Burgeo Fish Market being sold, mayor points to changing times
Decades-old business selling its license to Premium Choice Seafoods in St. John's
The mayor of Burgeo says the pending sale of a small business in her town points to the demise of the inshore fishery in southwestern Newfoundland.
The Burgeo Fish Market, a family operation that's been a fixture in the town for decades, is being sold.
Premium Choice Seafoods in St. John's has applied to get the Burgeo Fish Market's licence to process and sell seafood.
Mayor Barbara Barter told the Corner Brook Morning Show the Burgeo Fish Market hasn't operated for the past two years. The company used to process fish to meet local demand, but now any fish landed in Burgeo is sent elsewhere for processing, according to Barter.
She also said the move is just another sign of community's ageing and declining population.
"We don't have many young people choosing to go into the fishery," she said. "And as our fisherpersons become of age to retire, so the fleet is getting smaller."
Less interest in fishery
Barter said the loss of the fish market doesn't come as a big surprise, as the business has been doing very little processing for the last few years.
We have to learn to change with the times.- Barbara Barter
In its heyday, the market employed about seven workers, and was popular with locals who wanted to buy fresh fish products such as cod tongues and halibut.
She said while the loss will have an impact on the town's tax base, the reality is young people aren't interested in becoming fishers, and are also less interested in buying fresh fish than their parents and grandparents were.
"Burgeo has a declining, ageing population. It has a volatile inshore fishery, and workers learn to leave," she said.
"We have to learn to change with the times, and work on not only encouraging young people to go into the fishery, but work on diversification as well."
With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show