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Aquaculture pilot project brings needed jobs to Lawn

Angus Williams is one of six people from Lawn to be employed on a pilot project by Aqualine.
Angus Williams is one of six people from Lawn to be employed on a pilot project by Aqualine. - Colin Farrell
LAWN, N.L. —

A pilot project by Aqualine, a Norwegian-based company that constructs infrastructure to be used in the aquaculture industry, is creating much-needed jobs in the community of Lawn.

The project, which will see the construction of 10 sea cages, is being done in conjunction with Placentia Bay Ocean Enterprises.

“Right now, we’ve got five people from here employed,” Lawn Mayor John Strang told The Southern Gazette during an interview at the job site on Monday, March 4.

Once hiring has been completed six people will be employed, each working 60 hours a week.

Strang explained that 11 locations were considered for the project. He feels having the town selected can only mean positive things.

“This is great for the area, when you look at all these small communities, there is no industry here other than the fishery and that’s declining,” the mayor said. “For us to get involved with aquaculture, you can’t ask for much better than that.”

Strang hopes that with a major aquaculture project on the horizon for the Burin Peninsula, Lawn residents could see long-term employment.

“If we can try and get some of the cages that need to be built, you’re looking at seven years work for here,” he noted.

No place like home

Keith Drake of Lawn is no stranger to having to leave the province for work, he first went away when he was 18.

“It means more than the world to have employment in the harbour, I don’t have to go away,” said Drake, who is now in his early 30’s. “I was in Alberta for eight years, Muskrat Falls last year, not too far (away) last year but still away from home.”

He added that having a job in Lawn means he gets to return home to his wife and child at the end of the day.

“It means the world, better than a million bucks,” he said.

Angus Williams, who has spent time travelling for work while employed on fishing vessels or doing turn-around jobs, also expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to work in his hometown.

“To get something right here in the community,” he said. “Only five minutes and you’re here to work, and only five minutes and your home when you get off.”

Mark the day

The first of the 10 cages is expected to be completed and placed in the waters in Lawn on Saturday, March 9. From there the cage will be pulled by a supply vessel to Fortune Bay.

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