Glad to be back to work

Clayton Hunt
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Cooke fires up the processing line in Hermitage-Sandyville

Roberta Goods, a resident of Hermitage-Sandyville, is a very happy camper these days.
Goods was a Cooke Aquaculture employee at the facility in Harbour Breton but is now working at the company’s operation in Hermitage.

“We started processing here on July 2,” Goods said, “and I simply love working here. I can be at work just 10 minutes after being notified of when to come in.

“I don’t have to worry about fog, moose and potholes that we encountered in our drive to Harbour Breton. This operation is great for us and the community.”

Bill Carter, the manager of the Cooke processing operation in Hermitage-Sandyville, told The Advertiser last week the plant is a state-of-the-art facility with the most modern off-load and holding systems, chill and refrigeration units, and gutting and grading lines.

He said that as of July 30 the operation was processing about 8,000 fish a day, and that will increase to 10,000 fish — or about 100,000 pounds — a day.

The plant is expected to operate seven days a week from late July to mid-August. Production will slow a little then, as it shifts to processing trout two days a week.

However, when salmon from the Gaultois Passage is ready for processing by Oct. 1, the plant will return to more days of operation each week.

“Our fish is gutted and cleaned here and graded by quality and size and sent for further processing, if needed, in New Brunswick,” Carter explained.

“Our larger fish, those over 10 pounds, go directly to market from New Brunswick while the smaller fish are filleted.

“We do have a filleting line here at Hermitage, but right now we’re just gutting and cleaning the fish here for New Brunswick.”

There are 27 full-time workers at the operation now with about nine people employed on a casual basis.

Ada Rose said she is really glad that Cooke opened a processing operation in her community.

“I like doing different jobs here and working with this great group of people,” Rose said.

“There’s a great group of employees here and the management is excellent,” Norma Loveless added. “We don’t have to travel too far from Seal Cove for work. This is just great for us.”

Lou Mackey also said he really enjoys working at the facility.

“I love being here,” Mackey said. “This is great for us and the community.”

Everett Rose, from Harbour Breton, also has a job at the plant.

“I’m doing the same work here that I did with Cooke in Harbour Breton, looking after the blood treatment system. I’m getting used to the new employees here who are a great group of people to work with. They are good, hard workers and this is a great opportunity for them.”

The Advertiser

Geographic location: Harbour Breton, Hermitage-Sandyville, New Brunswick Seal Cove

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