Irving sells Shelburne yard to Mersey Seafoods

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Mersey Seafoods of Liverpool has purchased Shelburne Ship Repair from Irving Shipbuilding and will continue to employ that company’s 67 workers. Mersey will also assume the collective agreement negotiated by Unifor Local 9.

“We are very attached to the South Shore, our head office is in Liverpool, it is in Shelburne,” said Mersey Seafoods chairman Greg Simpson on Thursday.

“It’s a great asset at Shelburne that we want to see continue and function as it always has. It is important for the fishing industry and for a number of other industries that the facility is there. We have quite a bit of capability in the ship repair world and do a lot of work on our own boats, but that takes us to the next level, where we can do most of the work on our ships, and we’re excited to continue to develop the ship repair business. It’s an exciting time for us.

Simpson said the negotiations took six or seven months, but “the major issues were settled fairly quickly. It just took a while to complete – not really magic, it just took a while.

The sale price was not disclosed, but the deal includes all assets of the Shelburne facility.

Final commissioning work for the Coast Guard vessel CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752 will be performed at Irving Shipbuilding’s Woodside Industries site, where the vessel has previously been relocated.

Irving Shipbuilding began leasing Shelburne Ship Repair in 1998 and purchased it in 2011. The site has operated as a ship repair business since 1940.

“Mersey Seafoods has been a proud part of the South Shore fishing community since 1964,” said Simpson.

“The addition of the great team of people and facilities in Shelburne will support our Liverpool-based operations. We look forward to working with Shelburne employees and Unifor Local 9 as the work continues on the boats of fishing and the growth of the ship repair business.

Kevin Mooney, president of Irving Shipbuilding, said his company will focus on building the next generation of Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard vessels, as well as repairing the current fleet.

“We believe this sale best positions Shelburne Ship Repair and its employees for future success,” Mooney said.

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Tanya S. Norvell