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May 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 26, 2017


May 26 - VIDEO: Ecuador’s Shrimp Production and Sales to Asia Reach Records; Alaska’s Salmon is Underway


May 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday May 25, 2017


May 25 - Sea to Table Expands Seafood Delivery Service Directly to Consumers


May 25 - DHL Now Shipping Live Crabs and Seafood from Northern Norway to South Korea and US Markets


May 24 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 24, 2017


May 24 - DFO Opens Newfoundland's 3Ps Inshore Cod Fishery But Issues No Decision for Offshore Harvesters


May 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday May 23, 2017


May 23 - Long John's Featuring Buttermilk Breaded Alaskan Cod on Menu for the Summer


May 23 - Canada's Redfish Fishery Earns MSC Certification


May 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday May 22, 2017


May 22 - F/V America's Finest, Largest Catcher Processor Built in US in 30 Years, May Need Jones Act Waiver


May 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 19, 2017


May 19 - VIDEO: Canada’s Snow Crab Market Stabilizes as the Era of High Chinese Shrimp Output Fades


May 18 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 18, 2017


May 18 - Ecology Action Centre Says Suspension of Offshore MSC Certificate 3Ps Cod Confirms Objections


May 18 - NE Fisheries Scientists Expect Drastic Changes as Gulf of Maine and Georges warm 7 to 9 degrees


May 18 - Facing Headwinds on European Standards, Russia's White Fish Producers Turn to Brazil


May 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 17, 2017


May 17 - Spike in Mortalities Prompts Voluntary Suspension of MSC Certification for NL's 3Ps Cod Stock


May 17 - Salmon Season Threatened by Budget Impasse


May 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday May 16, 2017


May 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday May 15, 2017


May 15 - Trident Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Alaskan Cod Retail Products for Containing Plastic


May 15 - Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods Backs FIP for Blue Swimming Crab Fisheries in Sri Lanka


May 15 - Letter: John Pappalardo asks Rafael be Permanently Banned from Fishing, Redistribution of Quota


May 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 12, 2017


May 12 - Canadian Food, Seafood Sales on JD Platform in China Increase 400%, CA Gov Pledges More Support


May 11 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday May 11, 2017


May 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 10, 2017


May 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday May 9, 2017


May 9 - Alaska Fishing Icon Jim Beaton Remembered Fondly


May 9 - B.C. Geoducks Prized on World Stage


May 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday May 8, 2017


May 8 - Other New England Groundfish Sectors Demand Equitable Distribution of Rafael Permits


May 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 5, 2017


May 5 - JBS-Backed Swift Retailers in Brazil to Sell MSC and ASC Certified Seafood


May 4 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday May 4, 2017


May 4 - New Zealand Scientists Successfully Breed Blue Cod for First Time


May 3 - Crab quota share prices increase, crews face quota loss


May 3 - Chris Brown, Head of Seafood Harvesters: Lack of Transparency in Recreational Fisheries Poses Threat


May 1 - Seafood.com News Summary May 1, 2017


May 1 - Scottish Seafood firms Unite in Wave of Anger over 'unfair' Rise in Business Tax Rates


Apr 28 - Seafood.com News Summary April 28, 2017


Apr 28 - West African Pelagic Fisheries Start Fishery Improvement Project


Apr 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday April 27, 2017


Apr 27 - Iceland's Samherji Boosts Stake in Major Norwegian Fish Producer Nergård


Apr 27 - NGOs Vow to Fight Trump Administration's Executive Order that WIll Review MPA Designations


Apr 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday April 26, 2017


Apr 25 - Nippon Suisan and its Gortons and Unisea Subsidiaries Partner with GSSI, Along with More Retailers


Apr 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday April 25, 2017


Apr 24 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday April 24, 2017


Apr 24 - Newfoundland's Fisheries Minister Supports $14 Million Federal Commitment to Study Cod Stocks


Apr 24 - Cautious Optimism About Recovery of Canada's Northern Cod Stocks Noted During Meeting in Brussels


