CANADA’S Clearwater Seafoods has announced an ambitious multi-million dollar plan to invest in a new and innovative vessel for its Canadian clam fleet.
The investment, estimated at Canadian $70 million, will replace an existing 28-year-old clam boat with a state-of-the-art factory vessel that will deliver significant productivity and efficiency improvements through a more efficient harvesting platform.
This investment follows the launch of the Belle Carnell in July 2015 which successfully allowed Clearwater to increase its catch of Arctic surf clams, cockle clams and propeller clams.
Clearwater is also in the UK and owns Macduff Shellfish, which it bought for £98 millionlast year.
The combined investments complete Clearwater’s plan to sustainably harvest 100 per cent of its Canadian surf clam quota employing the most advanced and proprietary clam technology in the world.
The investment is directly tied to Clearwater’s strategy of expanding access to supply of high demand, premium, wild and sustainably harvested seafood.
Following this vessel replacement, Clearwater’s entire Canadian fleet will be fully renewed with no further vessel replacements planned over the next five years ending 2020.
Including replacements and planned refits, Clearwater has invested $169 million in its fleet over the past five years creating one of the most modern and technologically advanced fishing fleets in the world.
The investment will begin during the third quarter of 2016 and is expected to be complete in time for the vessel to enter service by the second quarter of 2018.
Clearwater said the project will be financed through cash and existing debt facilities.
Ian Smith, chief executive officer, said: ‘Global demand for seafood is outpacing supply, creating favourable market dynamics for vertically integrated producers.
‘Clearwater is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity because of its licences, premium product quality, diversity of sustainably harvested species, global sales footprint, and year-round harvest and delivery capability.
‘This new investment completes Clearwater’s fleet modernisation programme and positions the company to execute with excellence on our extraordinary growth plans over the next five years.’