Tag Archives: Ocean Choice International

One plant is processing more shrimp thanks to the elimination of tariffs under European free trade deal

The new free trade deal with Europe has only been in effect for a few days but one seafood processor in Newfoundland and Labrador says it’s already meant more work. Ocean Choice International has extended work at the Port au Choix plant.,, On Sept. 21 the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, came into effect. It dropped tariffs on 96 per cent of the Canadian seafood sold into Europe.,, As part of the tradeoff for the elimination of tariffs, Newfoundland and Labrador agreed to drop minimum processing requirements. They required fish caught off the province to be processed there. click here to read the story 12:54

FISH-NL recommends DFO immediately suspend extra cod to south coast inshore harvesters 

“The priority must be to ensure all inshore harvesters have the opportunity to at least catch their basic IQs (Individual Quotas),” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL. It’s rumoured that more than 60 per cent of the 6,500-tonne cod quota that’s been set this year off the south coast (fishing zone 3Ps) has already been taken. A DFO official said late Wednesday afternoon the Department has noticed an increase in landings, and is “monitoring” the situation. While south coast harvesters are assigned IQs, they’re also allowed to catch even more cod — this year it’s up to one full extra IQ, which local harvesters refer to as a “bump”. Rumour also has it that Ocean Choice International is currently gearing up its offshore vessels to catch south coast cod this fall. click here to read the story 23:43

Robots used to cut crab may actually help keep processing jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador

The world’s first full-on crab plant robot sits inside a tall, plastic chamber roughly the size of a shipping container. A conveyer belt carries the splayed crab into the chamber, where a robotic scoops them up and places them on one of two plastic saddles. And then the blade descends.  The legs tumble into a grey plastic tub below, sorted, sectioned and ready to go. The machine was unveiled this spring, developed by Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, in partnership with Ocean Choice International and the Marine Institute.  Its functions are simple — cut the crab in half, or remove its legs — but its impact could be enormous. Its designers are also hoping it will solve a few workforce problems in fish plants caused by changing demographics in rural Newfoundland. click here to read the story 08:52

FFAW- Premier’s approval of OCI exemptions signs away millions in rural economic development

ST. JOHN’S, June 21, 2017 – FFAW-Unifor is shocked and deeply disappointed in the provincial government’s decision to issue further exemptions to Ocean Choice International (OCI), allowing the company to ship yellowtail, redfish, and American plaice to low wage countries for processing rather than process it locally to employ people in this province. “This decision is a slap in the face to plant workers and rural communities,” said Keith Sullivan, President of FFAW-Unifor. “Issuing these exemptions is a betrayal of the people of rural Newfoundland and Labrador, and is harmful to the overall economy of the province. Our province should be focused on maximizing employment and adding value to our natural resources as a means of building the economy; not padding the bottom-line of OCI.” click here to read the press release 14:17

Shelving shrimp: Inside Katsheshuk II, OCI’s $8-million bet on groundfish

For years the Katsheshuk II hauled in shrimp off the shores of Newfoundland. The ship caught, processed and froze the shrimp to be sent to customers. But shrimp stocks have shrunk, leaving Ocean Choice International with too many boats for too small a quota, so the company is spending $8 million to convert the ship. “The shellfish resources are declining but in general, some exceptions, groundfish is increasing,” says Blaine Sullivan, the chief operating officer for OCI. The Katsheshuk II is being overhauled so it can start fishing for groundfish. The industry is hoping for the eventual return of cod, but in the near future it will be other species. click here to read the story 13:57

