The Management at Marine Harvest in Fanad has said the layoffs planned for the new year at their Rinmore processing plant are of a temporary nature.
Staff at Marine Harvest plant say they have learned that the layoffs are for a period of six weeks from December 23rd.
The company has recently rebranded its image and is now known as Comlacht Iasc Fanaid Teoranta (C.I.F.T).
The company said the layoffs arise because of the ongoing problem with fish losses from aqua bloom and jellyfish and the salmon that should remain in the sea until January and February next are now being harvested as the company moves to minimise its losses.
The company recently told the Tirconail Tribune that while the lost a large volume of salmon in 2012 because of above average sea temperature they are now more confident that that they’ve moved on from those losses and are employing new methods of managing the problem.
However they did concede that fish deaths are a recurring problem.
The company has again moved to assure long -term workers that the business is not in financial difficulties. However there are local concerns the company may be considering leaving Ireland with the potential loss of 255 jobs.
Marine Harvest says they are not in a position at this stage to how many positions will be affected since their analysis of the situation is ongoing.
Staff in the production sector at their Rinmore plant are being offered alternative positions, some in retraining to minimise layoffs.
Staff at Rinmore have already been working on reduced hours and there are obvious concerns with the consequent loss of earnings.
However the company says that not every worker can be accommodated as a result of their new ‘accelerated harvesting operation’ and a number of layoffs are inevitable.
Again the company has blamed the inordinate delays in getting extra licences from the Government. Marine Harvest has been battling to get a new licence in Lough Swilly for the past twenty years. They point to the reality that had they been given those licences, the problem of fish losses could have been dealt with differently and no layoffs would be needed.
The company creates revenue of €15 million locally and it is battling difficulties from recurring amoebic gill disease in mature salmon in the past two years.
And while this year’s losses are described as ‘manageable’ the fallout from last year’s devastating mortalities continues to have a big impact since the production of salmon is a three-year cycle.
Deputy Joe McHugh has confirmed that An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Simon Coveney Minister for Agriculture will meet with the management of Marine Harvest in the next month about developing Donegal’s aquaculture industry.Tags: