Anne Risley Joins Clearwater Seafoods’ Surf Clam Fleet
Clearwater Seafoods welcomed the Anne Risley into its fleet of clam harvesters on December 1 during an official ceremony at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This vessel further strengthens the company’s commitment to maintain and boost production of wild-caught, frozen-at-sea Arctic surf clams.
"The Anne Risley represents a $70 million investment to replace an existing 31-year-old clam vessel with a state-of-the-art factory ship that will deliver significant productivity and efficiency improvements to our clam fleet," said Ian Smith, chief executive officer of Clearwater Seafoods. "This follows the launch of the Belle Carnell in July 2015, which now completes our fleet modernization program, creating one of the most modern and technologically advanced fishing fleets in the world."
Named after Clearwater co-founder John Risley’s late mother, a Red Cross nurse, the Anne Risley will harvest Arctic surf clams year-round from North Atlantic waters off the coasts of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador. At 73.4 meters in length, the vessel and is equipped with the most up-to-date systems and multi-beam sonar technology available.
Clearwater also announced the recertification of the offshore Arctic surf clam fishery under the Marine Stewardship Council standard for sustainable wild fisheries.
"The Anne Risley is the most technologically advanced shellfish harvester in the world, employing the same proprietary systems as the Belle Carnell," said Tony Jabbour, the company’s vice president for fleet operations. "We’re extremely pleased to be adding this modern, more efficient vessel to our fleet, further strengthening our leadership in innovative, sustainable seafood harvesting."
The clams harvested by the crew of the Anne Risley will be automatically shucked and individually quick frozen within an hour of catch using the vessel’s and advanced harvesting and processing methods. Products will be sold almost exclusively into international, high-value sushi and sashimi markets, greatly expanding the Canadian company’s seafood exports to markets in the USA, Asia and Europe.
"Global demand for seafood is outpacing supply, creating favorable market dynamics for vertically-integrated producers," said Smith.
Founded in 1976, Clearwater is one of North America’s largest vertically integrated seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses and quotas in Canada. The diversity of species of eco-certified seafood it produces and markets includes scallops, lobster, langoustine, clams, whelk, coldwater shrimp and crabs.
Until year Clearwater has had a 100% monopoly on the quota of Arctic surf clams in Canadian waters. However, a new national fisheries policy to allot 25% of the resource exclusively to native peoples could result in an additional license for surf clam harvesting being issued to an enterprise other than Clearwater. While the present quota is 38,000 tons, it has been as high as 50,000 tons in the past and could rise again in the future.