Tue. Sep 23 2014

FTC may challenge Sysco-US Foods merger


US Owned Lithuanian vessel seized by Russia, accused of illegal fishing for snow crab in Barents Sea


Vietnam remains big transshipment point for smuggling seafood into China


Pollock Producers have a good case to make to the FDA on renaming Alaska Pollock (Editorial Comment)


Scallop landings begin seasonal decline as boats metering out remaining quota


Canada's lobster industry feeling competitive pressure as Maine seeks to expand processing  


U.S. won't impose sanctions against Thailand for human trafficking


Commerce keeps higher rates for Vietnamese shrimp exporters: Minh Phu gets 4.98%, 30 others at 6.37%  


Southeast Alaska's pink catch trending above average from past five off-years


Brooklyn lawmaker to propose bluefin tuna sales ban across NYC


Pacific tuna companies now saying Obama Administration's expanded marine monument will hurt industry


Capricious red tide extending along Florida's west coast threatens fish and tourism


P.E.I. lobstermen heartened as fall lobster price creeps upward


IPHC to test revamped halibut tracking iTags in Glacier Bay next month (Fish Radio)


Preferred sets July 2015 date to finish N. America's largest cold storage facility in Richland, WA


Captain D's reports Q3 comps up 5.6 percent


US scientists visit China on Asian carp mission


Vietnam suspends exports of some molluscan bivalve products to EU following EU inspection


Sealord marketing itself as Australasia's largest distributor of sustainably certified seafood


CT Teamsters local, a Darden shareholder, sues company for selling Red Lobster prematurely


Willapa Bay Manila clam farmers defend successful use of herbicide to kill invasive eelgrass


South Korea considers lifting radiation-induced ban on Japanese seafood imports


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday Sept. 23, 2014


Last week of Fraser sockeye  


Mon. Sep 22 2014

Live lobster, tail prices reached 5-year-highs for month of Aug, confirming slowdown in supply  


Mexican shrimp season off to slow start due to weather with less product around  


Maine Bond campaign kicks off, with supporters urging $7 million for lobster industry processing  


How the rumor about Norwegian salmon and Ebola spread through China media  


Mitsubishi to become 2nd largest global salmon producer after Norway okays sale of Cermaq  


Oceana's DNA tests claim 18% of cod sold in Denmark is actually haddock or saithe


Ocean Trust to hold major sustainability forum in New Orleans on certifying management systems


Cordova's Fish Council once again asked to consider implementing 1% municipal raw fish tax


Japan may finally implement two year old agreement with Russia on illegal crab sales  


SNP, Clinton Initiative promote seafood consumption as way to reduce heart disease in women


Possible shut down of Apalachicola's struggling oyster harvest threatens local seafood workforce  


Surging air traffic through Abu Dhabi is allowing live seafood sales such as lobster to expand


In Virginia poachers thriving alongside oyster growers  


China Tuna pulls IPO in the face of environmental concerns over Pacific bigeye tuna


High Liner celebrates closing of American Pride acquisition in New Bedford


Kodiak's crab scientists want more research done on how noise impacts crab behaviors (Fish Radio)


Labrador crab and turbot producer Torngat Fish Co-Op gets provincial funding to grow operation


Pescanova reported to be divesting in the Falklands


Roadmap for structure and leadership following Albertsons-Safeway merger


Ahold's Giant Landover division cutting prices, improving perishables


Whooshh's Salmon Cannon successfully transports initial round of Chinook from Wash's Washougal River


Seafood.com News Summary Monday Sept. 22, 2014


Fri. Sep 19 2014

$400 million for industry transformation gives Newfoundland chance to grow a dominant cod fishery  


Second vessel runs aground this month in Dutch Harbor, F/V Ocean Ranger missed channel marker


90 scientists ask Obama for quick approval of Aquabounty salmon saying science is clear   (1)


California seafood labeling bill could mean mass consumer confusion, say retailers and NFI   (1)


How Norway and Russia's partnership has effectively managed Barent Sea cod stocks  


EPA extends Pebble Mine review period to Feb for more time to look over 155,000 comments recieved