Apr 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday April 21, 2017


Apr 21 - Icelandic Group Puts Major UK Seafood Distributor Seachill Up For Sale


Apr 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday April 20, 2017


Apr 20 - Feds Close Flatfish, Rockfish, Sablefish Trawling in Gulf of Alaska 2 Weeks Earlier Than Last Year


Apr 20 - Scientists Spawn Pacific Sardines In Captivity; Results Could Inform Potential for Good Fishing


Apr 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday April 19, 2017


Apr 19 - Russia Squeezed by High Salmon Prices as Chilean Companies Cut Back Shipments


Apr 18 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday April 18, 2017


Apr 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday April 17, 2017


Apr 17 - High Liner Recalls Captain's Crew Fish Strips for Undeclared Allergen


Apr 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday, April 13, 2017


Apr 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday April 12, 2017


Apr 12 - PFMC Approves Limited Salmon Seasons; Effects Ripple to Other Fisheries


Apr 11 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday April 11, 2017


Apr 11 - Icelandic Group Sheds Another Asset With Sale of Belgian Subsidiary Gadus to Steinasalir


Apr 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday April 10, 2017


Apr 10 - Seafood Harvesters of America Opposes Modern Fish Act


Apr 10 - Chuitna Coal Suspension Fails to Resolve State Debate Over Mining and Salmon Habitat


Apr 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday April 7, 2017


Apr 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday April 6, 2017


Apr 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday April 5, 2017


Apr 5 - Major Fishery and Processor Associations Ask Gov. Inslee's Council Recommendations be Withdrawn


Apr 4 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday April 4, 2017


Apr 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday April 3, 2017


Apr 3 - Hilborn Study Redefines Forage Fish Predator Relationships; Suggests Fishing Pressure Lesser Factor


Apr 3 - 2017 Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off Will Take Place in Lafayette


Mar 31 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday March 31, 2017


Mar 31 - With Surge in Pangasius Sales to China, Gov't Cracks Down on Smuggling, Will Require Traceability


Mar 31 - Carlos Rafael Pleads Guilty; Up to 13 New Bedford Vessels Could be Seized by Government


Mar 31 - DFO Slashes Inshore Northern Shrimp Quota by 62% in Area 6


Mar 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday March 30, 2017


Mar 30 - Long John Silver's Hires Former Smashburger Exec Angela Sanders as Chief Marketing Officer


Mar 29 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday March 29, 2017


Mar 28 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday March 28, 2017


Mar 28 - Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council Wants Newfoundland to Temper Expectations of Cod Rebound


Mar 28 - Lakes Farm Raised Catfish Issues Recall Notice to USDA for Fish that Contain Antibiotics


Mar 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday March 27, 2017


Mar 27 - WWF-Canada Supports Parliament's Standing Committee Recommendations on Capelin Stock Assessments


Mar 24 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday March 24, 2017


Mar 24 - EU Funding Same DNA Technology That Identified Horsemeat to Properly Label Imported Snapper


Mar 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday March 23, 2017


Mar 23 - Thai Union Expands Work Against Human Trafficking in Supply Chain to Include Global Retailers


Mar 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Mar 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Mar 21 - Mariner Seafood Prepared for Retail Distribution of GO WILD Brand That Extends Fresh Shelf Life


Mar 21 - Boston Show Upbeat Again this Year as Footprint Expands


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Atlantic Scallop Prices Continue to Crash in May with Landings Up 23% from Last Year

Wholesale scallop prices are still crashing in May as new season production continues to flood the market. Prices are down about 18 percent since the start of the month and 13 percent from the five-year-average according to Urner Barry data. New season production has eroded market prices. Traders say a strong biomass in the open areas is supporting high landings per day. Reports say fishermen are landings are north of 3,000 pounds per trip in May.

