Nu­na­cor part­ners with OCI, other in­dige­nous groups, for Surf Clam bid

The Labradorian - - EDITORIAL - BY EVAN CAREEN

A pan-At­lantic In­dige­nous part­ner­ship, which in­cludes the South­ern Inuit, has been formed to pur­sue the re­cently re­leased Ar­tic Surf Clam quota.

The part­ner­ship is be­tween the Innu of Que­bec, the Mi’kmaq of New Brunswick, the South­ern Inuit of Labrador and Ocean Choice In­ter­na­tional (OCI).

Andy Turn­bull, CEO of Nu­na­cor, the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment com­pany for the Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, said it is a great op­por­tu­nity for all the groups in­volved.

“For us it’s the first time to part­ner in a ven­ture like this with other in­dige­nous groups,” he told the Labradorian. “Per­son­ally I would like to be do­ing more of this in the fu­ture. Within our group, we each have our own ex­per­tise we bring to the ta­ble.”

While the surf clam in­dus­try is new to them, Turn­bull said the fishery ex­pe­ri­ence they have in terms of har­vest­ing is part of their con­tri­bu­tion to the group.

“We’ve each been in­volved in the fishery in the past in var­i­ous ways. For us it has al­ways been har­vest­ing, for oth­ers it has been pro­cess­ing, for oth­ers it has been mar­ket­ing and sales. Bring that all to­gether and I think we have a very solid part­ner­ship. There’s a lot of fishery knowl­edge and ex­per­tise that we bring to this pro­posal.”

Turn­bull said he would like to stress as well that it is an in­dige­nous led part­ner­ship and the in­dige­nous groups will be in­volved in all steps of the process, every­thing from pur­chas­ing the ves­sel, har­vest­ing, hir­ing, right on through to the pro­cess­ing and sale of the prod­uct.

“It’s that in­stant in­volve­ment in ca­pac­ity build­ing for the groups,” he said. “There’s no phase in ap­proach to in­dige­nous ca­pac­ity or in­volve­ment, its right from day one. It’s a very solid in­dige­nous part­ner­ship, we’re happy to have OCI part­ner­ing; they bring a lot of ex­per­tise, es­pe­cially in the sales side. In­ter­na­tional sales is the tar­get mar­ket for this prod­uct.”

That level of in­volve­ment is in­cluded in the Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with OCI. The part­ner­ship over­all, de­pend­ing on the fi­nal struc­ture should this be suc­cess­ful, would be 80-85 per cent owned by the in­dige­nous en­ti­ties. There is also a skills and man­age­ment train­ing com­po­nent, to help strengthen In­dige­nous ca­pac­ity and abil­ity in the fishery go­ing for­ward.

“It’s a unique and ex­cit­ing mile­stone for the coun­try’s fishery. OCI is pleased to be part of real change and fos­ter a true sense of col­lab­o­ra­tion in how our fishery op­er­ates,” said Martin Sul­li­van, CEO of OCI in a press re­lease about the part­ner­ship.

“We are con­fi­dent in this pro­posal and feel it high­lights a part­ner­ship that strength­ens the In­dige­nous com­mu­nity’s abil­ity to par­tic­i­pate in the surf clam fishery, while also ben­e­fit­ing the At­lantic re­gion as a whole.”

FILE PHOTO

Nu­na­cor CEO Andy Turn­bull said the Surf Clam pro­posal, if suc­cess­ful, could bring great eco­nomic ben­e­fit.

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