New Brunswick fish-packing plant fire could affect P.E.I. fishery
Island lobster fishermen sent product to the plant
Officials in the Island fishing industry are monitoring the fallout from a fire that destroyed a fish-packing plant in Cap-Pelé, N.B.
The impacts will definitely be felt more so in New Brunswick, officials with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said.
"We have a small number of lobster buyers who sell their lobsters purchased in P.E.I. to this processor. For these buyers this is significant, but we expect there will be arrangements made before spring," a spokesperson for the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said.
The Cape Bald Packers fish-packing plant in Cap-Pelé was destroyed by fire this past Sunday.
The plant employed about 500 people, no one was injured in the fire.
This is the second processing plant Cape Bald Packers has lost in February.
The company's lobster-processing plant in Richibucto Village, N.B., that employed 150 people, was also destroyed early in the month.
Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, said he is sending prayers and well wishes to the workers affected.
"That's a big destruction, but we are hoping everything will work itself out," he said.
"What we are hoping is that the processing sector will band together, and you know, figure out what capacities are maybe underutilized. We're hoping everything will be worked out by the spring."
Industry works together
MacPherson hasn't heard any concerns from Island fishermen, but said he thinks it's something people are keeping an eye on.
"It's an industry that works together, not always perfectly, but certainly we all work closely together and we are hoping this can be resolved in a positive way."
The fire was a shock to everyone, MacPherson said.
"Even though it is in New Brunswick, it is a plant that is geographically close by."
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With files from Angela Walker