Ian Smith, CEO of Clearwater Seafoods Inc. recently announced more than $5 million in new investments in Clearwater’s Arctic surf clam fishery.
The investments in Glace Bay, N.S. and Grand Bank, N.L. 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,” Smith said.
“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.
The announcement included 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 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,” Smith added.
“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.”
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.