Founders son and an uncle trying to bring back Shells seafood restaurants in Florida


Iceland's fisheries minister tells Grimsby not to expect more fish beyond current 12,000 tonnes  


NMFS reports take of short tailed albatross by Bering Sea longliner - limit is 4 birds every 2 yrs


Seafood Harvesters object to Sen. Rubio's plan for five year re-allocations for recreationa species   (1)


PEI's oystermen say they were "blindsided" by clause that allows mussel growers to farm oysters  


Roof collapse at Cape Sable lobster tank shop injures 3, one seriously


New Zealand's Ngai Tahu Seafood notes export boom for mussels going to Chinese market  


Vietnam reports producing 317,000 tons of shrimp through mid August, up substantially from last year  


Alaskan tribes petition NPFMC to cut chinook bycatch 66% for Bering Sea's pollock fishery  


Scottish Fishermen's Federation head calls for coordinated UK effort on discards ban


Eastern European gangs making £65,000-a-day electro-fishing Scottish shellfish


Fuji's Okami Alaskan salmon bowl stocked by 75 Costco units


HVG plans to build $30 million pangasius plant and warehouse in Russia next year  


Vietnam's state bank will refinance loans for heavily indebted shrimp and pangasius operations  


A&P completes senior debt financing on favorable terms


Seafood.com News Summary Friday Sept. 19, 2014


WA state lawmaker proposes Marine Disease Emergency Act in response to mysterious starfish disease


Thu. Sep 18 2014

John Garner leaving Trident to become COO of North Pacific Seafoods


Major Chinese tilapia seed producer suddenly goes dark  


Guyana closes shrimp season from Sept. 8 to Oct 26, prepares quota limits as it nears MSC threshold  


Groundfish ctte asks Council to reinstate cod closures; ban party boat fishing in Gulf of Maine  


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday Sept. 18, 2014


Stehr debunks idea ecotourism at marine parks off South Australia would offset fishery losses


Unisea agrees to $142,000 settlement with EPA over alleged Clean Air Act violations


US dollar hits highest level against Yen in 6 years; strong US currency influencing Seafood Trading


Lettuce Entertain You's all-you-can-eat deal outshines other casual dining promotions


Mazzetta Company announces its Norwegian salmon partner - Hofseth - gets BAP salmon certification  


Prof. thinks social media explains apparent surge in catch of odd colored lobsters


Haimao Aquatic celebrates first shrimp PL sales to Vietnam; over 10 billion sold in China  


With access to Russian market, Vietnam's major pangasius exporters see 2014 profits spike  


Florida Commercial Priorties for Magnuson Introduced in Bill by Sen.Rubio


Icelandic Seachill announces new executive team behind Simon Smith as Managing Director


Young's Seafood to be lead sponsor of World Seafood Congress in Grimsby in 2015


Seafish technical director says North Sea cod recovery may soon qualify for MSC certification


Imports of Norwegian salmon by Belarus, Estonia for re-export to Russia are soaring  


Longtime Stonington lobsterman chairs Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative


Japan fends off efforts to outlaw its Antarctic "research" whaling


NAFCO/Congressional break ground for large new seafood facility in Jessup, MD


Updated ISSF report on major Pacific tuna stocks shows overfishing of bigeye now occuring  


Wed. Sep 17 2014

Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday September 17, 2014


New England Fishery Council's Groundfish Committee will recommend cod management changes today


FL Sen. Rubio's bill tackles Gulf commercial, recreational management issues for MSA reauthorization


Mississippi Sound oyster season will commence in October despite "pathetic" conditions on the reefs  


Hung Vuong notes enormous Russian interest for pangasius and other Vietnamese seafood imports


Carlos Diaz to assume role as CEO of fish feed producer BioMar at year's end


New Zealand's hake and ling cod get MSC certified without conditions


Lithuania's Viciunai will keep supplying Russia with surimi from its Kalingrad plant


Alaska's young seafood professionals tout benefits of Sea Grant's processing workshops (Fish Radio)


