Atlantic Fisheries Fund doles out $18M to expand N.L. fishery
Money will be spent on research, modern fishing gear and other equipment
It's not quite Christmas, but the seafood industry is benefiting financially from the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
Eighteen million dollars is being spent on 65 projects in the harvesting, processing and aquaculture sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador.
"Our customers want the fish frozen faster," said Alberto Wareham, president of Icewater Seafoods in Arnold's Cove.
"The faster you cut it, the faster you want to freeze it — to lock in the texture and quality."
Icewater will receive $3.2 million from the fund to help pay for a state-of-the-art ice management system to do that.
Wareham said it takes just four minutes to process a fish that's ready for freezing. He says they are focusing on getting the fish colder as soon as it enters the plant.
To that end, they are buying three stainless steel ice machines and a new ice delivery system.
There's also money for a number of fish harvesters to buy automatic longline and jigger systems and other gear.
Danny Dumaresque is CEO of Labrador Gem Seafoods and operates the scallop processing plant in Ramea.
He'll take $100,000 from the fund to help pay for a refrigerated recirculating sea water system. That'll help keep scallops alive and fresh while on board the ship after they're harvested.
"One of the biggest concerns that we have is the reliability of high quality scallops, because for our niche products we need them alive and healthy so that we can provide a sashimi grade product after it's processed," Dumaresque said.
Another of the goals of the tax money is scientific research to try to improve stock assessments and increase collaboration between industry and universities.
The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will invest over $400 million in Atlantic Canada over a seven-year period. It's cost-shared 70/30 between the federal and provincial governments.