Bonnell’s lawyer told the court the company is a victim of the current economic downturn. Hard times have turned many fish species into luxury items in the minds of consumers.
Mariner has millions of pounds of unsold inventory. The seafood operation is seen as a major player in the local economy, providing employment for 250 people and purchasing fish from many area fishermen. Much of the blame for Mariner's situation has been attributed to the recession, which has left the company holding millions of dollars worth of unsold inventory.
The plant has also tried to help fishermen through the downturn. The plant is owed $4.6 million by 375 lobster fishermen who have their catch processed at the plant.
In addition to lobster, Mariner is the only snow crab processor in the province. Its website indicates it also processes rock crab, spider crab, pink shrimp, Greenland halibut, cod, haddock, ocean perch, silver hake, American Plaice, Atlantic Halibut, sea scallops, Malpeque oysters, hard and soft shell clams, Stimpson surf clams, blue mussels, Atlantic Mackerel, herring, capelin, bluefin tuna, Atlantic salmon and eel.
It is one of the largest plants outside Ocean Choice, which is the largest player in the Island processing industry. Its loss would reduce the number of buyers at the wharf and could have a further downward impact on prices, something the industry is clearly not in a position to absorb.