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Seafood industry pioneer Bruce Wareham dead at 75

Newfoundland and Labrador seafood industry pioneer Bruce Wareham died Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at age 75.
Newfoundland and Labrador seafood industry pioneer Bruce Wareham died Friday, Jan. 4, 2019 at age 75. - Contributed

Bruce Wareham, a well-known and respected pioneer in Canada’s seafood industry, passed away early this morning, Friday, Jan. 4, at age 75 following a brief battle with cancer.

Throughout his 55-year career in the seafood industry, Wareham became a leader in innovation, welcomed and adapted to change, and worked hard to ensure his facilities were focused on producing quality seafood.

Wareham was a long-time senior executive with National Sea Products Ltd./High Liner Foods Inc., and ultimately founder and chairman of the Icewater Group of Companies in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He was a long-serving board member of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, the National Seafood Sector Council, the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, and served on the advisory board of World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Atlantic Chapter. He was also appointed to several provincial government working groups including the Premier’s Taskforce on the Economy.

A statement released by Icewater Seafoods Inc. stated that while Wareham’s career brought him to many countries around the world, his greatest commitment remained to the town, plant and people of Arnold’s Cove.

“He often modestly attributed the success he experienced in life to the people of the small outport community he called home and emphasized his first obligation was to the future of those people and their community,” the statement read. “This commitment was the driving force behind Bruce’s decision in 2004, at the age of 61, to form the Icewater Group of Companies from the former Newfoundland assets of High Liner Foods Inc. at a time when Newfoundland cod stocks were at very low levels and the prospects for its recovery were not as encouraging as they are today.”

Wareham’s hard work, determination and vision not only kept a groundfish processing plant open in Arnold’s Cove, but built it into a successful operation with a worldwide reputation for quality.

The statement reads that “Wareham remained passionate and optimistic about the future of the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador until his passing and will be remembered as a man of his word and a true gentleman.”

Wareham’s wife, Hilda Wareham, will become chairperson of the board of the Icewater Group of Companies, the family-owned business that is the second largest quota holder of groundfish in Atlantic Canada and North America’s only world-class North Atlantic Cod production facility.

Son Alberto Wareham, will continue to manage the business in his position as President and CEO and a Director of the Group of Companies, and son Kenneth Wareham will continue as a Director of the Group of Companies.

Bruce Wareham will be greatly missed.

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