Clearwater Seafoods has taken delivery of its newest vessel, a dedicated clam dredger delivered by the Astander yard in Spain, the result of an extensive conversion. The new clam catcher arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia last week.
Anne Risley’s delivery follows that of Belle Carnell more than two ago and the latest delivery builds on the company’s experience with that ship, having undergone a similar conversion process at the Spanish shipyard, with input from naval architect Oliver Design to covert the former offshore support vessel Siddis Supplier to a state-of-the-art clam dredger packed with the latest technology, including multi-beam sonar gear.
According to Clearwater Seafoods’ CEO Ian Smith, the 73.40 metre Anne Risley represents a $70 million investment and replaces a vessel with 31 years of service behind it.
‘This investment follows the launch of the Belle Carnell in July 2015, which now completes Clearwater’s fleet modernisation programme, creating one of the most modern and technologically advanced fishing fleets in the world,’ he said
Intended to harvest surf clams in a year-round operation off Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Anne Risley is named after Clearwater co-founder John Risley’s late mother.
‘Anne Risley is the most technologically advanced shellfish harvester in the world, employing the same advanced proprietary systems as the Belle Carnell,’ said Tony Jabbour, Clearwater’s VP 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.’
Catches are automatically shucked and individually-quick-frozen within an hour of catch using the vessel’s proprietary and advanced harvesting and processing technologies. Products go almost exclusively into international, high-value sushi and sashimi markets, greatly expanding both Clearwater’s and Canada’s seafood exports to the North American, Asian and European markets.
Frozen at sea Arctic surf clams (Mactromeris polynyma) are then sorted, size graded and rigorously quality control tested before being packaged in a variety of formats at Clearwater’s processing facility.
Clearwater has also announced the MSC recertification of the offshore Arctic surf clam fishery.
‘The Clearwater offshore Arctic surf clam fishery certification confirms this fishery meets the rigorous global environmental standards set out by the MSC,’ Ian Smith said.
‘Global demand for seafood is outpacing supply, creating favourable market dynamics for vertically-integrated producers,’ he said. ‘This investment is another demonstration of Clearwater’s ongoing commitment to create the greatest economic return for the fishery, while ensuring the principles of fisheries conservation science are upheld and respected, with resources safeguarded for future generations.’