The company hopes to buy and expand upon an existing Cape Sable Island lobster tank and pound to develop it into a lobster processing facility that would hire 80 people
By Greg Bennett
Representatives of a newly formed lobster company are continuing a pitch to fishermen and community members to become investors in a proposed lobster processing plant
The community meeting on Cape Sable Island is set for Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the fire hall in Centreville. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.
Company officials say the first meeting last Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Barrington Lions hall was well attended, with over $94,000 raised towards the venture. The Company’s goal is to raise $400,000 through selling shares at $2,000 each.
Fishermen who sign up as a shareholder are being promised dividends of (8 – 20 %) of the company’s net profits at the end of the fiscal year.
Erica Smith, president and co-founder of Fishermen’s Premium Atlantic Lobster Inc., says the goal now is present the project to fishermen and explain how it will impact communities in a positive way. She said she was pleased how the first meeting went.
“It’s an awesome start,” she said. “The response was totally positive and enthusiastic …clearly our fishermen want to be a part of this change.”
The company hopes to buy and expand upon an existing Cape Sable Island lobster tank and pound to develop it into a processing facility that would hire 80 people. The company’s plans would see the facility move into full production in 2014.
Although born from the 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen’s Association, the new company is a separate entity with its own board of directors. Smith said the company would be a community driven project and be operated much like a cooperative.
The company has submitted their business plans to ERDT, (Economic and Rural Development and Tourism) and is asking the province for a financial contribution. The company is waiting to hear from ERDT.
They have also met with representatives of the Liberal’s and Progressive Conservative parties.
Company directors say currently, millions of pounds of Nova Scotia lobsters are exported to the processing plants in New Brunswick each year and say it’s time for the Nova Scotia to have adequate facilities to be able to handle and process its own lobsters.