Thu. Sep 29 2016

China Continues to Grow as Market for Chilean Salmon  


IUCN Call that 30% of all Marine Areas be Closed Sparks Outrage from Scientists, Fisheries Officials


Aquaculture Stewardship Council Hires Duncan Leadbitter As First Commercial Rep in Australia


SeaPak to Bring Back "Shrimptacular" Retail Promo for Fifth Straight Year In October


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 29, 2016


Wed. Sep 28 2016

Few Options Left for Industry to Avoid Multi-Year Closure of (Bairdi) Tanner Crab in the Bering Sea  


Russian Gov't Says IUU Crab Poaching Making Comeback in Sea of Okhotsk  


Icewater Seafoods Calls for Balance in Newfoundland Cod Allocations, Management  


Analysts See Healthy Growth in Global Seafood Industry Through 2020


The Saucy Fish Co. Debuts Frozen Seafood Line As Part of Launch Into Canadian Market


WWF Promoting Five-Point Plan to Rebuild Chile's Pacific Hake Stocks


Eel-Crazy Japan Spooked By Global Conservation Efforts


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday September 28, 2016


Tue. Sep 27 2016

Hawaii Longline Group Progressing with Universal Crew Contract; Plans Rapid Vetting of Conditions


NY's Mt. Kisco Smokehouse Voluntarily Recalls Smoked Salmon Products for Possible Listeria


EU Commission Cuts 2017 Western and Eastern Baltic Cod Quotas 88% and 39% Respectively  


Garden State Seafood Assoc.'s Dir. Greg DiDomenico Part of Seafood Panel at NYTimes Food Conference


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday September 27, 2016


Mon. Sep 26 2016

GAA's GOAL Conference in Guangzhou was One of the Best in Years


Icelandic Puts Cod Processor Ný-Fiskur Up for Sale as Part of Strategy to Shrink Operations


Xiamen Airlines Rolls Out New Service to the US: Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle


Fresh Tilapia Farmer GeneSeas is Brazil's First Aquaculture Operator to Get BAP Certified


Thai Union Notes Progress Made to Fight Seafood Labor Abuses in Response to AP Follow-Up


Seafood.com News Summary Monday September 26, 2016


Fri. Sep 23 2016

Target On Track to Achieve 100% Sustainability Certification for its Entire Seafood Supply Chain


New Zealand King Salmon Moves Forward with IPO; Market Capitalization Valued at $154 Million


Chefs & Media Attend ASMI Summer Culinary Retreat


Seafood.com News Summary Friday September 23, 2016


Thu. Sep 22 2016

Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 22, 2016


PODCAST: Urner Barry and Seafood News Launch Podcast Network; GOAL 2016 News Recap Featured


Gulf Shrimp Landings Continued Well Below 5-Year-Avg in August; Wholesale Prices Keep Climbing  


United Cook Inlet Drift Association Wins Lawsuit Against NMFS on Appeal  


Maine Lobster Industry to Celebrate Second Annual National Lobster Day on September 25


FDA Suspends New York's SM Fish Corp From Selling Seafood for Repeated Listeria Violations


ISSF: Most Tuna Catch Comes from Abundant Stocks, But Overfishing of Some Stocks Continues  


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China Continues to Grow as Market for Chilean Salmon

SEAFODNEWS.COM  [Technopress]  September 29, 2016

China is continuing to import more Chilean salmon.  The figures for Los Lagos (Lakes Region) released by the National Statistics Institute show that salmon accounted for 73.9% of the region's export value.  Salmon experienced a 33% decline in volume, but only a 3.1% decline in value, due to the rapid increase in salmon prices.
 
The US continues to be the primary market, accounting for 40.3% of exports; Brazil is second at 12.5%, as volumes to Brazil declined 35%.   Russia is 3rd with a 10.8$ market share, and increased its purchases 10.2%.  Japan is 4th, with the steepest decline in volume and value.
 
Salmon shipments to Japan from the Lakes region fell 66.6%..

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IUCN Call that 30% of all Marine Areas be Closed Sparks Outrage from Scientists, Fisheries Officials

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton September 29, 2016

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a UN-affiliated body that manages the IUCN red list and makes recommendations about limiting trade in endangered species, and on environmental impacts.  Its recommendations are inputs for activity both at the UN and among governments.
 
