Look­ing for a li­cense

Area strate­gi­cally im­por­tant for pro­cess­ing, deputy mayor Cyril Dal­ley says

The Central Voice - - Front Page - kyle.green­[email protected]­cen­tralvoice.ca

Twillingate con­tin­ues push for ground­fish op­er­a­tion

The Town of Twillingate is still mak­ing work­ing to­ward pro­cess­ing ground­fish in the area.

Ac­cord­ing to deputy mayor Cyril Dal­ley, af­ter a dis­cus­sion at their most re­cent coun­cil meet­ing, the town’s pri­or­ity now is to meet with Notre Dame Seafoods pres­i­dent Ja­son Eveleigh be­fore the year is out.

“The fish plant is there, they own the plant and it would be ideal for [Notre Dame Seafoods] to go af­ter gov­ern­ment to­wards a ground­fish li­cense, which I think they would get,” said Dal­ley. “We’re await­ing the out­come of that meet­ing to see what di­rec­tion and what av­enues we can ex­plore from there.”

Notre Dame Seafoods owns plants in both Twillingate and Com­fort Cove-New­stead. The Twillingate plant, which for­merly pro­cessed shrimp, has now been closed for two years af­ter ex­ten­sive cuts to the prov­ince’s shrimp fish­ery.

The Cen­tral Voice spoke with Eveleigh on the prospect of ac­quir­ing a ground li­cense for the Twillingate plant. Eveleigh says he is in­ter­ested in that pos­si­bil­ity, and will be watch­ing the sci­ence and quo­tas for cod­fish in the com­ing years.

“With the plant cur­rently in­ac­tive, we’ve got a close eye on it,” Eveleigh said. “The re­source is lim­ited at this point in time. We’re fol­low­ing sci­ence to see if any pos­i­tive news is go­ing to sur­face.”

Dal­ley has been in con­tin­ual con­tact with the Fish, Food and Al­lied Work­ers (FFAW) union. He says the FFAW strongly sup­ports a fu­ture ground­fish op­er­a­tion for the Twillingate area.

FFAW rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ja­son Spin­gle has worked closely with the town dur­ing the dif­fi­cult times sur­round­ing the plant’s clo­sure. Given the area’s geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and his­tory as a fish­ing out­port, Spin­gle says Twillingate is a strate­gi­cally im­por­tant area for a re­bound­ing ground fish­ery.

“It’s right there on the grounds of the north­ern cod, and given all the in­fra­struc­ture and work­force that’s there, in a tran­si­tion to a ground fish­ery I’d say Twillingate is one of the places that would be a key com­mu­nity,” Spin­gle says.

Dal­ley agrees that Twillingate should be a top pri­or­ity lo­ca­tion for any fu­ture in­vest­ments.

“We don’t need to be ship­ping prod­ucts all over the is­land when qual­ity catch is what’s on ev­ery­one’s mind,” Dal­ley said. “We need pro­cess­ing in key geo­graph­i­cal ar­eas like Twillingate.”

The De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans (DFO) un­ex­pect­edly cut this year’s cod quota by 25 per cent af­ter a rev­e­la­tion the species suf­fered a 30 per cent loss in biomass, both of which stoked some fears in the talks of a re­bound­ing cod fish­ery.

Cod in this year’s com­mer­cial fish­ery was caught so quickly, how­ever it re­sulted in an early clo­sure of the fall fish­ery.

Along with the signs of cod re­main­ing strong, Spin­gle also sees the abun­dance of caplin this sum­mer as a pos­i­tive sign for the fu­ture.

“Right now we’re at 9,000 tonnes for [cod] quota,” he said. “The num­bers we’d need for a ground­fish op­er­a­tion in Twillingate and other com­mu­ni­ties is go­ing to have to be sig­nif­i­cantly higher than that.

“We’ll see what the north­ern cod sci­ence brings us. In the not too dis­tant fu­ture, I think we will be build­ing to­wards those num­bers.”

KYLE GREEN­HAM – THE CEN­TRAL VOICE

Fish, Food and Al­lied Work­ers union rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ja­son Spin­gle says Twillingate would be a key strate­gic area for a re­bound­ing ground fish­ery in New­found­land and Labrador.

KYLE GREEN­HAM – THE CEN­TRAL VOICE

Since this sum­mer, the Town of Twillingate has been push­ing for a ground­fish pro­cess­ing op­er­a­tion in the area. For the past two years, the Notre Dame Seafoods shrimp plant in Twillingate has been in­ac­tive due to the ex­ten­sive cuts to the shrimp fish­ery in re­cent years. From left to right, Coun. Wayne Green­ham, Deputy Mayor Cyril Dal­ley and Coun. Lloyd Blake.

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