Clearwater´s Belle Carnell is one of the vessels harvesting Arctic surf clams. Image: Clearwater

Proposals from potential new entrants to Canada’s Arctic surf clam fishery have until 2nd November to submit expressions of interest as the a new fourth licence representing a quarter of the TAC is introduced. The whole fishery is currently in the hands of a single company, Clearwater, and this position now looks to be set to change.

Canadian Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc has confirmed that the fourth licence will be issued to a new participant in the fishery in 2018.

A set of conditions has bene laid out, including that applicants must be an Indigenous entity – an individual, community or organisation. Applicants must come from an entity with majority Canadian ownership and applicants must be able to demonstrate an ability to comply with licence conditions, including by-catch requirements, VMS, gear restrictions, reporting requirements, Species at Risk Act conditions, and other conditions.

Applicants are also expected to describe their current engagement in Canadian fisheries, set out specific proposals for their involvement in the surf clam fishery, describe measures already undertaken in other Canadian fisheries that contribute to jobs and furthering scientific knowledge and to describe the number of jobs in Canada that would be created by access to the fourth licence, and in which locations. Details of a harvest strategy, processing measures and marketing proposals are also required as part of the detailed proposals the Ministry requires from applicants.

Source: DFO