The Miscou Fish Product plant burned down yesterday in New Brunswick. The plant processes herring, snow crab and lobster. The plant was processing snow crab and lost about 23,000 pounds of live crab because the crab they were exposed to toxic smoke from the fire. The plant employed about 100 workers. Nobody was injured from the blaze.

In other news, Vietnam's pangasius sales to the market continue to struggle in 2017. Exports are down 21.5 percent in the first quarter of the year. Consumer demand for pangasius in the EU was shattered from a smear campaign that started in Spain and gained traction as a number of NGOs latched on and expounded on the false claims.

Meanwhile, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Jerry Brown released their joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Thursday, in which they requested he declare the salmon fisheries in 2016 and 2017 federal fishery disasters. "We are glad that Oregon's Governor has moved forward in asking for a salmon season disaster declaration," Oregon Salmon Commission Director Nancy Fitzpatrick said. "Our Oregon fishermen, especially on the South Coast, are hurting. It is hard to make ends meet for your family when you have no income due to a complete closure."

Finally, the financial toll of a proposed lobster fishing ban near deep-sea coral gardens in the Gulf of Maine could top $8 million a year, almost double what was originally projected by the regional regulatory group that is considering the ban, a Maine fishing representative said Thursday. This figure was announced during a public meeting to discuss the proposal. Lobstermen in attendance all supported an exemption to the fishing ban.

Urner Barry and Seafood News will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observation of the Memorial Day holiday in the US. We will return to our normal publishing schedule on Tuesday, May 30. Until then, we wish all of our readers and their families a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Full Story »

VIDEO: Ecuador’s Shrimp Production and Sales to Asia Reach Records; Alaska’s Salmon is Underway 

Full Story »

Sea to Table Expands Seafood Delivery Service Directly to Consumers

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 25, 2017

Sea to Table is now delivering locally sourced seafood directly to consumers at home. This is an expansion of Sea to Table’s business model that has been delivering fresh, locally sourced fish to commercial kitchens across the US for eight years.   

“We care about the fish you eat, and want Americans to be able to trust the fish they buy,” said Sea to Table co-founder Sean Dimin. “That's why we are creating the national gold standard for the seafood supply chain. We go to great lengths to make sure we can trace where our fish comes from, and work with fishermen on every U.S. coast who we know and trust.”

Full Story »

Oregon Pink Shrimp Volume Steady; Small Sizes Remain a Concern

Coldwater pink shrimp is finally being landed on the West Coast. As of the end of last week, more than a month after the 2017 season could have opened by regulation, most Oregon fishermen settled for prices lower than they had hoped + prices more in line with 2004 and 2006 prices. Much of the West Coast pink shrimp is in the 250-350 size or smaller. Processors said the global inventories of 350-500 and smaller are high already so those small sizes are difficult to sell. Some processors have instituted limits on how much small shrimp they will buy; others have not.

Canada opened Newfoundland’s 3Ps Cod fishery only to the inshore/seasonal harvesters. So far federal authorities have not announced if the year-round offshore portion of the fishery will be open. This announcement has left many of the region's offshore harvesters and plant workers on edge. The offshore sectors contents their 14 percent share of the 3Ps quota is a key economic driver for the province. "Not opening 3Ps cod for our vessels would jeopardize many of these jobs for people who have relied on this fishery for generations,” said Martin Sullivan, CEO of Ocean Choice International (OCI) one of Newfoundland's major offshore cod harvesters. “We want to contribute to the struggling economy of rural Newfoundland and Labrador by working cooperatively to develop a more viable fishery and strengthen the middle-class in this province." 

In other news, Chilean Customs workers unexpectedly walked off the job Tuesday morning after a meeting between the Association of Customs Officials (Anfach) and Chile’s Finance Ministry broke down in disagreement over the labor contract. Anfach said the government has not fulfilled the terms of the deal and ordered an indefinite strike. So far no immediate impacts to Chilean salmon shipments have been reported.

