Clean Seas Seafood captures new market with rapidly frozen yellowtail kingfish, secures Fitzgerald Bay lease

Clean Seas Seafood ASX CSS yellowtail kingfish

South Australian yellowtail kingfish exporter Clean Seas Seafood (ASX: CSS) has launched a rapid-freeze liquid-nitrogen technology called SensoryFresh to take its Spencer Gulf Hiramasa Kingfish to the world in frozen format.

Clean Seas, the world’s largest full-cycle breeder and farmer of kingfish, will use the technology to rapid-freeze the fish in less than half an hour to capture its freshly harvested taste.

The technology and logistics protocols will allow the ASX-listed company to target the frozen market with the quality kingfish it already flies fresh to sushi masters and leading chefs around the world twice-weekly.

Clean Seas managing director and chief executive officer David Head highlighted the key to freezing high-value seafood was speed.

“The ice formation stage must be achieved as fast as possible for optimum texture and Clean Seas’ rapid-freezing does this in around 22 minutes – 10 times faster than conventional freezing,” the chief executive officer said.

“To capture the colour, aroma and flavour, -35 degrees Celsius must be reached quickly. Conventional freezing won’t do this.

“Our rapid-freezing achieves surface temperatures of -95C and core temperatures of -50C to -70C. We call it SensoryFresh – the closest thing to ocean fresh.”

The group executive chef of Sake Restaurants in Australia Shaun Presland is sold on the taste of the product.

A Japanese-trained sushi master, Mr Presland became a convert after being the first chef to trial Clean Seas’ SensoryFresh produce.

“I was seriously overwhelmed with how good this product is,” he said.

“The bloodline, the firm flesh and the aroma felt like this fish had just jumped out of the ocean.”

An advantage of the frozen-format Hiramasa Kingfish is the company won’t need to add on the cost of fresh air-freight to its end-price.

Clean Seas says it believes the SensoryFresh Hiramasa Kingfish from the Spencer Gulf will fill a significant gap in the market for people seeking the highest quality yellowtail kingfish in frozen format without the premium of airfreight delivery.

Mr Head added the Clean Seas SensoryFresh treated kingfish is “unsurpassed raw, outstanding cooked”.

Fitzgerald Bay lease

As part of Clean Seas’ growth strategy, it has secured an additional lease at Fitzgerald Bay. The new 123-hectare lease boosts Clean Seas’ landholding in Fitzgerald Bay to 283ha.

The new lease is in the Fitzgerald Bay aquaculture zone near Whyalla in South Australia and the company has lodged a licence application.

According to Clean Seas, the extra lease area enables the company to increase its allowed biomass in Fitzgerald Bay from 2,400 tonnes to 4,250t.

The company claims this will facilitate higher production and improve economies of scale as well as underpin broader production efficiencies across the area while retaining the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Clean Seas plans to resume farming in Fitzgerald Bay in the first half of the next financial year.

Clean cut

The 18-year-old Eyre Peninsula company Clean Seas has sales and marketing teams in Melbourne, Sydney, London, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona and Lisbon.

Clean Seas pulled in A$20.4 million in revenue in the first half of the 2018 financial year and its market capitalisation is currently sitting A$85.03 million.

The company had A$30.8 million in cash and available finance facilities on 31 December 2017.

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