BP caught trying 'college' tricks In massive oil spill court case


September is the cruelest month for restaurants


Late run continues to make DFO's estimates of overall Fraser sockeye returns uncertain


Four Asian nations agree to 20 percent cut in Japanese glass eel grow out


Emergency Klamath water releases planned after Ich found in chinook


Sanitation improvements in Visakhapatnam, A.P. may help reopen EU market for shrimp


Indian shrimp farmers, eager to protect hatcheries, oppose new port near Kakinada


Letters: MSC defends fees, voluntary payment for duplicate certification systems  


Dollar General ups bid for Family Dollar in light of antitrust concerns


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FTC may challenge Sysco-US Foods merger

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Wall Street Journal] By Brent Kendall and Annie  Gasparro - September 23, 2014 - 

The Federal Trade Commission is considering a possible antitrust lawsuit to block the planned merger of Sysco Corp.  and US Foods Inc., concerned that combining the nation's two biggest food suppliers to restaurants, schools and other institutions could threaten competition, according to people familiar with the matter.

The FTC, which has been investigating the merger for several months, is weighing other alternatives, such as requiring Sysco and US Foods to divest assets to competitors, these people said.

The commission hasn't yet decided whether to challenge the deal but...

Full Story »

Arctic Fishing Co. vessel flagged to Lithuania seized by Russia, accused of illegal fishing for snow crab in Barents Sea

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - Sept. 23, 2014

Russia has seized a Lithuanian crab fishing vessel that was fishing in the 'donut hole' area of the Barents Sea, which is an area outside the 200 mile limits of both Russia and Norway.

 This area is under the nominal supervision by the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission, a Regional Fisheries body made up of  Denmark (i.r.o. Faroe Islands and Greenland), EU, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation.

At the moment there is something of a crab rush going on for snow crab, as the fishery is just developing, and those vessels fishing now in international waters in an 'open' fishery, will soon be facing a quota system which could largely be based on fishing history. As a result, vessels are rushing into the area to do crab fishing.  Along with the Lithuanian vessel, at least one Russian vessel has also been seized and accused of illegal fishing in the Russian zone, when it was fishing in the open area. 

The vessel seizure may have less to do with IUU fishing than with Russia asserting its aggressiveness with Lithuania. The facts of the matter appear to be that the vessel in question, the Juros Vilkas,  (Sea Wolf) is a Lithuanian flagged vessel owned, according to Lithuanian newspaper reports, by Arctic Fishing, of which Seattle based Alexander-Yuri Silagin is the sole shareholder.   The vessel was fishing in the international zone and did stray over the Russian line for a short time, perhaps an hour.  Acting on this, the Russian border patrol seized the vessel at gunpoint in international waters, and accused the vessel of fishing in the Russian zone...

 

Full Story »

Vietnam remains big transshipment point for smuggling seafood into China

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [ifeng.com] Translated by Amy Zhong - Sept. 23, 2014

 About 70% of the imported seafood is not taxed in the Mainland China and many seafood items have been smuggled into China through Vietnam, according to some media.  

Although this question may not interest consumers, it is of great importance to ask how the  imported seafood they enjoy has entered the Chinese market. Some discreet consumers find it  necessary to distinguish the imported seafood of America from those of Australia, however, they  are not concerned about whether these seafood have been taxed.  

An experienced lobster supplier in Australia has told the reporter from Free Trade Zone Post (FTZ Post) that a comparatively high proportion of imported seafood has been brought  into China in an illegal way. The proportion may be as high as 70%, according to his estimation. 

Although overseas suppliers know that this kind of smuggling has existed for a long time, they have not  intervened but thought that it should be handled by the Chinese.  One Australian supplier has warned that although the price of these illegal seafood may be  about 20% to 30% less than those imported legally, the safety of the illegal seafood can not be  guaranteed owing to a lack of examination and quarantine.  

However, the reality is that neither the importers nor the eaters care about if these seafoods are imported legally.  

As the data show, Vietnam and China are both among the top three in view of importing the  western Australian seafood from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. But China’s import value is only  US$100 million, a third of Vietnam’s import value, which is US$320 million. 

This clearly doesn’t  match the spending power..