At its recent quadrennial meeting in Hawaii this month, the body formally adopted a resolution calling on State and Government Agency Members "to designate and implement at least 30% of each marine habitat in a network of highly protected MPAs and other effective area-based conservation measures, with the ultimate aim of creating a fully sustainable ocean at least 30% of which has no extractive activities, subject to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities."
 
Another part of the resolution called for the development of a new instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ..

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Few Options Left for Industry to Avoid Multi-Year Closure of (Bairdi) Tanner Crab in the Bering Sea

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - September 28, 2016

Unless the Alaska Board of Fish agrees to schedule an emergency hearing on bairdi (tanner) crab in the next 11 days, the industry is looking at no season until 2019 at the earliest.

This summer's survey showed the female population of bairdi below a threshold for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game to calculate a total allowable catch (TAC) for the upcoming season, which starts on ...

Full Story »

Russian Gov't Says IUU Crab Poaching Making Comeback in Sea of Okhotsk

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  Sept. 8, 2016

The Russian government is considering additional measures, aimed at suppressing crab poaching in the Sea of Okhotsk and other Russia’s centers of crab production. 
 
Despite the measures taken by the Russian government in recent years, the situation crab poaching remains rampant, according to the Border Service. According to an official spokesman of the Russian Border Service, foreign ships, registered in the third world countries, regularly enter Russian territorial waters for the illegal crab catch. 
 
Since the beginning of the current year, up to 30 of such ships have been arrested by the Russian Coast Guard just in the Sea of Okhotsk.
 
The majority of them arrive from the South Korean port of Busan. According to the Russian Border Service, crab poaching continues to be very profitable for its organizers,..
 

Full Story »

Aquaculture Stewardship Council Hires Duncan Leadbitter As First Commercial Rep in Australia

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 29, 2016

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has hired Duncan Leadbitter as its first representative to lead commercial outreach and strategic growth in the Australia and New Zealand markets.

Leadbitter is now in partnership with the ASC through Fish Matter, his Australia-based fisheries and natural resource consulting company.  The deal supports ASC’s global plan and lead the regional strategy to promote the availability of ASC-certified seafood for consumers in Australia and other markets...

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Icewater Seafoods Calls for Balance in Newfoundland Cod Allocations, Management

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  Sept. 28, 2016

IIn a statement to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans which recently held a hearing in St. John's, Icewater Seafoods called for a more balanced approach to the exploitation of Northern Cod stocks.
 
Icewater is the 2nd largest holder of enterprise (greater than 100-foot vessel) allocations for Northern Cod and is the company that received the cod allocations that were part of the Newfoundland Operations of High Liner Foods Inc.  When that company sold its Newfoundland plants and quota,  Icewater and the Province of Newfoundland retained the cod allocations.
 
Their plant in Arnolds Cove is the only plant in Newfoundland that has consistently processed cod from the various smaller fisheries since the moratorium.
 
Icewater says that the world's cod fishery has changed dramatically from the early 1990's and that in the past where Newfoundland could successfully produce blocks and salt cod, today the market demands primarily a high quality cod loin...
 
 

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SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  Sept. 28, 2016

London-based MarketLine, a company that publishes data analysis of a number of commodity markets, has released their latest overview of the global fish and seafood market.  They are predicting continued steady growth in value through 2020 at the same rate as the past five years, nearly 4% per year.
 
The global fish and seafood market has grown steadily in recent years said MarketLine, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.8% between 2011 and 2015.
 
MarketLine's latest report shows that market values have increased in all regions. Global growth, however, is primarily driven by Asia-Pacific and South America, as the swelling middle classes begin to buy more expensive products through the organized retail channel. Despite this, the US is still the single largest market, and it is important for the global market that sales there continue to grow.
 
MarketLine analyst Nicholas Wyatt explains: "The US is the largest market by value for fish and seafood, accounting for 13.9% of global revenues. Value increases..

