Mayor thanks fisheries minister for Arctic surf clam opportunity

July 23, 2015

Larger quota means hundreds of jobs and tens of millions in new exports

SYDNEY, NS - “New opportunities and growth are very welcome in Cape Breton Regional Municipality,” Mayor Cecil Clarke wrote to federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced an increase to the TAC (Total Allowable Catch) for offshore Arctic surf clam. The department also announced they are allowing new entrants into the fishery.

Currently, Clearwater Seafoods is the only licence holder for the 38,756 tonne Arctic surf clam quota. Last week’s change by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans increases the quota to 52,655 tonnes for the 2016 season and allows new entrants.

Clarke says this creates new opportunities for local fishing companies in Cape Breton. The increased quota means hundreds of jobs and tens of millions in new exports. The main market for Arctic surf clam is in Asia.

“Louisbourg is a perfect base for fishing the Banquereau Bank,” said Clarke. “We have local companies, like Kennedy Group, who are ready and able to take part in that fishery and create jobs here in Cape Breton.”

Clarke says that the municipality is on board with supporting local companies to expand their business and reach new markets.

“We strongly support our local business operators and encourage the development of export markets” wrote Clarke. “We commit to working with our local fishers on export and marketing opportunities if they are successful in becoming new entrants to the offshore Arctic surf clam fishery.”

Click here to read the Mayor's letter to the Minister.