January 19, 2016
Sealord axing kirimi line after getting crumbs
Sealord is consulting with staff on a proposal to cease production of kirimi products.
That could mean the loss off up to 57 waged and 3 salaried staff, although some staff could be redeployed to new jobs in wetfish processing.
Chair Matanuku Mahuika says the cut and crumbed hoki fillets are produced for the Japanese market, but competition from lower cost producers in other countries means Sealord now only supplies one major customer.
Forecast sales volumes this financial year are down 38 percent on 2015, and the current situation is not sustainable for Sealord.
The production line has been under review for the past 12 months.
Mr Mahuika says Sealord is looking to establish 15 new fish processing specialist roles in the wetfish factory, which represents the portion of kirimi labour force that usually moves to process wetfish in times of high fresh fish landings, particularly during hoki season.
He says Sealord is in solid financial shape despite a dip in profit last year and remains committed to processing in Nelson.
It also has a new addition to its fleet, the 57-metre Norwegian-built Antarctic Discovery, which will fish for toothfish in the Ross Sea as part of Sealord’s 50-50 Australian Longline joint venture with Japanese company Nissui.
Nissui owns 50 percent of Sealord, with the other half owned by Aotearoa Fisheries on behalf of Maori.
The Australian-flagged ship has been refitted in Port Nelson and is expected to leave on Friday.
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