Is John Risely out to gut Ocean Choice International like a fish? By Ryan Cleary

ryan-cleary-fish-nlNova Scotian John Risley who led a hostile takeover of Fishery Products International in 2001 that led to the company’s demise and the loss of hundreds of rural jobs — appears to be attempting another such takeover. This time of Newfoundland and Labrador-based Ocean Choice International — which bills itself as Canada’s “largest wild fish quota holder,” including highly lucrative snow crab, shrimp, scallops, cod, and turbot. If Risley succeeds he could potentially do to OCI what he did to FPI — gut it like a fish. I say that Risley is no friend of Newfoundland and Labrador, and if he gets his hands on OCI’s quotas the Grand Banks will be sold off to the highest bidder.Ryan Cleary is a former Newfoundland and Labrador MP, long-time journalist, and leader of FISH-NL, a group attempting to represent the province’s fish harvesters in a break-away union from the FFAW. Read the full piece, click here 22:21

Objections registered to 3PS MSC cod certification will be heard by adjudicator

A hearing on whether the Canadian southern Newfoundland cod fishery in 3 PS will get MSC certification was held on Feb. 10. The Southern Newfoundland cod fishery, in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization, has completed its MSC assessment, and the certifier has recommended certification for the major fishery gear types for both inshore and offshore cod. This certification has been in process since 2013, and is being strongly supported by WWF and the clients, Icewater Fisheries and Ocean Choice International. The certification is a requirement for sales of this cod into the European market. Read the rest here 13:55

Ocean Choice International complains of Clearwater Surf Clam monopoly

Ocean Choice International (OCI) says a business proposal worth 150 jobs and an estimated $12 million in new payroll is being shut down by a federal government quota decision. The increase was announced in July, under former minister Gail Shea. While keeping the quota at 38,756 tonnes, Minister of Fisheries Tootoo has also committed to not allowing new entrants into the fishery until further scientific study can be completed. Read the article here 11:32

Millions of pounds of unprocessed fish approved for export as MPR exemptions increase

The approved exemptions allowing millions of pounds of groundfish to be shipped out of the province unprocessed last year, even as it stressed the importance of minimum processing requirements (MPR) to rural regions and squabbled with Ottawa over relinquishing them. CBC Investigates obtained details on all requests for MPR exemptions from 2010 through 2014, using access to information. That data reveals an increasing number of requests, and approvals. And some of the species involved may be surprising. Read the rest here 09:51

Marystown fish plant demolition hard to watch for former workers

Ocean Choice International is tearing down its plant in Marystown, which has been closed down since 2011, and some residents are sad to see the structure go. About 250 workers lost their jobs when OCI shut down its operations in the community. Phonse Rowlands worked at the plant for 40 years — his wife for 36. Read the rest here 14:33

Newfoundland Cod Fishery Announces Milestone Sustainability Assessment

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2ST. JOHN’S, NL–(Marketwired – March 13, 2014) – Newfoundland’s only commercial cod fishery is back on the map following an announcement that it has entered full assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, the world’s best for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. Read more here  11:58

Increasing utilization of the province’s cod and yellowtail resource, OCI opens expanded processing facility in Fortune

863a4ac9dc_64635696_o2“The provincial government’s agreement with Ocean Choice International reflects our commitment to maximizing economic benefits from our fish resources, and ensuring the well-being of residents in rural areas,” Hutchings said in a news release. The province says OCI is committed to creating a minimum of 110 full-time processing positions for a minimum of five years. It also says the agreement between Ocean Choice International and the provincial government has improved the utilization of the province’s yellowtail resource and generated more economic activity for the fishery.  In 2011, 3,955 tonnes of yellowtail was harvested, but in 2013 more than 7,500 tonnes has been caught. [email protected]  15:20

Ocean Choice International president defends fishery at World Seafood Congress

“We need to recast the fisheries argument to one of sustainable food production rather than marine conservation,” Sullivan said. Growing world populations mean that there is an increasing demand for food and Sullivan asked if it doesn’t come from the sea, where will it come from? The obvious answer, of course, is from the land, but Sullivan argued that environmentally, seafood is the better option. He even went so far as to ask why there is such a bad rap given to trawling when there are other forms of protein production that are far worse. thetelegram  10:28