Omega Protein Corporation, a company that processes fish oil and protein products, announced on Wednesday they would be closing their facility in Cameron to streamline their Gulf of Mexico operations and increase efficiencies.
"In 2013 we advanced our goal of building a more balanced nutrition company, and while we made a tough, strategic decision to close our Cameron facility, we believe this will better position us for future growth as we consolidate operations and reallocate assets in the Gulf to create a more efficient fishing operation," commented Bret Scholtes, Omega Protein's President and Chief Executive Officer in a press release.
In addition to closing the facility, Omega Protein will move 4 of the 7 vessels based in Cameron to their other properties. Three will go to Abbeville and one will go to Moss Point, Mississippi.
"It's a sad day for us" said Cameron Parish Police Jury President, Darryl Farque. "That company has been a part of this community for a long time. That many lost jobs will hurt Cameron" Farque said.
Omega Protein says that after a thorough review of its fishing facility operations and anticipated future capital requirements, they believe that consolidating their two western Gulf of Mexico facilities into a single facility based in Abbeville, Louisiana would improve long term operating and capital efficiencies.
Ben Landry, a spokesman for Omega Protein, says the Board of Directors voted on Friday to move forward with their decision to streamline operations, including closing the Cameron facility.
"I don't really understand it" Farque said. "But I understand it's a business decision and they have to do what they have to do.. but I wish they would stay".
Landry says about 20 people will be retained to help facilitate the transitional and closing process over the next 18-24 months.
The company says they don't know how many employees will be rehired at other Omega Protein facilities or which employees will. In a press release, Omega Protein says the employees of the Cameron facility who will not be offered positions will be offered financial assistance in addition to staffing placement opportunities.
The company expects the closure process to begin immediately and to occur over the course of 12 to 24 months.