peeled that here, there was a 20 per cent duty going into the EU and now we can send it in (to Europe) dutyfree,” Sullivan explains.
They have been preparing some of this offshore shrimp this summer in anticipation of CETA’s provisional application on Sept. 21.
Sullivan says the arrangement hasn’t been able to make up for the work lost by the inshore shrimp quota cuts, though it has been able to supplement the plant’s intake to extend the season somewhat.
“It depends on the catch rates and everything else,” said Sullivan. “It’s not huge this year but in a year where you’re getting only part weeks, it helps fill up the part weeks a bit – it helps make better work weeks for everyone.
“It’s not going to have a huge impact on the total number of weeks but it all helps, especially in an environment where the shrimp has been cut back so much.”
An overhead view of the Port au Choix shrimp plant owned by OCI.