Meanwhile, a World Wildlife Fund report finds that farmed shrimp from Thailand, Vietnam and India could be traced back to their countries of origin through a process known as elemental profiling. With greater refinement, elemental profiling may help importers, customs officials, retailers and others trace globally traded seafood back to its source, which can shed light on production practices with critical environmental and social implications.

Finally, a federal investigation accused the owners of Arizona-based company Blessing Seafood of smuggling illegally harvested sea cucumbers from Mexico into San Diego for export to Asian markets. Between 2010 and 2012, the feds accuse the family-owned business of knowingly purchasing illicitly harvested sea cucumbers from poachers operating off the Yucatan Peninsula. They then allegedly imported the product to San Diego and sold it to Asian markets for about $17.5 million.

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Lobster Dealer Charged With Defrauding Four Nova Scotia Seafood Companies Out of $2.5 Million

Federal authorities in Canada charged a lobster dealer from Nova Scotia Terry Banks with four counts of fraud over $5,000 and three counts of theft over $5,000 involving allegations that he was part of a scheme that stole about $2.5 million from four different seafood companies. Banks older brother also faces six fraud and theft charges. A third man is charged with one count of theft and one count of fraud. All three men return to court Aug. 24. "These individuals were running a complex and sophisticated operation that required extensive police resources and expertise to investigate," RCMP Supt. Martin Marin said in a statement. "The outcome of this investigation is significant, as those charged had substantial reach and influence on the local, national and international seafood market."

The commercial halibut season in Bristol Bay is underway. The quota for longliners is 58,800 pounds, a small increase from last season. If that quota is met, the fishermen could get an additional 20,000 pounds to go after, said BBEDC regional fisheries director Gary Cline. “If we come to the point as we did last year, where our local fleet caught our 4-E quota, we have the ability to roll over the quota we have in area 4-D, which is further off-shore in the Bering Sea—which is what we did last year, and we ended up catching roughly 77 thousand pounds,” said Cline.

Earlier this month representatives of the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) and the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) testified before a Congressional Trade Committee regarding the formation of the “Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits.” We publish some of the testimony that was offered to the Committee. The ASPA focused on the large trade deficits the U.S. carries with its seafood trading partners. Meanwhile, the NFI explained the immense economic benefits the commercial imported and domestic seafood industry produces for the U.S.

Norway moved closer to resuming its exports of farmed salmon to China on Tuesday after the two countries signed an agreement on the topic, Norway's Fisheries Ministry said on Tuesday. "I have hopes that this agreement will allow the resumption of salmon exports to China," Norwegian Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg said.

Finally, the Bering Sea king and snow crab fisheries are up for reassessment against the FAO-based standards under the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program. Stakeholders who want to review the draft re-assessment reports should register their interest with name, organization and e-mail contact details to Global Trust Certification. he assessments will be using the latest version of the standard. The new version was adopted by the ASMI board of directors in November 2015 for use in all new fisheries that wish to be certified and for fisheries seeking re-certification to the Alaska RFM program from January 1, 2016.

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Canada's Redfish Fishery Earns MSC Certification

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - May 23, 2017

With haddock, turbot, and cod, Canada's Atlantic redfish posts high landings from commercial fisheries on Canada's Atlantic coast. In 2015, more than 10,000 mt were landed.

Now, Canada's first redfish fishery has received sustainability recognition from the Marine Stewardship Council.

The MSC announced today that Acadian redfish (Sebastes fasciatus), also known as Atlantic redfish or ocean perch, caught in Northwest Atlantic...

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F/V America's Finest, Largest Catcher Processor Built in US in 30 Years, May Need Jones Act Waiver to Fish

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - May 22, 2017

Fishermen's Finest Inc. and the Dakota Creek Shipyard in Anacortes, WA, have run into a Jones Act issue with the construction of F/V America's Finest, which is the largest catcher processor to be constructed in the US in nearly 30 years.

