“The optimal size is right here, which is about a 50-cent piece,” began marketing director Mike Turner. “There is very little waste. This is it's waste track here,” he said showing a pellet-size black smudge in a blob of creamy clam flesh.
At Sunrise Capitol in Kekaha, Kauai Shrimp is making room for Kauai Clams.
“We're extremely excited, because it just added another revenue stream to what we're doing out here,” said Turner.
Kauai Shrimp started in 2005.
They've been growing and harvesting shrimp for menus and overseas markets ever since, and businesses is now booming.
Turner said sales of parent shrimp to Asia tripled last year and is expected to triple again this year.
“Kauai clams is going to be instrumental in helping us with that,” Turner said.
After three years of red tape, the Department of Health has finally approved their permit to sell shellfish.
“It's a project we began my first month here at the health department two years ago which we didn't have funding for. It took a while to get training and materials that we needed to have a certified lab,” said DOH Deputy Director Gary Gill.
And there couldn't be a better partnership.
Shellfish feast on the shrimp's byproduct, therefore cleaning the pools and keeping the cycle going.
“It's a real potential boom industry for Hawaii, shellfish clams and oysters grow quicker in Hawaii waters than anywhere else on the planet,” said Gill.
With 41 ponds to work with, Turner said they're already selling clams on Kauai, but expects to expand statewide, to the mainland, and Asia.
“This all helps us to be a successful company overall,” he said.
The company has its sights set on even more diversity.
Some of the ponds are being reserved to build production for Kumamoto and Blue Point oysters, as well as raise fin fish such as Moi, Kahala, grouper and Baramundi, which is an Asian sea bass.