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Hawaii Longline Group Progressing with Universal Crew Contract; Plans Rapid Vetting of Conditions

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  Sept. 27, 2016

The Hawaii longline fleet says they are making rapid progress implementing reforms following an AP story that uncovered forced labor,  trafficking and poor working conditions on Hawaii longline vessels that use foreign crew.
 
The industry formed a task force to address issues the same day the AP published its documented allegations of forced labor...  
 

Full Story »

WWF Promoting Five-Point Plan to Rebuild Chile's Pacific Hake Stocks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 28, 2016

WWF Chile has launched a five-point plan to help rebuild Chile’s depleted commercial hake stock.

First, the plan proposes to set a minimum harvest of 37 cm for hake so that younger fish have an opportunity to reproduce.

Next, the WWF wants trawling banned in certain zones that identified as key feeding and spawning areas for the fishery.

Fishing quotas would be set at their lowest possible threshold based on scientific stock assessment reports...

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GAA’s GOAL Conference in Guangzhou was One of the Best in Years

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - September 26, 2016

For anyone who is participating in the Chinese Seafood Market and depends on Asian aquaculture, the recently concluded GOAL conference in Guangzhou was one of the best in years.

Like other standards organizations including MSC and ASC, GAA is riding a gusher of money as companies pay logo licensing fees for third party certification, and it showed.  The quality of the panels and the experts speaking at the conference was excellent.

First, this conference was heavily integrated into the Chinese...

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Icelandic Puts Cod Processor Ný-Fiskur Up for Sale as Part of Strategy to Shrink Operations

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 26, 2016

The Board of Icelandic Group announced its plan to sell its Icelandic subsidiary Ný-Fiskur as part of the company’s plan to streamline its operations.

Ný-Fiskur is one of Icelandic’s four subsidiaries. The operation, which is based in Sandgerði, specializes in the production and sale of fresh seafood products and processing about 6,000 metric tons of raw material annually. The company also owns a commercial fishing vessel, Von GK-113, and 800 metric tons of cod quotas.

Ný-Fiskur distributes a significant portion of its products, with air freight, to customers in Belgium and other European countries. The company is projected to post about EU23 million in revenues this year...

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Target On Track to Achieve 100% Sustainability Certification for its Entire Seafood Supply Chain

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 23, 2016

Target says it has nearly met its goal to source all of its fresh and frozen seafood from fisheries that are either certified sustainable or on their way toward achieving sustainability certification.

The retailer set a goal in 2011 to source all of its seafood from fisheries that were sustainably managed or in the process of achieving certification. Target’s senior seafood buyer Nic Berkeland and its brand buyer Gry Engen teamed up to achieve the goal by partnering with Fish Wise.

FishWise helped Target develop a comprehensive sustainable seafood program with strict guidelines that every fresh or frozen seafood product dol met specific sustainability guidelines...

Full Story »

New Zealand King Salmon Moves Forward with IPO; Market Capitalization Valued at $154 Million

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - September 23, 2016

New Zealand King Salmon officials submitted the paperwork needed for an initial public offering. The farmed king salmon producer is seeking a market capilitzation worth $154.5 million if fully subscribed.

The company will list its share price at $1.12 and is seeking $30.0 million in new capital to repay debt, to fund future investment and for working capital.

As part of the IPO, existing investor Direct Capital is selling up to $45.0 million of shares in the Offer...

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Fresh Tilapia Farmer GeneSeas is Brazil's First Aquaculture Operator to Get BAP Certified

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 26, 2016

Tropical Aquaculture’s tilapia production farm and processing partner GeneSea has become Brazil’s first aquaculture company to earn certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program.

GeneSeas’ farm and production plant, located along the Paraná River, near the western edge of São Paulo, Brazil, received this certification on September 12th.

“We are honored to be the first company in Brazil to receive such an important certification that assures GeneSeas’ commitment with the best global practices in aquaculture and the development of the region where we are located, the most important tilapia producers in Brazil,” said CEO Breno Davis...

