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Neptune Announces Action Plan to Resume Operations and Supply Customers

Neptune Announces Action Plan to Resume Operations and Supply Customers

LAVAL, Quebec, Nov. 26, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Neptune Technologies &
Bioressources Inc. ("Neptune") (Nasdaq:NEPT) (TSX:NTB) announced today its
action plan going forward to resume operations which have been interrupted as
a result of the incident that occurred on November 8, 2012 at its production
plant located in Sherbrooke, Québec and to progressively supply customer
demands in the interim.

Following the incident, Neptune's focus has, and continues to be, concentrated
first and foremost on its employees and the families of those most affected by
the incident, and supporting them through the tragedy. Quickly following the
incident, Neptune has established five recovery committees composed of senior
management and key employees to coordinate employee assistance, the action
plan and business aspects: (1) human resources & communications, (2) sales &
marketing, (3) plant reconstruction, (4) finance and (5) a strategic committee
overseeing potential strategic opportunities and coordinating the efforts of
all committees.

While this tragic incident had and still has a significant impact on Neptune's
operations, Neptune believes it remains a viable business and is committed to
recovering from the incident, which will be pursued through the implementation
of a strategic action plan going forward (the "Plan") aiming to meet the
following key milestones and targets:

  *resuming its neutraceutical operations and certain levels of sales of its
    Neptune Krill Oil® products to customers in the short term;
  *maintaining key customer relationships and market share, particularly
    until production of Neptune Krill Oil® products can reach pre-incident
    levels;
  *reconstructing an operational plant using the expansion facility that was
    under completion and certain existing equipment in the expansion, which
    expansion and equipment do not appear to have suffered considerable
    damages from the incident;
  *pursuing partnerships and/or arrangements with one or more strategic
    partners for the outsourcing of production for Neptune Krill Oil®
    products, both as an interim measure to ensure certain levels of
    production prior to its new plant being fully operational and as a
    longer-term strategy to diversify sources and means of production; and
  *prudently managing its financial resources while continuing its product
    development and clinical trials, including defending its patents and
    intellectual property and supporting as planned the pharmaceutical
    development of its two subsidiaries, Acasti Pharma Inc. ("Acasti") and
    NeuroBioPharm Inc. ("NeuroBio"), whose operations have not been
    interrupted as a result of the incident.

"Neptune's action plan is the result of our strategic reflection on a strong
path forward, keeping the interests of our shareholders, employees, customers
and partners at the top of our minds and priorities. By nature it is a
multi-faceted and long-term plan, and the key lies in its execution. In a
situation where we now face new challenges in a very difficult and sad
circumstance for the Neptune family, we will stay committed to our new Plan
and our shareholders, employees and customers," stated Mr. Henri Harland,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Neptune.

Plant Reconstruction and Insurance

As a central part of the Plan, Neptune plans to rebuild an operational
production facility. As its first choice, Neptune intends to reconstruct an
operational plant using the expansion facility that was under completion and
certain existing equipment in the expansion, which expansion and equipment do
not appear to have suffered considerable damages from the incident, though
additional construction and certain other equipment acquisitions should be
required to bring the facility to an operational state. Neptune intends to
cooperate with the relevant governmental authorities (including with respect
to workers' safety and the environment) and the Sherbrooke plant
reconstruction will be subject to such governmental authorities supporting the
reconstruction plan and Neptune obtaining the required permits to allow for
the operation of the new plant in a timely manner.

The cost and length of time to complete the reconstruction is being
determined. However, we have been able to make the following assessments thus
far:

  *Neptune has insurance coverage in place covering among other things
    property damage, business interruption and general liability up to
    specified amounts and subject to limited deductibles and certain
    exclusions, and has notified its insurers of the incident. Definitive
    information on specific amounts recovered will be provided when Neptune's
    insurance claims are settled. Due to the extent of the damage and ongoing
    investigation, the amount recoverable under our insurance policies and the
    collection of such amounts, if any, will most likely take several months.
  *Neptune expects that its amounts of insurance coverage would likely allow
    it to fund most of the reconstruction costs. The balance of such costs are
    expected to be funded through a refinancing of its existing credit
    facility put in place to fund a portion of its previously planned
    expansion, which refinancing Neptune intends to seek at a later stage of
    its reconstruction plan, as well as through a portion of Neptune's working
    capital (see "Finance, Use of Public Offering Proceeds and Investor
    Communications" below). Neptune had already received in connection with
    the expansion an interest-free loan and a commitment for a governmental
    grant.
  *Neptune is planning that its new production plant would have when
    operational an annual production capacity of approximately 150,000
    kilograms of krill oil per year. Neptune's future plans may contemplate
    additional production capacity of krill oil per year and it is expected
    that a significant portion of Neptune's future production capacity will be
    provided through partnerships and/or arrangements with third-party
    manufacturers (see "Operations and Arrangements with Strategic Partners"
    below).
  *Timing of the reconstruction is still uncertain and will depend on a range
    of factors, including the length and results of the investigation
    currently underway to determine the cause of the incident, cooperation of
    governmental authorities with respect to the reconstruction plan, and
    timing for obtaining the required permits. Based on a number of factors,
    including the aforementioned, Neptune cannot determine at this time the
    amount of time it will take to finalize the construction on a fully
    operational production facility. As an initial estimate subject to change,
    and based on the incomplete information currently in hand, Neptune
    currently expects that the new plant may be operational within a range of
    six to nine months.

Operations and Arrangements with Strategic Partners

A top priority of Neptune's Plan is that it maintains key customer
relationships and market share even in advance of having an operational
production plant. To this end, Neptune intends to deploy a strategy over the
next several months that includes the following:

  *Neptune intends to pursue partnerships and/or arrangements with one or
    more strategic partners for the outsourcing of production of Neptune Krill
    Oil® products, both as an interim measure to ensure certain levels of
    production prior to its plant being fully operational and as a longer-term
    strategy to diversify sources and means of production. Outsourced
    production is being considered in any one or more of Neptune's markets, in
    Canada, the United States, Europe and/or Asia. Any plans to outsource
    Neptune's production would take into account a number of factors including
    (1) the technique of production permitted within the premises, (2) space
    available for the purchase of equipment, (3) the amount of available time
    a third party would allocate to the production of Neptune Krill Oil®
    products, and (4) the ability to negotiate definitive agreements on terms
    in the best interests of Neptune.
  *Neptune plans and has received orders for certain levels of sales of its
    Neptune Krill Oil® products to customers in the short term, with sales
    expected to be completed and revenue generated as early as during the
    fourth quarter beginning on December 1, 2012. Neptune currently has a
    limited inventory of krill oil products allowing it to make sales during a
    limited initial period of time, and intends to work towards a gradual
    increase of sales over the coming months, mainly through partnerships
    and/or arrangements with strategic partners as discussed above.
  *Neptune's plans for operations and product sales during a transition
    period until its new plant is operational or longer term production
    arrangements are concluded with one or more strategic partners may help
    balancing cash flows and more importantly are meant to serve the strategic
    objectives of maintaining key customer relationships and market share.
    However, Neptune's operations for the foreseeable future, particularly
    during an initial transition period, are expected to yield significantly
    lower sales margins compared to the usual sales margins prior to the
    incident.
  *Up to the incident, Neptune's growth in production has come, and was
    planned to come in the future, from expansion at its Sherbrooke plant.
    Neptune's strategic aim to outsource some of its production serves short
    term strategic imperatives since Neptune will not directly benefit from a
    production plant for an interim period of time, but is intended to also
    mark a longer term strategic shift from a one-plant production model to
    more diversified sources of production.
  *Neptune intends to continue the development of its Neptune Krill Oil®
    portfolio of products and to maintain and defend its patents and its
    intellectual property rights in NKO® and EKO™ and its product candidates.
    It will also continue to maintain and develop its intellectual property
    portfolio and to protect it against infringement by third parties.

Human Resources

Despite the loss of its operating production facility, Neptune plans to retain
approximately 30 of its Sherbrooke employees (10 full-time and 20 part-time)
employed to work on the reconstruction of an operational production facility.
Neptune has been forced in the circumstances to temporarily layoff over 70
employees in Sherbrooke and at its Laval head office. The duration of the
layoff has not been determined and is dependent on Neptune's ability to resume
production at a new operational production facility.

As previously disclosed, Neptune has set up a charitable fund to provide
assistance to the employees and families most affected by the incident. The
fund is already active and has permitted the payment of certain employee
salaries on an interim basis after the incident. As of now the fund serves
immediate and urgent needs of the families of the victims, but in the longer
term Neptune wishes that it remain in place and contribute to helping
employees in need. Neptune is in the process of setting up a not-for-profit
organization that will assist in collecting and redistributing donations.

