Coastal Shellfish Brings Fresh Scallops to Prince Rupert

Brittany Webster
03/01/2019

Fresh scallops are now available in Prince Rupert courtesy of Coastal Shellfish and their new processing licence.

The First Nations owned company began processing scallops last week, and CEO Michael Uehara (OO-ay-hahr-uh) says it has been a long time in the making.

"The whole idea of having shellfish aquaculture on the North coast has been a dream of First Nations for some time, over 13 years. And they put a long investment, a very kind of timely and far-sighted investment that would eventually culminate in the ability to process products raised in their own oceans and that's finally come to fruition."

Before the licence was granted, Coastal Shellfish had to ship their scallops down to Vancouver for processing, a deterrent for Prince Rupert's Chef Dai Fukasaku because it meant he wasn't buying local.

"I'm doing my business with sustainability and locality in mind and I just didn't want to buy their scallops when they have to travel South. And now they have their own processing licence in Prince Rupert and we can get scallops caught the day we are serving or the day before and it will be the freshest scallops in the North West."

Fukasaku was the first local buyer, taking the scallops down to Vancouver's Chowder Chowdown. Although he didn't bring home a win, Fukasaku says the public response was excellent helping put himself and Coastal Shellfish on the map, and he will be adding the scallop chowder to his menu next week.

Coastal Shellfish will not just be selling locally, but all across North America's West coast with hopes of expanding across the continent.

"It's a big note for Prince Rupert and the area and our investors," Uehara stated. "There are many kinds of fisheries that are happening in the area and there are not many that are growing and this is one that is actually growing. I think it's a real, something to watch and something to understand that this is kind of the new economy of the ocean."

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