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Few Options Left for Industry to Avoid a Multi-Year Closure of Tanner Crab in the Bering Sea 

Unless the Alaska Board of Fish agrees to schedule an emergency hearing on bairdi (tanner) crab in the next 11 days, the industry is looking at no season until 2019 at the earliest writes Peggy Parker. This summer's survey showed the female population of bairdi below a threshold for ADF&G to calculate a total allowable catch (TAC) for the upcoming season, which starts on October 15. Since it was not met this year, both next year’s survey and the 2018 survey would need to surpass that threshold before ADF&G could consider opening the fishery. The Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers filed an emergency petition earlier this month, asking the Alaska Board of Fish to reconsider their harvest policy for tanner crab. The Board has a month to respond, which would be October 9. “A complete closure of the Bering Sea tanner fishery will have extremely negative socioeconomic impacts on harvesters, processors, coastal communities, and the State of Alaska when this level of revenue is unnecessarily foregone for the next several commercial seasons," said Ruth Christianson, Science Advisor for the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers.

In other crab industry news, the Russian government is considering additional measures aimed at suppressing crab poaching in the Sea of Okhotsk and other regions where Russian crab is produced. Russia's Border Service says crab poaching is still rampant despite recent measures taken by the government to fight the problem. Up to 30 ships have been arrested by the Russian Coast Guard in the Sea of Okhotsk under suspicion of poaching since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, Tokyo's Governor Yuriko Koike said she will investigate why the new site for the Tsukiji fish market was built without a planned soil embankment that was intended to protect the market from known pollutants. The Tsukiji market is supposed to relocate to Toyosu; a move that is on hold because the site, which formerly housed a gas production facility, is contaminated with polluted soil and now water. Contractors were supposed to remove the soil and elevate the area with new dirt. Instead, concrete basements were built, which are now collecting water that is contaminated with the polluted soil.

American Samoa's largest private employer, StarKist Samoa, will shut down operations during the week starting October 10th because of a lack of fish. This is  the second time in the past year StarKist Samoa has temporarily shut down due to fish supply issues.

Finally, in a statement to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans Icewater Seafoods called for a more balanced approach to the exploitation of Northern Cod stocks. The company said that under a precautionary approach, building the stock to the necessary reference limit will take five to ten years, and should not be short-circuited by prematurely increasing fishing pressure.

Full Story »

Hawaii Longline Group Progressing with Universal Crew Contract; Plans Rapid Vetting of Conditions 

The Hawaii longline fleet says they are making rapid progress implementing reforms following an AP story that uncovered forced labor, trafficking and poor working conditions on Hawaii longline vessels that use foreign crew. A task force came up with a universal crew contract that was designed to reveal features of labor agreements that can lead to abuse and forced labor. The industry also identified access to the Honolulu Fish Auction as a choke point in the distribution process that would allow for enforcement against vessels that do not use either the standard contract, or permit full interviews and audits of their crew practices. Additionally, longliners say a rapid assessment of the working conditions and treatment of the crew in the fleet is being implemented.  "I am confident that with the added layer of oversight from the advisory group, the allegations of forced labor, labor abuse and poor working conditions will be quickly understood and resolved,” said John Kaneko, Task Force member and Program Director of the Hawaii Seafood Council.

Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects to issue national technical standards for glazing and moisture standards for pangasius by the end of the year. Vietnam has failed to meet several self-imposed deadlines to set standards for pangasius glazing and moisture content over the last few years.

In other news, some members of Newfoundland's commercial fishing industry want to ban the use of gillnets when the province is ready to revive commercial cod fishing. Opponents of gillnets support the hook and line method of fishing, which they say is a more effective way of maintaining quality. Harvesters and other industry participants say Newfoundland cod will have to be sold as a premium product in order to rebuild the market for the fish.

Meanwhile, New York-based smoked salmon producer Mt Kisco Smokehouse announced a voluntary recall for two types of its smoked salmon because of a chance the product is contaminated with listeria. According to Mt. Kisco the product was distributed in New York and Connecticut through retail stores and restaurants between 9/6/2016 to 9/16/2016. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the recall.

Finally, production estimates are low for Mississippi's upcoming oyster, scheduled to start this Monday on October 3. Most recently, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says a natural mortality event has killed many of the harvestable oysters. Oystermen believe bag limits should be lowered from 25 sacks per day for dredgers, down to 15 sacks or so. They say that would make the price better and would help the season last a bit longer.

