Apr 7, 2014 6:55 PM by Akeam Ashford
Omega Protein Corporation in Vermilion Parish is ramping up its operations.
The company recently announced its plan to close its Cameron fish processing plant and move operations to its Abbeville facility.
Omega Protein spokesman Ben Landry says with this move, the company will add 60 new workers to the Abbeville plant. The company will also move three of its fishing vessels to the facility, which has been around for 50 years.
"It's a multi-generational group we have here. People's fathers and grandfathers have worked here. We really enjoy being a part of this community," Landry said.
The recent announcement is a big catch for Vermilion Parish community.
"Our total budget here is about $43 million. Seventeen to eighteen million dollars of that is going directly to payroll, which we believe will be spent here in the local economy," Landry said.
The company harvests Menhaden, which are in the sardine and herrings family. The fish is mainly used to produce dry fish meal for livestock and fish oil.
The fishing season is approximately 28 weeks long, from the third Monday in April through November 1.
With the added employees, Landry says the plant should be able to process 510 million fish during the upcoming fishing season.
"We really have top-notch employees here that are able to unload the fish very quickly, efficiently and process the fish into fish meal and fish oil," Landry said.