Full Story »

Pollock Producers have a good case to make to the FDA on renaming Alaska Pollock (Editorial Comment)

Earlier this month, the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) filed a formal request with the FDA to change the acceptable market name of ‘alaska pollock’ to simply ‘pollock’.

This would be consistent with 98% of FDA practice in establishing market names for fish species, where the FDA tries to avoid a geographic designation wherever possible. 
 
Although the request happened to coincide with the Russian ban on US seafood imports and subsequent calls for the US to retaliate by banning Russian products, the actual issue has been developing for a long time before this.
 
GAPP has been working with the FDA for more than a year on this issue.
 
The fact that the current name Alaska pollock is a problem is illustrated just by the name of the organization - Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers.  Instead of calling themselves Alaska pollock producers, this industry marketing group representing Alaska pollock to nutritionists, school lunch programs, buyers and media had to incorporate the name “Genuine” to avoid consumer confusion.
 
Alaska Pollock is one of the most widely consumed fish in the United States.  In 2012 it was the fifth most consumed fish, behind shrimp, tuna, salmon, and tilapia.  Pollock accounted for 11% of all US fresh and frozen fish consumption. 
 
But unlike the other four species mentioned, pollock is mostly consumed as a prepared or processed product.  McDonalds, Burger King, and other quick serve restaurants use pollock for their fish sandwiches.  Pollock also is sold at retail by High Liner, Gorton’s, Mrs. Paul’s and other major brands for prepared ready to bake or microwave products, ready meals, and frozen grilled products.
 
So most Americans see pollock as an ingredient...

Full Story »

Scallop landings begin seasonal decline as boats metering out remaining quota

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  Sept. 23, 2014

This month scallop landings are starting their seasonal decline, based on the volume going through the New Bedford Auction, and the latest National Marine Fisheries Service quota reports.
 
The main scallop fleet has used about 67% of its allocation as of Sept. 11th, very much on track with the landings rate seen in 2013.
 
Through August, the main fleet (not includng the general category or small boats in the Gulf of Maine) landed 23 million lbs...

Full Story »

Canada's lobster industry feeling competitive pressure as Maine seeks to expand processing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Chronicle Herald] by Bill Power - September 23, 2014

The lobster industry in the Maritimes faces a new competitive threat from south of the border.

People in the industry in Eastern Canadian are watching closely as Maine awaits the outcome of a November vote that could see US$7 million of public money pumped into lobster processing.

“The lobster industry in Eastern Canada dwarfs the industry in Maine, but we are definitely watching this proposal closely,” Jerry Amirault of the Lobster Processors Association of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia said Monday.

The state referendum will determine if the processing industry in Maine will receive the financial support for future growth...

Full Story »

Commerce keeps higher rates for Vietnamese shrimp exporters: Minh Phu gets 4.98%, 30 others at 6.37%

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - September 22, 2014

The Department of Commerce went three-for-three in confirming higher duty rates for shrimp exporters in its eighth review after the Department confirmed that it will uphold its preliminary determinations for Vietnamese shrimp exporters.

As with the Indian and Thai decisions issued last month, the DOC did not make any changes to the preliminary rates announced last March.  Thus, the final rates are 4.98% for the Minh Phu Group, 9.75% for Soc Trang Seafood Joint Stock Company (a/k/a Stapimex), and 6.37% for 30 non-selected Vietnamese exporters that qualified for separate rate status. The rates are retroactive and apply to shipments made between February 1, 2012 through January 31, 2013...

Full Story »

Brooklyn lawmaker to propose bluefin tuna sales ban across NYC

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New York Post] by Yoav Gonen - September 23, 2014

One fish, two fish, out with “blue” fish.

A city councilman who formerly pushed the state to pass a law banning the sale of shark fins is now angling to aid another at-risk breed — bluefin tuna.

Alan Maisel (D-Brooklyn) is set to introduce a measure on Tuesday that would ban the sale in New York City of any tuna “advertised or labeled” as bluefin – a delicacy that’s largely confined to high-end restaurants...

