New Brunswick-bound Marine Harvest eyeing Newfoundland

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Instant value: a Northern Harvest grow-out in Newfoundland

Oslo-listed Marine Harvest, the world’s largest salmon grower, has indicated that New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy —  a stronghold of Cooke Aquaculture and home to wild Atlantic salmon — is not where the company intends to expand, although it’s recent share acquisition of Northern Harvest gives it a foothold there by default.

Rather, Newfoundland is the place to grow, company chief exec, Alf Helge Aarskog, was reported by national broadcaster, the CBC, as saying. Aarskog said that whatever volumes are produced in its new Eastern Canadian grow-outs have a ready salmon-smoking plant in Belfast, Maine, to ship to, on top of Northern Harvest’s U.S. trading partners.

“I think New Brunswick is difficult to expand in terms of number of fish and volume growth,” Aarskog said.

“It’s rather a condensed area with farming. But Newfoundland has potential. It’s a huge area, and if we do the farming right, it can grow in the future,” he said.

At last count in 2017, 88 commercial salmonid grow-outs in Newfoundland produced 25,411 tonnes that were estimated to have earned CAD263 million. Newfoundland saw a 29 per cent hike in production in 2016 and a 77 percent rise in market value for its salmon compared to 2015 (newer numbers are still in the hands of the province).

As the CBC report pointed out and SalmonBusiness has reported in the past, the Bay of Fundy is “crowded” with 100 farm sites as well as big producer, Cooke Aquaculture.

Before it can take anything over in the Bay of Fundy, the company’s application with the Canadian Competition Bureau must fist be cleared.