Senior management and employees of Neptune will be taking salary reductions of
at least 20% for an interim period during Plan implementation. These salary
reductions may be paid in full or in part at a later date upon, among other
things, a successful implementation of the Plan and improved financial results
of Neptune. Neptune and its subsidiaries intend to provide incentive stock
compensation as a means of retention, partially offsetting salary reductions
and as long-term incentive for management and key employees. Neptune expects
the decrease of its workforce and reductions in salary to save approximately
45% of its labour costs while such measures are in place.

Finance, Use of Public Offering Proceeds and Investor Communication

On October 2, 2012, Neptune announced the closing of its public offering for
gross proceeds of approximately US$34.1 million (the "Public Offering"). If
Neptune is able to execute its Plan successfully and recover sufficient
amounts under its insurance policies, in addition to its cost cutting
measures, Neptune believes that the proceeds of the Offering can ultimately be
deployed, over a longer period of time than initially planned given the
incident, in substantially the same allocation as was disclosed in connection
with the Public Offering, except that the amount of approximately $US5 million
initially allocated to the expansion of its Sherbrooke plant may now otherwise
be used towards the production of Neptune Krill Oil® products, either in
connection with the reconstruction of an operational production facility or
partnerships and/or arrangements with strategic partners for the production of
Neptune Krill Oil® products.

Neptune will continue disclosing its financial statements and other continuous
disclosure documents within applicable prescribed delays, and in connection
with the announcement of quarterly or annual results will hold a conference
call with investors and analysts. Neptune will however suspend for an
indefinite period of time its practice of providing revenue guidance at the
end of each quarter.

Incident Investigation and Environment

Neptune continues to cooperate with the governmental authorities for the
ongoing investigation to determine the cause of the incident. Until completion
of the investigation, Neptune cannot provide any further information regarding
the cause of the incident. Neptune continues to work with appropriate
governmental agencies on the cleanup efforts at the site.

On November 16, 2012, Neptune received from the Québec Ministry of Environment
a notice alleging environmental non-compliance relating to specific equipment
acquisitions by Neptune and its plant expansion. Further to wrong assertions
in the media that such notice may relate to acetone levels, Neptune clarified
in media statements that the notice received had nothing to do with the level
or the compliance of the total amounts of acetone stored on the Sherbrooke
plant site and indicated that the total amounts of acetone stored inside
and/or outside the plant as of and including the date of the incident were in
conformity with the certificate of authorization issued by the Québec Ministry
of Environment in 2002. Neptune is cooperating with the Ministry of
Environment with the view to settle the notice alleging non-compliance.

Neptune also provided to the Ministry of Environment a dismantling and
cleaning plan for the destroyed plant, accompanied by an environmental
monitoring program for soil, surface water and groundwater.

Activities of Neptune's Subsidiaries - Acasti Pharma Inc. and NeuroBioPharm
Inc.

As previously disclosed, the day-to-day operations and business of Acasti have
not been interrupted. CaPre®, Acasti's lead prescription candidate, is
currently being evaluated in two Phase II clinical trials, an open-label and a
double-blind studies, with scheduled interim reports for the latter. All
required material for both studies had already been produced. Both CaPre® and
Onemia™, Acasti's product marketed in the United States as a "medical food",
are stored in U.S. facilities outside Neptune's affected plant. Inventories of
CaPre® and Onemia™ are adequate, the market supply of Onemia™ will continue as
planned and the ongoing clinical trials on CaPre® are not interrupted as a
result of the incident. Raw material required to produce additional Onemia™ is
available and is stored outside Neptune's affected plant and future production
of Onemia™ will be negotiated with third party manufacturers. Acasti will
continue to be dependent on the support of Neptune as its controlling
shareholder.

Although it is at a much earlier stage of development, NeuroBio will stick to
its business plan and research and development activities will continue as
planned, although milestones and the start of commercialization may be
delayed. NeuroBio will also continue to be dependent on the support of Neptune
as its controlling shareholder.

We would like to recognize and thank our shareholders for their support and
understanding while we implement our Plan.

About Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.

Neptune is a biotechnology company engaged primarily in the development and
commercialization of marine-derived omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or
PUFAs. Neptune has a patented process of extracting oils from Antarctic krill,
which omega-3 PUFAs are then principally sold as bulk oil to Neptune's
distributors who commercialize them under their private label primarily in the
U.S., European and Asian neutraceutical markets. Neptune's lead products,
Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®) and ECOKRILL Oil (EKO™), generally come in capsule
form and serve as a dietary supplement to consumers.

