Hickman's Harbour plant applies for processing licence
Golden Shell Fisheries Ltd. hopes its plant in Hickman's Harbour will be able to offer more work for people on Random Island depending on the outcome of its application for a mussels primary processing licence. Photo by Mallory Clarkson/Transcontinental Media
A fish plant on Random Island in Trinity Bay hopes its workers get a few extra weeks on the job through a potential processing licence for mussels.
Golden Shell Fisheries Ltd. has applied for a primary processing licence for mussels. The application awaits approval from the Fish Processing Licensing Board, which is accepting comments on the application until July 21.
Francis Littlejohn, an employee specializing in marketing and special projects, said Golden Shell did have a licence to process mussels in the past, but it was relinquished after the company failed to process an acceptable volume of product.
However, with a potential buyer for product in play, Littlejohn said there's hope the company can extend the number of work weeks available in Hickman's Harbour.
"They try to extend the weeks for the workers and process whatever is available," he said. "It's kind of a reactivation, even though we had to go through the process again of reapplying."
The Hickman's Harbour plant processes almost every species of fish in Newfoundland and Labrador, excluding shrimp. It employs between 100 and 120 seasonal workers in the area, depending on the time of year.
The company also has an operation in Leading Tickles and an office in Elliott's Cove.
The industry on the Bonavista Peninsula is short one plant this season, as the Ocean Choice International fish plant in Port Union has not reopened since it suffered severe damage during hurricane Igor last fall.
It was expected many plant workers in Port Union would look for work at other fish plants in the region, including Hickman's Harbour.