Full Story »

Capricious red tide extending along Florida's west coast threatens fish and tourism

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] - September 23, 2014 -    

It's Florida's version of the Blob. Slow-moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and other fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy.

Known as red tide, this particular strain - Karenia brevis - is present nearly every year off Florida, but large blooms can be devastating. The tide is collecting off St. Petersburg and stretching north to Florida's Big Bend, where the peninsula ends and the panhandle begins.

"This red tide . . . will likely cause considerable damage to our local fisheries and our tourist economy over the next few months," said Heyward Mathews, an emeritus professor of oceanography at St. Petersburg College who has studied the issue for decades..

Full Story »

IPHC to test revamped halibut tracking iTags in Glacier Bay next month (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] September 23, 2014 

A project that uses Smart Phone technology to track halibut is being retweaked. The internal tags, which are the first to test geomagnetism to track fish migrations, were implanted in 30 halibut over two years ago. The iTags record magnetic field strength on three axes and have accelerometers and pitch and roll detectors. But it turns out, magnets were the tags undoing.

"The early version of the tags we deployed in 2011 had some metal components inside that were actually picking up magnetic charges and maintaining those charges and screwing up the calibrations by the time we got them back there was no way to really track the fish." 

Full Story »

Captain D's reports Q3 comps up 5.6 percent 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - September 23, 2014 - 

Captain D’s has achieved its twelfth consecutive quarter of same store sales increases posting a third quarter comps gain of 5.6 percent.  This is a blend of 5.2 percent at company-owned stores and 6.0 percent at franchised locations.

Several fast-casual chains have been reporting increased revenue and traffic as their quick-service rivals continue to falter.

The 520-unit fast-casual seafood chain has sustained same-store sales growth for more than three years by expanding its appeal to both current guests and new customers, officials said.

Full Story »

US scientists visit China on Asian carp mission

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [China daily] - September 23, 2014 -   

In China, Asian carp is considered a delicious dish, but in the United States, it is seen as a dangerous invasive species that threatens rivers, lakes and indigenous species.

In early September, US scientists came to China to explore ways to prevent the fish's spread in their country and explore the possibility of exporting the invaders back to China.

"Chinese love eating the fish, and the US has too many of them, which makes exploring a business plan a win-win solution," said Yang Bo, a freshwater expert from The Nature Conservancy who accompanied the US scientists during their visit. Yang made her remarks in an interview with China Daily on Monday...

Full Story »

Sealord marketing itself as Australasia's largest distributor of sustainably certified seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] September 23, 2014

Sealord is now marketing itself as Australasia's largest distributor of sustainably certified seafood products. The company now carries a number of products with certified sustainably from multiple certifying bodies.

Recently, the Marine Stewardship Council certified wild-caught New Zealand hake and ling cod against its sustainable seafood standard; two species that Sealord distributes. The certification was considered quite prestigious for the fisheries since the MSC has only certified about 9 percent of the world's wild-caught fisheries--with New Zealand hoki, albacore and Southern blue whiting also part of the wild-caught group of certifications...

Full Story »

CT Teamsters local, a Darden shareholder, sues company for selling Red Lobster prematurely

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CNBC] By John Jannarone - September 23, 2014 

A Darden Restaurants shareholder filed suit against the company's board of directors on Monday, citing a recent CNBC.com article as evidence that the board brought harm to the company by selling its Red Lobster restaurant division.

The suit, filed in a Florida state court by Teamsters Local 443 Health Services & Insurance Plan of Connecticut, argues that the board of directors of the Florida-based company knowingly approved the sale of Red Lobster at a "fire sale" price in order to protect their jobs.

The suit alleges, "The Board knew at all relevant times that it was selling Red Lobster at an artificially low price to protect the Board members' directorships."

 

Full Story »

Maine Bond campaign kicks off, with supporters urging $7 million for lobster industry processing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM   by John Sackton - Sept. 22, 2014

It appears that both Maine and Canada are taking steps to boost the competitiveness of their lobster industries. 
 
However, a race to increase processing capacity carries risks if the recent trend of surging landings in both countries does not continue.
 