Through its subsidiaries Acasti (TSX-V:APO) and NeuroBio, in which Neptune
respectively holds 57% and 99% of the voting rights, Neptune is also pursuing
opportunities in the medical food and prescription drug markets. Acasti and
NeuroBio respectively focus on the research and development of safe and
therapeutically effective compounds for highly prevalent atherosclerotic
conditions, such as cardiometabolic disorders and cardiovascular diseases, and
for neurodegenerative and inflammation related conditions. Acasti's lead
prescription drug candidate is CaPre®, a purified high omega-3 phospholipid
concentrate derived from Neptune krill oil being developed to address the
prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disorders, including
hypertriglyceridemia, which is characterized by abnormally high levels of
triglycerides.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered
forward-looking information within the meaning of Canadian securities laws and
forward-looking statements within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws,
both of which we refer to as forward-looking statements. Investors should keep
in mind that the Plan discloses intentions and expectations of Neptune. By its
very nature, the Plan constitutes almost entirely forward looking information,
and in the circumstances investors are cautioned to pay particular attention
to the information provided below. Actual execution of the Plan will be
critically important, and given that it is multi-faceted and long-term the
Plan may be varied over time to adapt to Neptune's changing situation.

Forward-looking information can be identified by the use of terms such as
"may", "will", "should", "expect", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "intend",
"estimate", "predict", "potential", "continue" or other similar expressions
concerning matters that are not statements about the present or historical
facts. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and
other factors that may cause results, performance or achievements to be
materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore
these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or
results. All forward-looking statements are based on Neptune's current beliefs
as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to Neptune
and include, but are not limited to, statements about:

  *Neptune's ability to generate revenue through the successful execution of
    the Plan;
  *Neptune's ability to enter into third party supply and production
    agreements on terms favourable to Neptune, and the ability of Neptune to
    maintain sufficient inventory levels and meet customer demands as a result
    of these third party supply and production agreements;
  *Neptune's ability, through its distribution partners, to continue to
    successfully commercialize Neptune Krill Oil® products and to maintain a
    market share position for krill oil products;
  *the continued cooperation and ultimate support of governmental authorities
    with respect to the reconstruction plan;
  *Neptune's ability to obtain any required permits to reconstruct an
    operational production facility in a timely fashion and to achieve annual
    production capacities of krill products as projected;
  *Neptune's ability to recover all available insurance proceeds relating to
    the incident under its various insurance policies;
  *Neptune's ability to obtain refinancing of its existing credit facility,
    on terms favourable to Neptune, in order to provide additional capital
    sources for the reconstruction of an operational production facility;
  *Neptune'sability to use the net proceeds from its recent public offering
    for the purposes identified in Neptune's prospectus dated September 19,
    2012;
  *Neptune's ability to maintain and defend its patents and intellectual
    property rights in NKO® and EKO™ as well as in its product candidates;
  *Neptune's expectations regarding its financial performance, including its
    revenues, expenses, gross margins, liquidity, capital resources and
    capital expenditures; and
  *Neptune's ability to continue to invest in product development and
    clinical trials, including supporting the pharmaceutical development of
    its two subsidiaries, Acasti and NeuroBio.

Although the forward-looking information is based upon what we believe are
reasonable assumptions, no person should place undue reliance on such
information since actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking
information. Certain key assumptions made in providing the forward-looking
information include the following:

  *the generation of any material revenue prior to having an operational
    production facility assumes that Neptune will be able to enter the
    necessary third-party arrangements for the production of krill oil
    products;
  *sales objectives for its krill oil products assume that Neptune will be
    able to maintain customer relationships and that demand for its products
    will continue;
  *plans for the reconstruction of an operational production facility, the
    timing of such reconstruction and the anticipated use of the proceeds from
    the Public Offering assume that Neptune will be able to recover in full
    the amounts of its insurance coverage, that it will be able to refinance
    its existing credit facility to provide additional capital sources that
    may be required for the reconstruction in excess of its insurance coverage
    and that no unexpected event will require uses of its cash for reasons
    other than the reconstruction of an operational production facility and
    the identified purposes for using the proceeds from the Public Offering;
  *plans for the reconstruction of an operational production facility also
    assume that Neptune will obtain the required governmental approvals and
    permits in a timely manner;
  *expenses in product development or in supporting the pharmaceutical
    development of Neptune's two subsidiaries, Acasti and NeuroBio, assume
    that Neptune will not be required to use funds currently allocated to
    product development for the purpose of the reconstruction of an
    operational production facility or to cover costs or expenses arising out
    of unexpected events;
  *Neptune's strategy to conclude partnerships and/or arrangements with
    strategic partners for the production of krill oil products assumes that
    Neptune will be able to identify third parties for that purpose, that such
    third parties will have the required resources to support the production
    of Neptune's products in a timely manner and that Neptune will be able to
    enter into agreements with such third parties on terms favourable to
    Neptune; and
  *Neptune's Plan assumes that Neptune will be able to continue to meet the
    continued listing requirements of the NASDAQ Stock Market and the Toronto
    Stock Exchange.

