Struggling P.E.I. fish plant finds N.S. owner
Ocean Pride Fisheries of Wedgeport, N.S., is the new owner of North Lake Fish Co-op in P.E.I., which had been facing an uncertain future.
"I am very pleased to welcome Ocean Pride Fisheries to Prince Edward Island, and further pleased that the North Lake fish processing facility will continue to be a major contributor to the economy of the eastern Kings area," P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Alan Campbell said in a news release Wednesday.
The North Lake Fish Co-op had been looking for more help from the P.E.I. government, help the province said it couldn't give because of an agreement with fish processor Ocean Choice.
As part of the agreement that saw Ocean Choice purchase the bankrupt Polar Foods, the government agreed not to support other lobster processors beyond what was already in place, unless it provided commensurate assistance to Ocean Choice.
The government was prepared to see North Lake Fish Co-op go under, but this purchase appears to have saved the more than 150 seasonal jobs at the plant. The plant is an important contributor to the economy of northeastern P.E.I.
P.E.I. said the sale is being financed by Ocean Pride Fisheries on its own. It takes over operations effective immediately.
"The new owners bring a great deal of experience and expertise in the seafood business," said Campbell.
Ocean Pride Fisheries plans to upgrade the plant and expand processing, including lengthening the operational season. That could include new species such as sea cucumber, and expanding the amount of lobster and dogfish processed.