Currently there are about 15 companies producing lobster meat and tails in Maine, along with some new plants in Massachusetts as well.
 
In Canada, where the plants are larger and more established, there are about 25 plants in the Maritime provinces, excluding Quebec. 
 
Historically, these Canadian plants have relied on buying Maine lobster in the summer because Maine had little capacity for processing itself, and the lobster were primarily sold to summer tourists.  So having a market for excess landings helped support the price on both sides of the border.
 
However, in the past few years this situation has changed.  First, there has been huge growth in Maine landings...

Full Story »

How the rumor about Norwegian salmon and Ebola spread through China media

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [China Daily/Seafood.com] Translated by Amy Zhong  Sept. 22, 2014

The combination of news that the Chinese Government halted imports of whole Norwegian salmon due to concerns about the ISA virus, and the news of the continuing spread of Ebola in three African countries, led to a spate of rumors in China last week that Norwegian salmon had 'Ebola', something that is impossible. 

Salmon eaters in china have been frightened by titles of the popular articles in the social media like Weibo and Wechat as “China has stopped the import of a whole Norwegian salmon”, “People are likely to get Ebola from eating salmon” and “Salmon carry with them the Ebola virus”. 

The reporter has interviewed the relevant importers and the staff from the markets of aquatic products, all of whom have said that salmon has nothing to do with Ebola. 

And Norwegian Department of Marine Resources has also published a statement which reads that the Norwegian salmon are safe for consumers to enjoy. 

It turns out the rumor originated owing to sensational reporters who published an article in an online newspaper...

Full Story »

Oceana's DNA tests claim 18% of cod sold in Denmark is actually haddock or saithe

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton Sept. 22, 2014

For many years in New England, the term 'scrod' referred to a juvenile cod, haddock, or pollock.  The name also implied a small fish, i.e. only a couple of pounds. However, the FDA eventually outlawed this custom, not even allowing scod cod or scrod haddock as a market name.
 
Oceana has now taken advantage of this change to claim seafood fraud in Denmark.  In DNA tests, they showed that 18% of their samples of cod actually were saithe or haddock.  These species are all very similar and caught together, especially when small. 
 
The study conducted by Oceana, the Danish newspaper Søndagsavisen, and the TV program “Go’Aften Denmark” found that there is a 'high' level of sea fraud in Danish markets. The study revealed that 18 percent of cod sold in fishmongers is not cod, but actually haddock or saithe. In total, 120 samples from fishmongers, supermarkets, and restaurants in the wider Copenhagen region underwent DNA analysis.
 
“Seafood fraud is an extensive practice throughout Europe due to weaknesses in the current traceability systems for fish

Full Story »

Cordova's Fish Council once again asked to consider implementing 1% municipal raw fish tax

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Cordova Times] by Jennifer Gibbins - September 22, 2014

"A lot to digest" was the consensus earlier this week at a meeting of the Cordova Fisheries Advisory Committee. 
Created to advise City Council on issues related to the commercial fishing industry, the committee was taking its first look at a recently proposed 1% municipal raw fish tax.

Approximately twenty members of the public attended the meeting providing comment ranging from concerns about the proposed tax to alternative ideas to help generate revenue for the City.

"It was a great turnout," said City Council member Tim Joyce. "It is excellent that the public was there to comment and listen to the issues."

 

Full Story »

U.S. won't impose sanctions against Thailand for human trafficking

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters]  By Feliz Solomon - September 23, 2014 -  

The United States has waived sanctions against Thailand that could have been imposed as a result of the country’s insufficient efforts to combat human trafficking.

Thailand, which is home to an estimated two to three million migrant labourers, most of them from Burma, was recently downgraded in the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

Thailand was listed as a “Tier 3” country, the lowest rank, indicating that the government has not met minimum anti-trafficking standards and could face restrictions on non-humanitarian and non-trade-related assistance.

US President Barack Obama is, however, authorised “to waive the restrictions if he determines that doing so would promote the purposes of the TVPA [Trafficking Victims Protection Act] or is otherwise in the US national interest”, according to a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Bangkok.

