Arctic surf clam enters MSC assessment


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 22, 2011

Canada’s Clearwater Seafoods on Wednesday announced that it entered the Banquereau and Grand Bank Arctic surf clam fishery into Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification.

The fishery yields about 24,000 metric tons of Arctic surf clams annually, with the majority coming from the Banquereau Bank. The IQF clams are sold in the United States, Japan and China.

There has been an Arctic surf clam fishery managed by the Fisheries and Oceans Canada on Banquereau since 1986, and Clearwater is now the only licensed operator in the limited-entry fishery.

Hydraulic suction dredges are used to harvest the Arctic surf clams. These dredges are a mobile gear towed by large vessels typically used to harvest shellfish from the substrate in which they are buried. The dredge uses sea water under pressure to lift the shellfish into a retaining device allowing smaller clams to pass through.

“Clearwater has always been committed to sustainable fishing and we believe our Arctic surf clam fishery will measure up well against the MSC’s gold standard for global fisheries,” said Clearwater CEO Ian Smith. “We look forward to having Arctic surf clam added to our portfolio of MSC-certified seafood products.”

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