Aquaculture North America

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Newfoundland government teams up with seafood industry to improve export logistics


July 22, 2020
By ANA staff

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Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources (Photo: gov.nl.ca)

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada is entering into a strategic partnership with the province’s seafood industry to investigate the feasibility of live holding, cold storage and transportation opportunities for fresh and live seafood products for national and international markets.

Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources, announced the allocation of $100,000 to determine the feasibility of establishing seafood live holding and cold-storage logistics at Gander Airport and Port aux Basques. This funding supports efforts to create jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries and aquaculture sectors, and assists processors and aquaculture operators to expand their product lines and markets.

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s $1.4-billion seafood sector depends on strong, reliable infrastructure to reach its global markets. This feasibility study – led by industry to support industry’s needs – will identify how best to ensure our high-quality products reach customers all over the world safely, and in excellent condition,” Byrne said

Live holding and cold-storage capacity strategically located at Gander Airport and Port aux Basques could enable air shipment and delivery of fresh and live seafood products to Canadian, U.S., European and Asian markets, and provide as-needed holding for product stranded in Port aux Basques due to weather conditions.

This initiative is part of a plan to support renewable resource-based businesses and employment in rural communities during the COVID-19 global pandemic through investments in the forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Both the Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPNL) and the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) welcomed the announcement.

“For the past two years our members have been engaging with partners such as the Gander International Airport Authority to identify ways to ensure our superior seafood products reach global markets. This initiative will provide us with the necessary tools and resources to help achieve that goal,” SPNL’s executive director Francis Littlejohn said in a statement.

Mark Lane, executive director of the NAIA, noted while the province has been able to produce great quality seafood, its remote location does present some logistical challenges at times.

“One of the benefits of living on a remote island in the North Atlantic is the pristine waters off our coast that enable hard-working Newfoundland and Labrador seafood farmers to cultivate organic blue mussels and oysters that are in high demand here at home and around the world. Being a remote island also periodically presents challenges of getting product to export markets in a timely fashion. Strategically placed live holding capacity at ports may be a logistical solution to enhancing and increasing live shellfish exports,” Lane said.