Clearwater Finalizes Privatization, Shrimp Gains MSC Label


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
September 22, 2008

Shareholders of Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund yesterday voted to sell shares back to the company for $4.50 per share. The move to privatize was first announced in August and is valued at up to $90 million. The vote gives CEO Colin MacDonald and his brother-in-law, John Risley, a controlling interest in the company.

The transaction is expected to close in early October.

In other company news, Clearwater's coldwater shrimp products can now be sold with the Marine Stewardship Council's eco-label, making it the Canadian company's second MSC-labeled product after Argentine scallops. Clearwater markets shrimp under the Clearwater Pride of St. Anthony brand as well as numerous retailer and foodservice private-label brands sold around the globe.

"This is an exciting and important achievement," says MacDonald, "not only for Clearwater but for Canada," noting the fishery is the first Canadian fishery to achieve MSC certification.

Clearwater sustainable harvesting practices extend beyond their Argentine scallops, which achieved MSC certification in 2006, and shrimp, explains MacDonald. "We're proud of our record and efforts in the area of environmental stewardship," he says. "It's been a commitment and our way of doing business for over 30 years."

"It is a rigorous and lengthy certification process. We see the MSC certification as a testament to the efforts and passion of our employees," adds MacDonald, "While we have long practiced and invested in new technologies that improve our sustainable harvesting methods, adding the globally recognized blue MSC eco-label to our products makes it easier for the consumer and chef to make responsible seafood choices."

Clearwater has two other fisheries, Canadian sea scallops and offshore lobster, that have recently passed pre-assessment and entered the full MSC certification process.

"We want people to be aware and care about fisheries sustainability," says MacDonald. "It is one way we will be able to win the fight against IUU (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing that is still happening around the globe. We need to create a level playing field and, most importantly, ensure our oceans bounty is available for our children and our children's children."

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