BEDFORD, NS, March 29 /CNW/ - Wild Canadian Sea Scallops have officially joined Clearwater Seafoods' growing list of Marine Stewardship Council certified offerings, along with the earlier certified Argentine Scallops and Canadian Coldwater Shrimp.
This latest certification is scientific recognition that the globally popular Canadian Scallops meet the strict environmental standards set by the MSC and are being harvested in a sustainable and well-managed fishery.
"The MSC welcomes the certification of the Eastern Canada offshore sea scallop fishery and congratulates those involved in the harvest, processing and management of this newly certified fishery," said Marine Stewardship Council CEO Rupert Howes. "Market demand for credible, internationally-recognized, third party certified and labeled seafood is increasing around the world and we look forward to seeing products from this fishery bear the distinctive MSC eco-label."
This third MSC certification of a Clearwater product is a significant achievement and milestone, which further demonstrates Clearwater's commitment to its brand promise of being 'Dedicated to Sustainable Seafood Excellence'.
"It's extremely gratifying", says Clearwater CEO Colin MacDonald, "but more importantly it is validation by the world's most recognized and respected eco-label, MSC, of the efforts and care taken by our people and the government of Canada to ensure that our offshore sea scallop resource is harvested in a responsible and sustainable manner."
With the Canadian Off-Shore Lobster fishery currently in full assessment, Clearwater is anticipating their family of MSC certified products will soon be increased to 4 offerings.
Mike Pittman, Vice President Fleet Operations for Clearwater, feels the collaborative nature of the relationship with government fisheries management agencies, including the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, is an important factor in the eco award as are the numerous technological innovations adopted by Clearwater. The company pioneered ocean bottom mapping and other technological advances which allow Clearwater to significantly reduce bottom impact when harvesting. Collaborative research and the collection and sharing of data allow mature beds to be identified for harvesting while leaving juvenile stocks time to grow.
"It's an integrated effort," says Pittman, "our vessel captains are on board with it. Our crews are on board with it. Everyone's committed to the end game - a healthy sustainable harvest year after year."
Quota ownership in a rights-based fishery regime is also a key component.
Explains Pittman, "Being the largest scallop quota holder provides the scale as well as the incentive and security to continually invest and innovate in sustainable practices."
Other harvesting improvements have set Clearwater apart from its Sea Scallop competitors.
"Virtually our entire harvest is now frozen-at-sea (FAS)," explains Product Manager Alan Cameron. "You simply can't compete with the flavour and yield of our FAS product. We've done numerous studies against both 'fresh' and 'land frozen' scallops and the FAS product wins every time."
"Chefs understand it", says Cameron, "the old stigma of 'fresh is best' really doesn't apply to scallops. Chefs can do the math. They know a boat trip that harvests for 6 days before landing mean the 'fresh' scallops are often far from fresh once delivery to their restaurant is factored in."
Cameron adds, "So when we do our Scallop Schools for chefs around the globe, comparing our product to competitive fresh and land frozen scallops and explain our Frozen-at-Sea processing creates a product we call 'The New Definition of Fresh', we get a lot of heads nodding."
In addition to their own label, Clearwater provides private label packing programs to a number of global retail and food service customers along with a wide variety of in-store and on-premise support.
CEO MacDonald sums up, "The MSC sustainability certification simply reaffirms our value proposition. Remarkable flavour and a responsible choice."
ABOUT CLEARWATER SEAFOODS LIMITED
Clearwater Seafoods is a leader in the global seafood industry recognized for its consistent quality, wide diversity and reliable delivery of premium seafood, including scallops, lobster, clams, cold-water shrimp and crab. Since its founding in 1976 Clearwater has invested in science, people, technology, resource ownership and resource management to sustain and grow its seafood resource. This commitment has allowed it to remain a leader in the North American seafood industry. www.clearwater.ca
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For further information: For further information: Media contact: Holly Reardon, Director of Marketing- Clearwater, (902) 457-8154, firstname.lastname@example.org; Notes to editor: Additional pictures, product fact sheet and recipes available upon request; Clearwater website: www.clearwater.ca