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New Fisheries Opportunity for Yellowtail Flounder Announced

28 December 2012

CANADA - A number of harvesters and processing enterprises have indicated to the Provincial Government their willingness to explore technical and economical feasibility of processing yellowtail flounder with smaller, more economically viable vessels than traditionally used in this fishery.

To determine if this is possible, and subject to Federal Government policies, the Provincial Government will solicit proposals from qualified Newfoundland and Labrador-based proponents to harvest, process and market yellowtail flounder for the coming year from quotas currently held by Icewater Harvesting Inc. This will enable the collection of information required to complete an economic study of harvesting, processing and marketing yellowtail flounder resources in a way not traditionally done.

“The Provincial Government is looking for alternative ways to see if yellowtail flounder can be processed more efficiently in the province,” said the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “This project will permit Newfoundland and Labrador fishing enterprises licensed to fish the species in the province to evaluate and to demonstrate that they can achieve a positive result in harvesting, processing and marketing yellowtail flounder, and may provide opportunities for the greater utilization of the yellowtail flounder resource in the future.”

Icewater Harvesting Inc. currently has access to approximately two million pounds of yellowtail flounder quota under the Atlantic Offshore Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Program. This quota has not been fully utilized, and will be available for this project in the upcoming fishing season.

As part of the Ocean Choice International Limited (OCI) agreement announced on Friday, 21 December, underutilized yellowtail flounder quota will be made available to Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters and processors, and therefore it is prudent to evaluate how that fish can be utilized.

This project is open to any proponent(s) with the appropriate suite of groundfish harvesting and processing licences. Those interested will be required to pay the standard access fees for the quota they catch. The proponent(s) will then work with the Marine Institute to collect information and other data to conduct an economic assessment of harvesting, processing and marketing yellowtail flounder.

More details of the project will be provided in the form of a request for proposals, in the coming days.

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