Full Story »

Gov. Bill Walker Asks Feds to Declare Alaska's 2016 Pink Salmon Season a Disaster 

Governor Bill Walker has officially requested the federal government to declare the 2016 pink salmon season a disaster for four Alaska regions. "After consulting with the Dept. of Fish and Game and the Dept. of Commerce, Community and Economic Development I am making a formal request to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce for a declaration of fishery disaster in the Kodiak management area, Prince William Sound, the Chignik management area and the Lower Cook Inlet management area," Gov. Walker said in a letter. The total Alaska pink salmon catch to date is 38.2 million on a 90 million harvest forecast. A federal disaster declaration would qualify Alaska's fishermen to receive disaster funds. Alaska received nearly $8 million in federal money in 2012 due to low king salmon runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers and in the Cook Inlet region.

In other news Alaskan salmon news, Bristol Bay's sockeye run was the second best season in the last 20 years. A report from the ADF&G said the commercial harvest was 26 percent above the preseason forecast. “The 2016 inshore Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run of 51.4 million fish ranks 2nd out of the last 20 years (1996–2015) and was 46 percent above the 35.1 million average run for the same period,” according to a season summary from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. At the same time, the ADFG estimates the ex-vessel value of the haul at $156.2 million, which is 40 percent above the 20-year average of $111 million.

Meanwhile, Pacific Aquaculture International officially launched its North American headquarters near Saltery Bay in British Columbia this week. The company plans to expand its land-based operation into one of North America’s largest shellfish hatcheries within its first four years. Pacific Aquaculture will start by harvesting scallops, but also has a federal commercial fishing licence for 23 other shellfish species, including clams, geoducks, oysters and mussels.

Target says it has nearly met its goal to source all of its fresh and frozen seafood from fisheries that are either certified sustainable or on their way toward achieving sustainability certification. “Today, we’re proud to say we’ve made it 97 percent of the way to our goal, and that we’ve already achieved it for 100 percent of our owned-brand seafood products. And we’re still pushing ahead to achieve full compliance across the remaining products later this year,” Target said in a blog post on its website. Target partnered with FishWise to develop its sustainability policy and buys seafood rated Green or Yellow by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program.

Finally, Vietnam's seafood exporters warned pangasius producers in the Mekong to dial back plans to expand production for the time being. VASEP issued the warning since pangasius sales to China have been in decline.

Remember to download or stream our podcast content to your iPhone or Andriod device using iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud

Have a great weekend. 

Full Story »

PODCAST: Urner Barry and Seafood News Launch Podcast Network; GOAL 2016 News Recap Featured

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - September 22, 2016

Urner Barry and Seafood News have launched a podcast network that will provide market and industry news in a convenient audio format that is accessible on mobile devices.

The Urner Barry Market Digest and the Seafood News podcast are available for download and to stream through your iPhone or Andriod devices using iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud.  Search “Urner Barry” or “Seafood News” to find the podcast stations. Subscribe to each channel to receive notifications for when new content is available...

Full Story »

SeaPak to Bring Back "Shrimptacular" Retail Promo for Fifth Straight Year In October

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 29, 2016

For the fifth straight year SeaPak Shrimp and Seafood Co will bring back its “Shrimptacular” promotional campaign this October.

The multifaceted program coincides with National Seafood Month and is designed to engage consumers in buying more of SeaPak’s shrimp and seafood products.

This year’s campaign SeaPak is telling customers to “Make It Shrimptacular” during the month of October through various promotional tactics...

Full Story »

The Saucy Fish Co. Debuts Frozen Seafood Line As Part of Launch Into Canadian Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 28, 2016

The Saucy Fish Co. will launch its ready-to-eat chilled seafood product line and debuts its frozen seafood products to the Canadian market.

Loblaws will carry UK-based Saucy Fish’s products at its 349 stories across Canada. Other stores that will carry Saucy Fish’s product include  Zehrs, Your Independent Grocer, Valu-Mart, Provigo, Dominion and Atlantic Superstore.

The Canadian market rollout feature Saucy Fish’s new frozen seafood products in addition to its existing line of ready-to-eat seafood line...

