Northern Harvest Sea Farms announces $6M expansion

An aquaculture company is investing another $6-million into its operation in Stephenville, a move which Premier Dwight Ball says will bring new jobs.

Dwight Ball praises expanding aquaculture operation in Stephenville

Northern Harvest Sea Farms grows Atlantic salmon in their hatchery in Stephenville until they reach smolt size. (Hans-Petter Fjeld/Wikimedia Commons)

An aquaculture company is investing millions into its operation in Newfoundland and Labrador, a move which Premier Dwight Ball says will bring new jobs to the province.

Northern Harvest Sea Farm pledged Friday to spend another $6 million on it salmon hatchery in Stephenville, and expand its production by 6,000 tonnes of product each year.

Larry Ingalls is president of Northern Harvest Sea Farms. (CBC)

The move brings the company's total salmon production to about 22,000 tonnes. Ball, who attended the announcement on Friday, said it will also bring more jobs to the province — about 10 to the hatchery in Stephenville, and some more to the sea cage facility in the Coast of Bays as well.

"They have had significant but yet very measured growth over a number of years now.," said Ball, who praised the company in an interview with CBC News.

"They just continue to build on their successes, and continue to get their operational capacity up within the province."

Four new feeding systems will also be built throughout the province, at a cost of about $8 million.

Provincial goals

The provincial government has invested about $2.5 million into Northern Harvest Sea Farms, according to Ball, but no new money was pledged for Friday's announcement.

In a statement, company president Larry Ingalls said the partnership with the provincial government has allowed his operation to grow.

Newfoundland and Labrador has high hopes for its aquaculture industry. In its vision document, "The Way Forward", the Liberal government set a plan to double the aquaculture production of salmon in the province.

Dwight Ball praised Northern Harvest Sea Farms in an interview with CBC News. (The Associated Press)

Ball says Newfoundland and Labrador has a big opportunity.

"The driving force behind all that, of course, is that the world's always looking for good sources of protein, and we have vast areas that's available for aquaculture," he said.

The premier says he has no worries about farmed fish production, especially if it comes from Northern Harvest Sea Farms.

"I've watched Northern Harvesters and the way they do their business. They have four-star accreditation, and this is a company that is really a class act," he said.

Still, the premier wouldn't make a commitment on another potential project in the province, the Grieg NL Seafarms proposal.

With files from The Broadcast