Clearwater increases investment in market leading Arctic surf clam fishery

Tue, 07 Feb 2017

New Jobs, Processing Capacity in Nova Scotia & Newfoundland

HALIFAX, Feb. 7, 2017 /CNW/ – Ian Smith, CEO of Clearwater Seafoods Inc. is pleased to announce today more than $5 million in new investments in Clearwater’s market-leading Arctic surf clam fishery. The investments in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Grand Bank, Newfoundland will add new jobs, processing capacity and spur continued sustainable growth of the fishery.

"Today’s investment is good news for local jobs, domestic seafood processing capacity and those looking for the very finest wild-caught surf clams from Atlantic Canada," says Mr. Smith. "With this investment, Clearwater will continue to expand the export market for wild-caught Canadian seafood and build on its global leadership in sustainable seafood excellence." 

Arctic surf clams are very popular in sushi in Japan, China and South Korea, where they are known as hokkigai or bei gei bei. These new investments will enable Clearwater to better serve its traditional customer base while expanding distribution to new markets especially in Europe where sushi consumption is growing rapidly.

Today’s announcement includes a $2 million investment to establish clam processing capacity at Clearwater’s Highland Fisheries facility in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. This investment will turn a seasonal crab plant in Cape Breton into a year-round seafood processing operation providing full time, year-round jobs for 36 people. There will also be opportunities for additional seasonal employment during the peak crab production season.

An additional investment of $3.6 million will be made in Clearwater’s existing Grand Bank, Newfoundland facility to increase grading and processing, improve infrastructure and expand production of additional value-added product formats. This facility will continue to be Clearwater’s primary clam processing operation, with the Highland facility supporting the requirement for additional grading and packaging capacity.

"Through investments in these facilities and communities, Clearwater will increase production, create quality employment and new and innovative product formats to drive global growth of Arctic surf clams," added Mr. Smith. "These investments are the latest step in Clearwater’s strategy to build the world’s most extraordinary, wild seafood company, proudly pioneered from Atlantic Canada. It begins with respect for the oceans, ongoing investments in science, innovation and vessels, as well as responsible, well-managed harvesting practices. This is further enhanced by worldclass processing, marketing and sales, to create a true export success story all Atlantic Canadians can be proud of."

Provincial representatives welcomed the announcement. "As MLA for Glace Bay, this is great news for our community," said The Honourable Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "This investment will have a positive economic impact in our region with new full-time and seasonal jobs."

In 2015, Clearwater welcomed the Belle Carnell, a $65 million state-of-the-art vessel and the most advanced of its kind in the world, to meet global demand for Arctic surf clams. It also recently announced an additional $70 million investment to replace an aging clam harvesting vessel with another new state-of-the-art factory ship that will deliver additional productivity and efficiency gains to Clearwater’s clam fleet.

Clearwater and the Arctic surf clam fishery:
Clearwater is one of North America’s largest vertically integrated seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses and quotas in Canada. It is recognized globally for its superior quality, food safety, diversity of species and reliable worldwide delivery of premium wild, eco-certified seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams, coldwater shrimp, langoustines, crab, whelk and groundfish.

Clearwater developed the Arctic surf clam fishery in the mid-1980’s, purchasing all three licenses over the history of the fishery in DFO-approved transactions. The Company pioneered the product and market development for this new species by investing over $200 million in vessels, licenses, plants and market development over the years. Today, Clearwater’s surf clam operations contribute over $70 million annually to the Atlantic Canadian economy including payroll and purchases of goods and services, and year-round employment for more than 400 Atlantic Canadians. The company continues to innovate and expand the market for surf clams.

The Arctic surf clam fishery is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified, the world’s gold standard in third-party independent certifications for sustainable fisheries. Clearwater invested millions to fund clam science in collaboration with the DFO through joint project & collaborative agreements and academic institutions.


SOURCE Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated

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