Full Story »

NY's Mt. Kisco Smokehouse Voluntarily Recalls Smoked Salmon Products for Possible Listeria

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 27, 2016

New York-based smoked salmon producer Mt Kisco Smokehouse announced a voluntary recall for two types of its smoked salmon because of a chance the product is contaminated with listeria.

According to Mt. Kisco’s recall submitted to the FDA, the was distributed in New York and Connecticut through retail 
stores and restaurants between 9/6/2016 to 9/16/2016.

The whole product is packed in an unlabeled paper box and delivered to restaurants.  The sliced product is sold in a clear plastic package and labeled on the back with lot and use by date...

Full Story »
Eel-Crazy Japan Spooked By Global Conservation Efforts
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Nikkei] by MAKOTO NAKATOGAWA - September 28, 2016 
 
International moves to protect eel stocks have Japan concerned about possible trade restrictions on one of the country's favorite delicacies.
 
Signatories to the Washington Convention -- formally known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora -- unanimously agreed at a conference in South Africa on Sunday to hold a special meeting to discuss how to conserve eel populations.
 
Japan accounts for nearly 70% of global eel consumption. To fend off criticism from the international community, the country has been making efforts to help preserve eel stocks. But it ...

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EU Commission Cuts 2017 Western and Eastern Baltic Cod Quotas 88% and 39% Respectively

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 27, 2016

The European Commission published sharp reductions in Baltic Sea cod quotas for the 2017 season.

The quota now proposed for Western cod amounts to 1588 tons, down 88% compared to 2016 levels. The quota proposed for Eastern cod amounts to 24927 tons, i.e. 39% less than in 2016. These figures are based on scientific advice and are in line with the newly-adopted Baltic management plan.

These quotas are based on scientific advice received earlier this year from the Council for the Exploration of the Seas, which recommended severe reductions in fishing to help these stocks recover from very low levels...

Full Story »

Garden State Seafood Assoc.'s Dir. Greg DiDomenico Part of Seafood Panel at NYTimes Food Conference

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 27, 2016

Garden State Seafood Association (GSSA) Executive Director Greg DiDomenico will discuss sustainable fishing issues at the New York Times’ “Food for Tomorrow” conference, which is going on this week at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York.

The conference seeks to “uncover and assess the most important issues and trends affecting the nourishment of our nation and the world.”

DiDomenico is panel member that will discuss marine issues and fisheries management. He will be joined by Sean T. Barrett, Co-Founder of Dock to Dish and Bren Smith, Owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm and Executive Director of GreenWave...

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California Dungeness Crab Get Qualified Thumbs-Up in Tests for Domoic Acid 

California is testing Dungeness crabs for domoic acid early this year and so far the results are positive for the season to get going on time. Crabs are testing positive for domoic acid but that is normal for this time of the year according to California state health officials. “We’re at the tail end of the time we would normally expect to see pseudo-nitzschia and domoic acid present in certain species. It’s not alarming," said Patrick Kennelly, chief of food safety at California's State Health Department. Around this time last year, crabs collected up and down the coast had unusually high levels of domoic acid. California's commercial fishery was delayed for fourth months because of high levels of domoic acid last season. So far, this does not seem like it will be the case. The commercial fishery scheduled to start on November 15.

Red Lobster has opened 21 overseas locations since it spun-off from Darden Restaurants when it was acquired by Golden Gate Capital in 2014. The expansion has brought the total number of Red Lobster’s overseas restaurants to 51, not including Canada. “We think the biggest opportunity is Asia,” Red Lobster Chief Executive Officer Kim Lopdrup said in an interview. “And China is a particular interest to us.”

In other news, China is continuing to import more Chilean salmon. The figures for Los Lagos (Lakes Region) released by the National Statistics Institute show that salmon accounted for 73.9% of the region's export value. Salmon experienced a 33% decline in volume, but only a 3.1% decline in value, due to the rapid increase in salmon prices. The US continues to be the primary market, accounting for 40.3% of export. However, China remains the highest growth market with imports up 41.5% in volume, and 125.3% in value over the past twelve months.

