Clearwater Seafoods welcomed the Belle Carnell into its fleet of clam vessels today in St. John’s.
“The Belle Carnell represents the single-largest vessel investment in Clearwater’s history and is a testament to our dedication to the fishery, the region and sustainable seafood excellence,” said Ian Smith, CEO, Clearwater Seafoods.
“This vessel will positively impact the economy across Atlantic Canada, creating 70 new well-paying, year-round jobs in our fleet and grow our 52-week processing operations by up to 50 per cent in the Town of Grand Bank, N.L., where we’ve been a proud community employer for nearly 25 years.”
Named after Clearwater Co-founder and Chairman Colin MacDonald’s late mother, a registered nurse and proud Newfoundlander, the Belle Carnell will harvest arctic surf clams, cockle clams and propeller clams year-round primarily in the Grand Banks area.
The vessel measures 73.4 metres in length and is equipped with state-of-the-art navigational and sonar technology.
“The Belle Carnell is the most technologically advanced shellfish harvester in the world and we are extremely pleased to be adding her to our fleet,” said Mike Pittman, vice president fleet for Clearwater Seafoods.
“This larger, more efficient vessel will strengthen our leadership in innovative, sustainable seafood harvesting.”
The clams harvested by the Belle Carnell and her crew will be automatically shucked and individually quick frozen within an hour of catch using the vessel’s proprietary and advanced harvesting and processing technologies.
Products will be sold almost exclusively into international, high-value sushi and sashimi markets, greatly expanding both Clearwater and Canada’s seafood exports to the U.S., Asian and European markets. Key markets where the company expects to benefit from the Canadian Government’s ongoing initiatives to expand free trade, including the recently enacted Korean Free Trade Agreement, the soon-to-be-ratified Comprehensive European Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“This investment is another demonstration of Clearwater’s commitment to create the greatest economic return for the fishery while ensuring the principles of fisheries conservation science are upheld, respected, and resources safeguarded for future generations,” added CEO Ian Smith.
“Since the collapse of our ground fishery more than two decades ago, we learned the hard lesson to take less, but create more value by leaving the resource in a better state than we found it in. To do anything less, would be short-sighted, misguided and irresponsible.”