Fishermen's Finest operates F/V Amerca No. 1 and the F/V Interprid.  These two catcher-processors are part of the Amendment 80 fleet, focusing on flatfish in the Bering Sea.  Fishermen's Finest recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, and with the America No. 1 they were the pioneer American company producing H&G flatfish from the Bering Sea.

The flatfish fleet, along with the cod longlining fleet, has seen a series of new vessel investments...

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VIDEO: Canada’s Snow Crab Market Stabilizes as the Era of High Chinese Shrimp Output Fades

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Ecology Action Centre Says Suspension of Offshore MSC Certificate for 3Ps Cod Confirms Objections

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - May 18, 2017

The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) said the suspension of the Marine Stewardship Council certificate for the Newfoundland cod fishery in the 3Ps region confirmed its initial concern and objection to the designation.

This week the MSC certificate for offshore cod producers Icewater Seafoods and Ocean Choice International was suspended because of exceptionally high mortalities rates for the 3Ps cod fishery.

The fishery was originally completed its MSC assessment in February 2016. At the time certification was recommended for the major fishery gear types for both inshore and offshore cod...

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Facing Headwinds on European Standards, Russia's White Fish Producers Turn to Brazil

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - May 18, 2017

Russia plans to significantly exports of white fish (cod and pollock) to far-abroad countries in the coming years, according to recent statements of Ilya Shestakov, head of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries.    

Shestakov said that currently the demand for white fish in the domestic market remains still relatively low, however it has significantly increased in such countries as Brazil, Argentina and other Latin America states, which may provide significant export opportunities to Russian producers.

Such a decision will be mainly due to the current inability of Russian fisherman to successfully export...

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Spike in Mortalities Prompts Voluntary Suspension of MSC Certification for NL's 3Ps Cod Stock

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - May 17, 2017

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for the 3Ps cod fishery in Newfoundland has been voluntarily suspended by the certificate holders. A recent spike in mortalities prompted the suspension and efforts are underway to identify the cause so the fishery can get the certification reinstated.

Newfoundland’s 3Ps cod fishery completed its MSC assessment in February 2016. At the time certification was recommended for the major fishery gear types for both inshore and offshore cod...

Full Story »

Tuna Price Fixing Civil Suit Picks Up as Wal-Mart, Other Retailers File Amended Complaints

The announcement by the Dept. of Justice that Bumble Bee plead guilty to a criminal price-fixing charge has led to a flurry of amended complaints in the retail class action suit against the three big tuna companies who dominate the US market. The amended complaint by Wal-Mart and others, such as Winn Dixie, allege that the conspiracy traces back to 2004, following the Infofish Tuna meeting in Bangkok. Wal-Mart and the others say that the guilty plea in a criminal case does not foreclose the possibility of a larger conspiracy, and in the civil case which seeks to set damages, they have set out to prove a much more widespread conspiracy. Wal-Mart published a list of 56 people they identified as “conspiracy players”.

North Atlantic, Inc. and its subsidiary Bali Seafood International became the first U.S.-based company to commit to one of the United Nations' Sustainability Development Goals (SDG). The companies agreed to Goal 14, which aims to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” In support of SDG 14 North Atlantic and Bali Seafood said they will collect data from every vessel in their supply chain, through either passive tracking units or e-log catch documentation.

In other news, Bob O’Bryant has been hired to lead all operational and marketing efforts at Cannon Fish Company (CFC) as the company’s next president. He most recently served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Bornstein Seafood. “It is an honor to assume the position of President of CFC and help APICDA fulfill its mission to sustain rural Alaska villages through the Community Development Quota (CDQ) program,” said O’Bryant.

Meanwhile, there was a big shift away from putting Bristol Bay red salmon into cans last season. Instead, the fish was processed into higher value fillets and headed/gutted fish whole fish. The canned pack dropped to 27 percent, while H&G fresh increased eight-fold to 14 million pounds. Sockeye salmon fillet production doubled to 50 million pounds.

Finally, high winds have delayed the opening of the lobster fishery off Cape Breton. The opening of the fishery in Area 27, which extends from Bay St. Lawrence to Gabarus, was scheduled for Monday but has been changed to Wednesday.