Meanwhile, a federal fishery management plan is needed for the Alaskan salmon fisheries in Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound and Alaska Peninsula after an Appeals court ruled last week that the area needs federal oversight. The decision was a victory for the United Cook Inlet Drift Association and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund that sued NMFS to return salmon management back to federal authorities.

Finally, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) formally adopted a resolution calling on State and Government Agency Members to close off 30 percent of all marine areas from extractive activities by 2030. However, John Sackton writes that according to Europêche, the IUCN takes decisions on fisheries issues whilst disregarding the huge socio-economic impacts that closure would have on coastal communities and food security. The decision caused outrage to Europêche and the European body representing producer organisations (EAPO). “This is a typical broad brush approach which will lead to unworkable situations in coastal areas and estuaries," said Pim Visser, President of EAPO. "A 30 percent closure will erase all fishing activities in these areas and negatively affect fishermen, their families and their communities."

Full Story »

Xiamen Airlines Rolls Out New Service to the US: Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - September 26, 2016

XIAMEN, SHENZHEN, China and SEATTLE -- Xiamen Airlines launched its Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service today, creating an air bridge connecting two of China's major special economic zones and an economic heavyweight on the U.S. West Coast. This is not only the first long haul route originating in Xiamen with an end point in the United States, but also the first direct international service between Shenzhen and the U.S.

Xiamen Airlines chairman and general manager Che Shanglun said, "The launch of the Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is an important reflection of the results of the meeting between Chinese and American leaders in 2015. On the heels of these events, a Fuzhou-New York and a Xiamen-LA service will also be initiated, making air travel, and, by consequence, exchanges between the two countries much easier."

The Xiamen-Shenzhen-Seattle service is the sixth long haul...

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Thai Union Notes Progress Made to Fight Seafood Labor Abuses in Response to AP Follow-Up

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] September 26, 2016

Thai Union Public Group highlighted the progress it and the entire Thai seafood industry has made in the last year since a report found the use of slavery and other labor abuses in the country’s seafood processing industry.

The company released a statement after the Associated Press published a story last week about the progress that’s been made to tackle labor abuse in Thailand’s seafood industry. The story followed-up the AP’s major news story in 2015 that first uncovered modern day slavery in shrimp peeling sheds used by Thai seafood companies that were supplying shrimp to the US market.

Last week’s AP story said Thailand has made notable progress in eliminating rampant labor abuse in the seafood industry. However, shrimp peeling sheds were still being used by some members of the Thai Frozen Food Association, the group that banned its members from using the peeling sheds...

Full Story »

Chefs & Media Attend ASMI Summer Culinary Retreat

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - September 23, 2016

For four days in mid-August ASMI hosted their fifth annual hands-on, Alaska Seafood Culinary Retreat for international chefs from Brazil, China, Germany and Spain, top-tier domestic media, and registered dietitians.

The tour started in Ketchikan with a sustainability presentation by fisheries biologists at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and a processing plant tour of E.C. Phillips, where the visitors got an overview of the Alaska seafood industry.

The group took a float plane to Steamboat Bay Lodge on Noyes Island and spent the next few days seeing first hand how commercial fishing is done, learning about and tasting different species of Alaska salmon, whitefish and crab.

To the delight of the entire group, the international chefs hosted cooking demonstrations...

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GAA's GOAL Conference in Guangzhou was One of the Best in Years 

For anyone who is participating in the Chinese Seafood Market and depends on Asian aquaculture, the recently concluded GOAL conference in Guangzhou was one of the best in years writes John Sackton. The conference was heavily integrated into the Chinese seafood industry. Altogether, there were 20 to 30 Chinese exporters at the conference Sackton reports. Additionally, what was improved over past years was the focus of many of the roundtable discussions, which were generally framed with a detailed presentation, and then reactions and observations. Another issue discussed very candidly at the conference was the conflicting certification schemes. Finally, there was also a good technical focus on disease, which continues year after year to be the most significant problem facing the aquaculture industry. "Overall, it was an amazingly substantive conference. Next year, GOAL 2017 will be held in Dublin the week of October 2nd," writes Sackton. "Put it on your calendar."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and others have introduced legislation that they hope might stop future presidents from using the Antiquities Act to carve out lands and waters for new environmental protections. The proposed legislation is an attempt to curb executive authority over establishing Marine Protected Areas (MPA) that undermine existing fishery management and environmental protection protocols under Magnuson. The Obama Administration has already used the Antiquities Act to expand a Marine Monument in Hawaii and establish the very first MPA in Atlantic waters all without the use of a scientific process.

