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Ocean Choice announced the sale of the Port au Choix shrimp processing plant in Newfoundland and Terranova, Canada, to the Barry Group. In their press release, Ocean Choice stated that they made this decision because of the challenges arising from the industry’s lack of consolidation. They further specified that the Barry Group will take over the plant’s operations this month and continue to employ the existing workforce, ensuring the plant remains operational in the region.
“We are pleased to expand our operations to the community of Port au Choix,” said Bill Barry, Chairman of Barry Group Companies. “Our business is based on the west coast of the province, so it makes sense for us to expand into the area. We look forward to working with the employees and the community to grow the operations for years to come.”
A difficult decision
Ocean Choice explained that the reason for the sale of the plant that processes cooked and peeled shrimp internationally was the decline in shrimp biomass in the Gulf region and on the northeast coast of Newfoundland. A statistic that, as the company itself explained, continues to forecast a decline in shrimp biomass. In fact, since the start of operations in 2007, there has been a decline of more than 150 million pounds in the quota available for processing at the facility.
“While this is a difficult decision, we know it is the best decision for the company, our people, and the community, and we are confident that Barry Group will continue to operate the plant for many years to come,” said Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice.
“The people working at the plant, the shrimp harvesters in the area, and the town council and staff are among the best that we have had the opportunity to work with,” added Sullivan. “Their drive and commitment to create a thriving, sustainable fishery will be missed, but we know they are in good hands with the Barry Group – a family-owned company that believes in an economically sustainable fishery for harvesters, processors, and communities.”
Both companies also explained that the closing of the transaction is subject to the usual approvals for transactions of this nature.
About Ocean Choice International
Ocean Choice is a renowned family-owned and operated company based in Newfoundland and Labrador. With a workforce of over 1,700 individuals hailing from more than 300 communities in the province, Ocean Choice holds a strong presence in the region. The company manages five fish processing plants and operates five offshore fishing vessels, ensuring a reliable supply chain. They actively collaborate with over 1,900 independent fish harvesters from various parts of the province.
About Barry Group
Barry Group Inc. is a long-standing, fourth-generation family company with a rich history in exporting high-quality, wild seafood. The Barry family proudly carries on the tradition of sourcing premium seafood from Canadian fishing grounds, while incorporating 21st-century technology alongside their strong work ethic.
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