N.B. seafood giant Cooke buys insolvent U.S. fish processor, expands global reach

In tiny Black's Harbour, N.B., sandwiched between an Irving gas station and the local Freshmart, is a small, two-storey brick building that is head office for the world's largest independent seafood company. Cooke Aquaculture Inc. has billions of dollars in annual revenue, shipping one billion pounds of fresh seafood annually to 67 countries. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Cooke Aquaculture

A division of New Brunswick seafood giant Cooke Inc. has acquired Mariner Seafood LLC of New Bedford, Mass., expanding the family-owned company’s operations in the United States.

True North Seafood, the flagship brand and processing arm of Cooke, purchased Mariner Seafood for US$2.75 million after the U.S. company filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

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The sale includes two processing plants in the port of New Bedford capable of processing more than 8,000 metric tons a year of seafood product including scallops, haddock, cod, salmon and shrimp.

Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke, says it has been a dream of the family seafood company to have a presence in the historic, high-value fishing port.

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The company now has 4,000 employees in 22 U.S. states, with plans to hire additional workers.

Cooke, which started in rural New Brunswick in 1985 with three employees, now has a global workforce of over 10,000 employees in 10 countries. It is the largest privately held family seafood company in the world.

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