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Comeau's Sea Foods planning to have new vessel built, perhaps ready by late 2019, company says

A conceptual model of the frozen-at-sea scallop-fishing vessel Comeau’s Sea Foods is planning to have built.
A conceptual model of the frozen-at-sea scallop-fishing vessel Comeau’s Sea Foods is planning to have built.

SAULNIERVILLE -- One of the region’s best-known seafood companies plans to add a new scallop-fishing vessel to its fleet, one it says will improve safety for fishermen and help ensure they continue to bring in a high-quality product.

Comeau’s Sea Foods hopes to be able to launch the new frozen-at-sea (FAS) vessel in late 2019.

“We are currently working on the shipbuilding plans, which will take a year to complete,” said Noel Després, president and CEO of Comeau’s Sea Foods. “We will then proceed with the construction of the boat, which is expected to take 18 months to complete.”

The vessel will be about 45 metres long and 12 metres wide, the company said in a news release.

The ship will allow seafood to be harvested and frozen almost immediately after arriving on deck, “providing a level of freshness and product quality that Comeau’s is renowned for,” the release said.

In an interview, Després said it is not yet known where the vessel will be built or how much it will cost.

Among the advantages of the new vessel is that it will help shelter crewmembers from the elements, Després said, thereby improving safety.

The plan is to name the new boat the Lady Comeau III after Thérèse Comeau, the late wife of Bernardin Comeau, the company founder who died in 2014. Thérèse passed away the year after her husband.

Després said Bernardin would have welcomed this new vessel the company plans to get.

“He would be so excited, as would his son, Marcel, if they were around,” Després said. (Marcel Comeau was company president when he died in late 2014, less than two weeks before his father.)

Based in Saulnierville, Comeau’s Sea Foods has been in operation for 71 years and includes a number of processing plants and other facilities in southwestern Nova Scotia. The company currently employs about 500 people.

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