The Notre Dame shrimp processing plant in Twillingate informed workers June 21 that it will be permanently closed as a result of the declining resource.
The plant employed close to 100 workers during peak processing season.
“The shrimp plant was a pivotal piece in the economy of Twillingate, and its loss will surely be felt for years to come despite our booming tourism industry,” says Ray Hynes, FFAW-Unifor chair at the Twillingate plant. “We appreciate that the company met with the committee face-to-face this morning to deliver the news,” Hynes adds.
“We are sad to hear the terrible news today that close to a hundred people are permanently out of work. We must ensure that these workers and their families get the support they need. In recent years we have worked with the Mayor and the town, so we know exactly how important this plant is to Twillingate,” says Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor president.
“It is a stark reminder that we need long-term solutions to ensure we have vibrant, sustainable communities built around the fishing industry. Both federal and provincial governments must step-up to establish the approaches for both plant workers and harvesters to transition to a new fishery,” Sullivan adds.
As groundfish stocks recover, a natural decline in shellfish is also happening. This has resulted in dramatic quota cuts for shrimp in recent years, leaving the province’s eight shrimp processing plants short on supply, the union said in a press release.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is facing a pivotal moment in the fisheries. A well-managed transition period is crucial for fish harvesters and processing plants to make the shift back to a groundfish focused fishery,” says Sullivan.
Since 2009, the number of shrimp plants in the province has gone from 13 to now seven with Twillingate’s closure.