Premier Kathy Dunderdale refuses to say where she stands on a proposal to export unprocessed fish from southern Newfoundland to China.
Ocean Choice International last week won unanimous support from workers at its struggling plant in Fortune to allow the export of 75 per cent of its yellowtail flounder quota, in return for full-time work for about 110 people.
The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union does not like the proposal, even though leaders believe there is little they can do.
Speaking with CBC News, Dunderdale said there needs to be a frank discussion on the future of the Fortune plant, and the industry at large.
"I just do not want to have a process where we're all tearing the arms and legs off one another," she said.
"We need to sit down, coolly, rationally, put all of our different interests on the table, and see if we can't find a place that we can all agree … If we cannot process it here, you know, what are the decisions that we make around it then, do we leave it in the water and lose the quota?"
The final decision on the tentative deal falls to the provincial government.