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N.L. harvesters hope latest technology will make province a bigger global competitor in cod

Mary’s Harbour mayor Alton Rumbolt stands next to his boat, the Beachside Cruiser. Rumbolt attended the Iceland Fisheries Exhibition with other Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, processors and FFAW union members. They all came set on bringing Newfoundland and Labrador’s fish markets up to par with the rest of the world. Submitted photo
Alton Rumbolt of Mary's Harbour stands next to his boat, the Beachside Cruiser. - Submitted

The new way of fishing

NORTHERN PENINSULA AND SOUTHERN LABARADOR, NL – Fishermen in St. Anthony, Port au Choix and Mary’s Harbour will soon be making their catch with the most up-to-date fishing technology.

Of the eight harvesters announced for funding at the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) announcement in Corner Brook on Thursday, Jan. 18, five were from the Northern Pen’s coverage area.

Alton Rumbolt of Mary’s Harbour received $81,680 in funding to install an automated longline hauler on his vessel. Rumbolt says he is grateful and is looking forward to leading by example with this technology that has become the way of the future for catching cod.

“We’re quite happy with it,” said Rumbolt. “Hopefully it’s going to make a big difference in the fishery. With the cod coming back we have to be able to get into this new way of fishing.”

Rumbolt applied for the funding back in July, though he has seen this technology first-hand through a six-day trip to the Iceland Fisheries Exhibition in 2017. With these automated haulers coming to more Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters, Rumbolt says the province can become a bigger global competitor for cod. He hopes getting the equipment installed on his boat can help pave the way, creating a more efficient fishery and most importantly a better quality catch.

“We’re aiming for top quality cod and a better price. That’s what the federal government wants, that’s what the processors want, so hopefully it’s going to work for everybody,” Rumbolt said.

“Once this system goes on my boat, and people in this area see how good it works, they’re going to follow.”

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Two other enterprises in Mary’s Harbour also received funding – Allister Russell and Russell’s Fisheries Ltd., and Dwight Russell Enterprises.

Dion Lavers in Port au Choix is receiving $24,104 in funding for an automated longline hauler. He says even with the help from federal and provincial funding, it will still be quite a chunk out of his own pocket to install the new equipment.

“We still have to come up with a good part ourselves,” said Lavers. “If we can get some quota to go along with it, we’ll have it made.”

Lavers says he will have to invest roughly $6,000 or $7,000, and Rumbolt says he will have to spend $20,000 for his vessel.

While there is now much more work to be done, Lavers is pleased to be given the upgrades.

“Well, it feels perfect,” he said with a laugh. “We do a lot of hook and line anyway, so we’re use to it. We’re just going to improve on the hauler part now.”

In St. Anthony Bight, David and Dean Patey will be given $36,986 for their enterprise. Having seen other harvesters in Twillingate and the Labrador coast use automated haulers, David

Patey is confident the new technology will work in their favour.

“It’s going to be the way of the fishery,” he said. “You’re looking at a better quality of fish, and you need every cent you can get for your fish now.”

kyle.greenham@northernpen.ca




 

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