Clearwater Seafoods and Quin-Sea Fisheries announce joint shrimp processing venture
Clearwater Seafoods and Quin-Sea Fisheries announced on 15 January the two companies have agreed to form a new joint venture to take over the operation of the St. Anthony Seafoods Limited Partnership shrimp plant in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Canada.
The plant, according to a release from Clearwater, is located on the Great Northern Peninsula and has a “highly experienced workforce and proximity to the resource.” The resource in question is the Northern prawn, a coldwater shrimp species, of which Canada accounts for nearly 35 percent of the supply.
The new joint venture, according to the release, is intended to utilize the facility at a time when the shrimp fishery in the region has declined, and raw material supply has been reduced. The official closure of the transaction will not go through until 31 March, as it is pending regulatory approval.
“We are pleased to bring a new partner into the St. Anthony plant who is an experienced Newfoundland operator that understands the importance of local commitment and local investment,” Clearwater CEO Ian Smith said in a press release. “The transaction will strengthen processing volume and look to diversify species processed at the St. Anthony plant, ensuring the continued viability of the operation and employment in an important coastal community in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
Quin-Sea will manage the plant, and the two companies plan to work with the local community to transition the operation to the new joint venture in advance of the 2020 season.
"Quin-Sea has invested to grow its operations in Conche benefiting the communities of the Northern Peninsula,” Quin-Sea Fisheries Managing Director Simon Jarding said. “Like Conche, St. Anthony has a prime location and a highly experienced workforce, ideal for both current production of shrimp and crab but also for the production of groundfish in the years to come. Our partnership with Clearwater will ensure a stable and long-term operation for the benefit of the partners, the employees, and the communities of the Northern Peninsula."
The partnership, Jarding added, is a natural result of multiple factors impacting the industry in the region.
“We have an interest to work with the local stakeholders, and we invest locally where we engage," he told SeafoodSource. “Clearwater has also been interested in a new future partner in St. Anthony.”
With declining resources in the region, consolidation of operations is inevitable, he added.
“There’s no secret that there’s been a decline in shrimp, there’s been a decline in resources on crab, and consolidation is a normal aspect of this," Jarding said. “It’s been obvious that there was a potential for a partnership to be formed up there, and I think we found a really good match.”