In addition, the forward-looking information is subject to a number of known
and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond
our control, that could cause actual results and developments to differ
materially from those that are disclosed in or implied by the forward-looking
information, including, without limitation:

  *the risk that despite its best efforts, Neptune will not be able to
    continue to successfully commercialize Neptune Krill Oil™ products and
    that its market share of krill oil products will erode;
  *the risk that Neptune may receive less insurance coverage than expected;
  *the risk that future uncertainties may compromise Neptune's ability to
    achieve the implementation ofthe Plan, on time or at all;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to generate sufficient revenue even
    despite a successfulexecution of the Plan;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to enter into third party supply
    and production agreements in a timely manner on terms favourable to
    Neptune;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to maintain sufficient inventory
    levels nor meet customer demands as a result of the failure to enter into
    third party supply and production agreements;
  *the risk that the investigation surrounding the incident at the production
    facility could be delayed and that the results from the investigation
    could have a negative impact on the Plan;
  *the risk that Neptune will not obtain required permits to reconstruct an
    operational production facility in a timely fashion or that governmental
    authorities will not support Neptune's reconstruction plan;
  *the risk that additional inspection or work reveal damages that have not
    yet been assessed to the expansion facility that was under construction
    and that is intended to form part of Neptune's future operational
    production facility;
  *the risk that Neptune may face environmental liability, either as a result
    of environmental contamination that cannot currently be assessed resulting
    from the incident, or as a result of the notice alleging environmental
    non-compliance received from the Québec Ministry of Environment;
  *the risk that Neptune will not succeed in restoring its production
    capacities of krill oil products as projected;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to maintain its projected use of
    the remaining net proceeds from its recent public offering for the
    purposes identified in Neptune's prospectus dated September 19, 2012;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to obtain refinancing of its
    existing credit facility, on terms favourable to Neptune, in order to
    provide additional capital sources as may be required for the completion
    of the expansion project of Neptune's manufacturing facility;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be successful in its efforts to maintain
    and defend its patents and intellectual property rights in NKO® and EKO™
    as well as in its product candidates;
  *the risk that its financial performance deteriorate as a result of the
    incident or that Neptune be forced to allocate funds to cover costs or
    expenses arising out of unexpected events;
  *the risk that Neptune will not be able to continue to invest as planned in
    product development and clinical trials, or the pharmaceutical development
    of its two subsidiaries, Acasti and NeuroBio;
  *the risk that despite its best efforts, Neptune will not be able to
    attract or retain skilled labour and key management personnel;
  *the risk that, due to the incident, lawsuits may be brought against
    Neptune by the government or third parties, including claims for
    liability, and that Neptune's insurance liability coverage not cover fully
    or at all losses that may arise from such lawsuits or claims; and
  *the risk that Neptune may face intensified competition while it does not
    have an operational production facility.

Consequently, all forward-looking information is qualified by this cautionary
statement and there can be no guarantee that the results or developments that
we anticipate will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they
will have the expected consequences or effects on our business, financial
condition or results of operations. Accordingly, you should not place undue
reliance on the forward-looking information. Due to the risks and
uncertainties outlined in this press release, as well as the risks and
uncertainties identified by Neptune in its Annual Information Form and other
public securities filings available at www.sedar.com and
www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml, actual events may differ materially from current
expectations. Except as required by law, Neptune disclaims any intention or
obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

CONTACT: Neptune Contact:
         Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
         Andre Godin, CFO
         +1.450.687.2262
         a.godin@neptunebiotech.com
         www.neptunebiotech.com
        
         Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
         Jean-Daniel Belanger, Director, Securities and
         Corporate Affairs
         +1.450.687.2262
         j-d.belanger@neptunebiotech.com
         www.neptunebiotech.com
        
         Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.
         Frederic Harland, Director of Finance
         +1.450.687.2262
         f.harland@neptunebiotech.com
         www.neptunebiotech.com
 
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