 

Full Story »

Southeast Alaska's pink catch trending above average from past five off-years

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Petersburg Pilot] by Mary Koppes - September 23, 2014

Fishermen are ending this summer's pink salmon season 10 million over the projected harvest. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's (ADFG) harvest forecast was 22 million pinks and fishermen hauled in 32 million.

Sitka-based ADFG biologist Dan Gray said, “Just in terms of straight numbers, we had a pretty good year.”

This year's harvest pales in comparison to last year's record-breaking pink harvest where fishermen brought in some 85.5 million pinks. But a more apt comparison would be to past even-year harvests, since harvests have historically followed a weak even-year, strong odd-year cycle...

Full Story »

Pacific tuna companies now saying Obama Administration's expanded marine monument will hurt industry

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [National Geographic] by Brian Clark Howard - September 23, 2014

President Obama’s proposal in June to expand a marine sanctuary around seven U.S.-controlled islands and atolls in the central Pacific Ocean drew immediate praise from scientists and conservationists, but has since sparked opposition from representatives of the tuna industry, including fishermen in Hawaii who say it would threaten their livelihood.

The tuna fishermen oppose the plan because commercial fishing is prohibited in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which would increase from nearly 83,000 square miles to nearly 755,000 square miles (215,000 square kilometers to nearly 2 million square kilometers) under the plan Obama announced...

Full Story »

P.E.I. lobstermen heartened as fall lobster price creeps upward 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CBC] - September 23, 2014 - 

There has been some upward movement in price for the fall lobster fishery on P.E.I.

Prices in the last week have moved up to $3.50 a pound for canner size lobster and $4.00 a pound for markets, according to the president of the Prince County Fishermen's Association, Lee Knox.

Knox said he'd like to see it higher but at least it's moving upward. "We got some good news there this week, the price took a 25 cent hike," said Knox. "So it's all positive I guess."

Full Story »

Preferred sets July 2015 date to finish N. America's largest cold storage facility in Richland, WA

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] September 23, 2014

Preferred Freezer Services (PFS) is in the midst of building the company's first cold storage unit in the Pacific Northwest. Upon completion, the Richland, Washington-based facility will be the largest public refrigerated warehouse in North America and the largest single such facility to be built at one time in the world.

The construction of the new facility broke ground on May 12th, 2014 and is expected to be completed by July 2015. The completed facility will stand at 120 feet tall. It will cover 455,000 square feet with 313,000 square feet dedicated to automated freezer space. The Richland facility will add over 40 million cubic feet of cold storage capacity to PFS’s continually expanding footprint. The facility is strategically located near an existing railroad spur.

The freezer in the facility will be automated, featuring robotic cranes rather than the human operated equipment relied upon by traditional warehouses...

Full Story »

Live lobster, tail prices reached 5-year-highs for month of Aug, confirming slowdown in supply

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - September 22, 2014

What appears to be the return of more "normal" seasonal lobster landing behavior in Maine has kept inventories down and sent current live lobster and tail prices to five-year highs so far this year. Anecdotally the total volume of landings is down in Maine, and the molting process is more spread out, which means there was no surge of landings similar to what was seen the past two years.

Actual lobster landing data out of Maine is not available for the current fishing season until January. But so far a number of anecdotal reports from industry sources in Maine indicate the season is trending more in line with historical catch patterns. The massive glut of soft shell supplies fishermen pulled out of the Gulf of Maine over the last two seasons did not happen this year as colder waters this season prevented an early molt...

Full Story »

Vietnam suspends exports of some molluscan bivalve products to EU following EU inspection

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [VNS] - September 23, 2014 - 

Hanoi, The European Union has asked Vietnam to stop its export of bivalve mollusc products to the bloc, the National Agriculture-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) said.

The request was made after an EU delegation detected two serious violations of food safety regulations for bivalve products during its fact-finding tour to Vietnam from September 9-16.

The mission concluded that Vietnam's blanched noble scallop (Mimachlamys nobilis) flesh had not been heat-treated in accordance with EU standards before being exported to Europe.

Meanwhile, a number of seafood products processed in Vietnam and exported to the EU were found to contain traces of noble scallops and ark clams (Anadara subcrenata) contaminated with lipophilic toxins...

