Barry Group focuses on core business

Clayton Hunt
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Aquaculture Company recently sold marine assets on south coast

The Barry Group of Cos. sold the marine assets of its south-coast aquaculture operation to focus on its core business, president Bill Barry says.

In July, New Brunswick-based Northern Harvest Sea Farms confirmed it had acquired the marine assets from Barry Group for an undisclosed sum.

The former Barry Group aquaculture grow-out site near Pool's Cove on the south coast of Newfoundland in August 2007. A New Brunswick company, Northern Harvest Sea Farms, recently acquired Barry Group's marine assets in the area. - Photo by Rob Antle/The T

Harbour Breton - The Barry Group of Cos. sold the marine assets of its south-coast aquaculture operation to focus on its core business, president Bill Barry says.

In July, New Brunswick-based Northern Harvest Sea Farms confirmed it had acquired the marine assets from Barry Group for an undisclosed sum.

"I think these people are salmon farmers and their mode is to farm salmon in the ocean," Barry told The Coaster, Transcontinental's weekly newspaper in Harbour Breton, last week.

"From our perspective, we're more in the mode to be processors and hatchery people because it's more in line with the things that we do. It's a matter of us doing what we think we're best at and letting other people do what we think they're best at."

The Barry plants in Harbour Breton and St. Alban's were not part of the sale.

Barry said his company is in discussions with Cooke Aquaculture officials concerning Cooke's future lease with the Barry plant in Harbour Breton.

Cooke's current lease on the plant will last until October of this year.

The Barry Group of Cos. will stop producing salmon smolt at its hatchery in Camp Boggy, which has been plagued with furunculosis. Furunculosis is a disease which causes salmon smolt to be weak and unhealthy prior to being placed in grow-out sites, Barry said.

"Our company has spent a lot of money to try and make salmon smolt at the hatchery healthy but we have not been successful.

"We may be turning the hatchery back to a smolt hatchery for steelhead trout as it used to be.

"If we're going to have a successful salmon aquaculture industry in this province, we need a new hatchery facility that has some integrity. We don't have such a facility at the present time."

He noted that the Barry Group is in the planning stages of potentially building a new hatchery in the province. He said such a facility would probably be located on the west coast.

Larry Ingalls, the president of Northern Harvest Sea Farms, said last month the New Brunswick company plans to expand the former Barry grow-out sites near Harbour Breton and Pool's Cove.

"There will be no downsizing in the present operation in Newfoundland," Ingalls told The Coaster in July. "As a matter of fact, we're in the process of hiring more employees as we will be expanding the present operation in the Coast of Bays area."

The fish will be processed in a Barry Group plant in St. Alban's, according to Ingalls, who added that their operation will "fit in like a glove" with the rest of their production.

Northern Harvest Sea Farms is owned by Ocean Horizons.

The company has been involved in the aquaculture industry for over 20 years.

Organizations: Barry Group, Northern Harvest Sea Farms

Geographic location: Harbour Breton, Harvest, New Brunswick Newfoundland Bays

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