Canadian Manufacturing

First Nations group wins lucrative clam fishery, breaks up Clearwater monopoly

Five Nations Clam Co., a firm made up of First Nations from Quebec and Atlantic Canada, has been awarded a licence comprising 25 per cent of the allowable catch of Canada's Arctic surf clam, besting shellfish giant Clearwater Seafoods Inc.


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OTTAWA—A company made up of First Nations from Quebec and Atlantic Canada has been awarded a new licence for Arctic surf clam, breaking up a years-long monopoly on the multimillion-dollar industry held by fisheries giant Clearwater Seafoods Inc.

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says granting the lucrative offshore licence to Five Nations Clam Co. will boost Indigenous participation in the industry and spread economic and social benefits across eastern Canada.

Last year, the government announced it would add a fourth licence comprising 25 per cent of the total allowable catch of Arctic surf clam, and that the successful applicant would be an Indigenous entity and majority Canadian-owned.

Clearwater is calling foul on the decision following their unsuccessful bid, which involved partnering with 13 Mi’kmaq bands in Nova Scotia.

Five Nations Clam will partner with Premium Seafoods to harvest, process and market the catch.

The fishing grounds for Arctic surf clams are located mainly off Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, and the current quota is about 38,000 tonnes and worth tens of millions of dollars annually.


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