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Mexican shrimp season off to slow start due to weather with less product around

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  Sept. 22, 2014

Although the Mexican wild shrimp season opened on Sept. 5th, two hurricanes, another tropical storm this weekend, and bad weather in between have really slammed catches, with many plants reporting only 40% to 60% of their usual production.
 
Shortly before the season opened, hurricane Norbert passed to the west.  Then two weeks later, Odile, the strongest storm to hit Baja California since 1967, made landfall.
 
And over the weekend, another weaker tropical storm - Polo - is following a similar track.
 
The weather has really cut into shrimp production.  
 
The normal pattern is for a surge of shrimp landings as the season opens, and then a falling back to a lower level pace. For the bigger freezer boats, landings on the first trip are usually double what happens on the second and subsequent trips. 
 
Pangas also see a similar drop off. 
 
This year the surge lasted only a day or two, and then volumes rapidly lessened..

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Willapa Bay Manila clam farmers defend successful use of herbicide to kill invasive eelgrass

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Capital Press] By Don Jenkins  - September 23, 2014 - 

LONG BEACH, Washington, Shellfish farmers who sprayed clam beds last spring say the herbicide they used was effective and that they’re prepared to defend the practice against environmental opposition.

“You can’t describe the feeling you have when you walk out and see that the weed that’s been destroying your farm is gone,” Willapa Bay shellfish farmer Brian Sheldon said. “Uplifting would be one word. It’s worked tremendously. Beyond my expectations.”

The Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat made a last-ditch motion to stop last spring’s spaying. The pollution control board declined to intervene...

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South Korea considers lifting radiation-induced ban on Japanese seafood imports

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [BBC] September 23, 2014

South Korea is considering lifting its import ban on Japanese fishery products, a ruling party official said Monday [22 September], a move that could help mend ties between the neighbouring nations.

South Korea currently bans all fishery imports from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, where a nuclear accident in March 2011 led to a massive leak of radioactive materials and contaminated water.

"I understand that the government is considering lifting the ban on Japanese fishery products," a key official of the ruling Saenuri Party said in a phone interview with Yonhap News Agency...

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Mitsubishi to become 2nd largest global salmon producer after Norway okays sale of Cermaq

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Wall Street Journal] By By Kjetil Malkenes Hovland and Mari Iwata - September 22, 2014 -

OSLO, Norway's government said today it is prepared to sell its majority stake in Oslo-listed salmon farmer Cermaq ASA to Mitsubishi Corp. , in a deal valuing the company at 8.88 billion Norwegian kroner ($1.4 billion) , but that it was also prepared to consider potential competing offers.

Mitsubishi said it would launch a voluntary offer for all of the shares in Cermaq ASA at a price of 96 kroner per share, with an offer period of a minimum of four weeks. Cermaq's board of directors unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept the offer...

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Ocean Trust to hold major Forum in New Orleans on Gulf Seafood, and certifying management systems

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] Sept. 22, 2014

Ocean Trust and the American Institute of Fishery Research Biologists are holding the 4th Science and Sustainability forum focusing on the Gulf of Mexico, with senior FAO personel and fisheries scientists.  The forum will meet in Louisiana to review the status, trends and advancements in seafood sustainability, with particular emphasis on the Gulf of Mexico. 

 The forum lineup features a who’s who list of presenters on fisheries sustainability as well as new initiatives that aim to validate the fishery management systems and the sustainability of seafood managed under those systems.  Speakers include Prof. Ray Hilborn, Dr. Steve Cadrin, Dr. Brian Rothschild, Dr. Grimur Valdimarsson, Dr. Steve Otwell, Dr. Lahsen Ababouch Policy and Economics Director of the FAO Fisheries Program, and Dr. Dick Beamish of DFO and the Pacific Biological Station in BC.

“Sustainability is the result of a well-designed and implemented management system and sustainability assessments should focus on the system, not on a snapshot of individual stock status or fishing level at any given point in time,” said Thor Lassen, president of Ocean Trust and co-host of the forum....

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