Ocean Choice International announced Thursday in Bay Bulls that it will install and integrate an innovative production line for groundfish onboard its new Arctic class vessel which is currently under construction.
The new vessel will enable approximately 70 new full-time jobs to be created at sea, mainly for employees in rural areas, a news release states.
The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is providing a repayable contribution of $3.5 million for the project and Ocean Choice is investing $3.5 million.
“Ocean Choice is looking forward to the introduction of this world-class modern groundfish vessel into our fishing fleet,” said Ocean Choice President Blaine Sullivan.
“Upon entering the fleet, this vessel will create 70 new full-time, year-round positions as well as additional spin-off benefits through offloading and other service requirements. We would like to thank ACOA for their support towards this initiative specifically related to the onboard processing system fabricated and installed by C&W Industrial Fabrication and Marine Equipment based here in Bay Bulls.”
Bay Bulls-based C & W Industrial Fabrication and Marine Limited has been sub-contracted to build and install the world-class production line for the vessel. The equipment will enable Ocean Choice to process its key groundfish stocks at sea using innovative and clean technology to maximize yield and quality, and deliver market-ready products.
The energy efficiency components and technology being incorporated into the design and build of the production line and vessel are expected to lead to a clean class designation, or Green Ship, which will be a first for a Canadian groundfish vessel, the release states.
Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, took part in Thursday’s announcement.
He said the federal government is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in the country by helping businesses to start-up, expand or modernize.
“Ocean Choice has a significant impact on rural communities in our province as it creates employment and economic spin-off opportunities for local businesses,” O’Regan said. “Our government is pleased to support this new onboard production line, which will deliver more jobs for people living in rural areas. It is also exciting to see this international company leading the way with clean technology and greener operations in the fishing industry.”
Ocean Choice has more than 1,700 employees in Newfoundland and Labrador and more than 1,800 independent fish harvesters. The company markets to over 30 countries worldwide and offers a wide variety of species, including snow crab, lobster, cold-water shrimp, scallops, Atlantic cod, flounder and sole, redfish, Greenland halibut, mackerel and capelin. Ocean Choice is headquartered in St. John’s and has sales offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia.