The Notre Dame shrimp plant in Twillingate has been closed permanently, throwing 100 employees out of work, the FFAW announced Wednesday.

“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,” said 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.”

The closure comes during peak processing season, but the shrimp resources is in decline.

“We are sad to hear the terrible news today that close to a hundred people are permanently out of work,” said FFAW president Keith Sullivan. “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.

“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.”

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.

“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,” Sullivan said.

The FFAW once again called for offshore trawlers to be removed from area SFA 6.

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