In other news, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and NOAA will develop an aquaculture management program for the Pacific Islands Region. The entities are preparing a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) analyzing the possible environmental impacts of the proposed management program and alternatives. “The purpose of it is to develop a management program to support sustainable, economically sound aquaculture in the Pacific Island Region,” said Joshua DeMello of the Western Pacific Council.

Meanwhile, key players charged with relocating Japan's Tsukiji market fish to a new site are blaming a communications breakdown over structural changes at the site to deal with toxic ground soil. The famed seafood market was slated to relocate to a new site in Toyosu this November. However, the site's soil was contaminated since the area was home to a Tokyo Gas Co. factory. An expert panel issued several requirements to elevate the site with replacement dirt before the seafood market could be relocated, steps that never were fulfilled by the contractors.

Finally, at least 24 percent of salmon processing workers in Chile were laid off by producers including AquaChile, Multiexport, Australis Seafoods and Camanchaca, according to public information submitted to Chile's Superintendency of Securities and Insurance (SVS). Since 2014, Chile’s salmon processing workforce has declined from 13,303 workers to 10,697 workers. The steep drop has been blamed on consolidation within the industry and because of the severe algae bloom at the beginning of 2016. One association representing Chile's salmon workforce said the job losses are even more severe when indirect jobs related to Chile's salmon industry are tallied.

We've also uploaded a new Weekly News Recap video after taking a week off. Our latest show highlights some of last week's original market news among other topics. We welcome comments about the video series. 

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United Cook Inlet Drift Association Wins Lawsuit Against NMFS on Appeal 

The United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) won its appeal in a lawsuit against NMFS that sought to overturn the North Pacific Council’s Amendment 12 to the Fisheries Management Plan for Salmon. Amendment 12 exempted Cook Inlet, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula from federal fisheries management for salmon because the State of Alaska was managing those fisheries. However, UCIDA and the Cook Inlet Fishermen’s Fund urged the Council to reject the amendment, citing a 51% decline since 1981 in the commercial catch of sockeye salmon. “United Cook attributed this decline to two management failures by Alaska,” said Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz, who wrote the 20-page opinion on behalf of a unanimous bench. In a press release, UCIDA said “the ruling allows the Cook Inlet salmon resources to once gain benefit from the Magnuson-Stevens Act."

Public Safety officials in Dutch Harbor believe fishmeal dust was the likely cause of a Monday evening explosion at the Westward Seafoods processing facility. The blast likely occurred when an undetermined ignition source detonated dust from the production of fishmeal said Mike Holman, director of Unalaska's Department of Public Safety. There were employees inside the building at the time of the explosion, but no injuries were reported. The plant's sprinkler system extinguished the resulting fire before crews arrived but contributed to damage estimates well beyond the $100,000 first reported after the fire.

The latest round of monthly shrimp landings out of the Gulf of Mexico provided more confirmation that the spring seasons in Louisiana and Texas were a bust. Landings continue to trend well below the five-year-average for the fishery, which has kept inventories tight and wholesale prices high in September. Average Urner Barry prices for 21-25 count Gulf Domestic white shrimp in September, for example, are up nearly 18 percent compared to 2015 levels.

In other news, a follow-up investigation into Thai labor practices by the Associated Press found that while Thai companies that export shrimp to the U.S. have given formerly entrapped workers better jobs in-house, some still use middlemen who employ laborers in remote, guarded warehouses.

Finally, Urner Barry and Seafood News have launched a podcast network that to provide market and industry news in an audio format that is accessible on mobile devices. The Urner Barry Market Digest and the Seafood News podcast are available for download and to stream through your iPhone or Andriod devices using iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud. This week’s Seafood News podcast summarizes some of the major news stories that came of out the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2016 Conference in China, which concludes today.

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