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St. Lawrence disappointed by aquaculture delay

St. Lawrence Mayor Paul Pike said the town is disappointed about the recent Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador decision ordering a full environmental impact statement for Grieg NL's aquaculture project on the Burin Peninsula.
St. Lawrence Mayor Paul Pike said the town is disappointed about the recent Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador decision ordering a full environmental impact statement for Grieg NL's aquaculture project on the Burin Peninsula.

ST. LAWRENCE, NL – A recent decision by the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, ordering a full environmental impact statement (EIS) for Grieg NL’s proposed aquaculture in Marystown and Placentia Bay, is having an affect on the town of St. Lawrence.     

“I’m really disappointed, and council is disappointed in the recent court decision for a full environmental review of this project,” Mayor Paul Pike told The Southern Gazette.

“From our perspective, the St. Lawrence fish plant was going to be used as processing facility and we were very hopeful that this project would be much-needed employment to the community and to the region.”

He added the processing of fish from the project would have provided up to 200 full-time year-round positions at the facility.

Pike says that, in addition to processing, the plant would have been making oil from the byproduct.

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Pike said news of the delay is very disappointing especially since projected numbers show a decline in the population in the region within the next 10 years.

“We felt this was an opportunity to keep people at home and provide much need employment. It is a big blow to this region – our town certainly supports the province appealing this decision.”

Pike added for local citizens who relied on the fish plant for their livelihood, the work from the Grieg aquaculture project would have been important to them.

“Everybody was really hopeful this project was going to be a reality, and that we would see employment at the plant guaranteed for the next number of years,” said Pike.

“Right now with the declining fish stocks … especially in the crab fishery, it is getting tougher for these people to get enough employment to be able collect EI over the winter.

“And most people would prefer full-time year-round employment than seasonal.”

Colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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