Aquaculture company Gray Aqua has been ordered to pay more than $600,000 owed to an animal-feed company.
According to a statement of claim from Corey Nutrition of Fredericton, N.B. — filed July 8, and obtained by The Telegram — the New Brunswick-based Gray Aqua has failed to pay for fish feed supplied to the company’s Newfoundland operations between January and June of this year. Including interest up to June 30, according to the claim, Gray Aqua owes Corey Nutrition $648,681.67.
On July 31, with Gray Aqua not having filed a statement of defence, the Supreme Court issued a default order that Gray Aqua pay Corey Nutrition $648,001.02 with pre-judgment interest of $10,225.99 (a rate of 1.5 per cent per month) up to July 26, as well as post-judgment interest and court costs.
Clyde Collier, Gray Aqua’s top official in Newfoundland, referred inquiries about the case to Gray Aqua president Tim Gray, who did not return messages seeking comment on the lawsuit.
Lee Corey, president of Corey Nutrition, also did not return messages seeking comment.
Gray Aqua’s Newfoundland fish stock has been hit by three cases of infectious salmon anemia since June 2012. Last month, the company announced it had to destroy 500,000 fish at its Pass My Can site due to the virus.
The cull meant the company’s new processing plant in Hermitage-Sandyville would not open this year, after having already been delayed from a planned opening in 2012. After the announcement, Collier said the company was rebuilding its stock at a grow-out site in Facheux Bay on the south coast.
“This new case is very devastating to us, as we have to start the business of building an inventory all over again,” Collier told Harbour Breton’s Coaster newspaper last month. “We realize that the citizens of Hermitage-Sandyville are disappointed with this news, too, but we have to move on from here.”
Collier said last month Gray Aqua planned to talk to other aquaculture companies in the area to acquire fish for processing, but said there was no guarantee that would happen.
Gray Aqua has received provincial and federal funding, including $500,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in March 2012 for expansion of its farming operations in the Bay d’Espoir area.
In November 2012, the provincial government announced a $5-million investment to buy capital assets needed for farming expansion, including boats, motors, cages and moorings.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Derrick Dalley said at the announcement in St. Alban’s that the funding would help Gray Aqua quadruple its annual production of 4,000 metric tonnes to 16,000 metric tonnes, and more than double employment, from 42 to 96 full-time positions.