Cooke shut down its facilities in Belleoram but will continue raising cod in Hermitage Bay. (Map: Stock File)
Cod operations closed down in Coast of Bays
Thursday, April 08, 2010, 23:10 (GMT + 9)
Cooke Aquaculture Inc downsized its cod operation in the Coast of Bays on 31 March by shutting down its cod nursery.
The firm was forced to make this difficult decision for two chief reasons, according to Nell Halse, a communications official with Cooke Aquaculture.
"The cost of cod production has been much higher than we expected, both with our feed and our growing program. These challenges require a lot more investment to overcome that we originally thought,” she explained.
"In addition, the global supply of wild cod has gone up while the price for cod has gone down. We looked at how much money the company would lose over the next few years, and we felt we had to make the difficult decision to downsize our overall cod project in Newfoundland," Halse added, The Coaster reports.
Cooke Aquaculture, she said, was unable to acquire the necessary extra funding for its cod programme from either partners or the government.
Thus, the firm will continue to raise its 155,000 cod already stocked at Hermitage Bay’s Northwest Cove. Said cod will reach the processing stage in fall 2012.
"While we are not embarking on any new cod projects or new stocking, we will continue with the research and development on the fish currently in Hermitage Bay. We made some great strides on the elite brood stock program at the cod demonstration farm, but we felt we had to make this decision now," Halse asserted.
"Overall, it's not that we don't believe in the future of cod farming. We have done some great work in the Coast of Bays, and we hope we can build on that sometime in the future," she noted.
Halse made sure to point out that Cooke Aquaculture’s decision to downsize its cod operation is not unique; companies in other places across the globe have recently also made similar decisions regarding this fish.
The firm’s move to downsize its cod operation, she clarified, is completely unrelated with Cooke Aquaculture's salmon and trout operations in the Coast of Bays.
By Natalia Real