Full Story »

Trident Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Alaskan Cod Retail Products for Containing Plastic

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 15, 2017

Trident Seafoods Corporation issued a voluntary recall of select lots of its frozen Multi-Grain Alaskan Cod retail product because the products may contain small pieces of plastic.  

According to the recall notice Trident submitted to the FDA, its 12 oz. boxes of frozen cod may pose a choking hazard or could cause other harm to the mouth if consumed.

The product specifically recalled has a UPC UPC 0 28029 21048 4 and has the following Lot Numbers: A633511, Best By: 11/30/2018 and  A636225, Best By: 12/27/2018...

Full Story »

Letter: John Pappalardo asks Rafael be Permanently Banned from Fishing, Redistribution of Quota

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Letters]  May 15, 2017

To the Editor:

Carlos Rafael pled guilty to running a massive criminal enterprise that stole from honest fishermen and undermined the fisheries as a whole.  One of his quotes offers a revealing insight into his perspective:

"This is America; anything can happen, with money behind it."

Let's put his money to work fixing the fishery he badly damaged.

Carlos Rafael should be banned from commercial fishing forever...

Full Story »

Canadian Food, Seafood Sales on JD Platform in China Increase 400%, CA Gov Pledges More Support

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [DoNews] Translated by Amy Zhong  May 12, 2017

The sales of Canadian fresh food, mostly seafood,  skyrockets by over 400% on JD platform. And the government tends to further cooperate with the e-commerce company in its export to China.

Recently François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, has paid a visit to JD and talked to the group’s vice president, the manager of its fresh food unit, the CEO of Export Development Canada and the country’s ambassador to China. They have exchanged ideas about future cooperation between Canada and this e-commerce company in China. And both parties have reached some agreement about Canada’s fresh food export to China and their sales...

Full Story »

High Liner Acquires Rubicon, a Major Shrimp Importer, for $107 million

High Liner Foods has acquired all of the assets to vertically integrated shrimp importer Rubicon Resources for $107 million. Rubicon has corporate headquarters in Culver City, CA and also operates over 11 shrimp and seafood processing facilities in South East Asia. Rubicon produces products for private label brands in the US retail market. "Rubicon is an ideal acquisition for High Liner that will provide sales and earnings growth, and expedite diversification of our product portfolio to aquaculture species, like shrimp, that are experiencing stronger growth rates in North America," said High Liner’s President and CEO Keith Decker.

Chris Oliver, the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, appears to have the inside track to become the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service. The latest talk within the industry is that Oliver is indeed the pick that the Commerce Dept. has submitted to the White House. The recommendation still has to get White House approval, and also a Congressional approval of the nomination is needed. If this is confirmed, it would be excellent news for the entire US seafood industry, as it would give NMFS stability and deep experience at a time of significant budget and regulatory review.

The commercial and recreation seafood industry in the US supported 1.6 million full and part-time jobs in 2015 according to NOAA’s annual Fisheries Economics of the United States report, which was released this week. The commercial sector was responsible for 1.2 million jobs and generated $144.2 billion in sales, $39.7 billion in income, and $60.6 billion in value-added impacts nationwide These figures were above the five-year-average for the industry NOAA said in its report. “NOAA’s reports demonstrate the importance of seafood, both domestic and imported, to the economy and serves to highlight the more than 1.6 million jobs supported by all seafood," said John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute.

In other news, the Pacific Whiting season is set to open May 15th, but the status of the Newport Surimi plant that had been operated by Trident is still unclear. Pacific Seafood is planning to purchase the plant from Trident and continue to operate it as one of the shore-based surimi plants in Oregon and Washington. However, Pacific Seafood has been subject to a number of anti-trust lawsuits and has asked for a specific ruling from the Attorney General that operating the former Trident plant would not constitute anti-competitive behavior, or be seen as contributing to an anti-trust problem. The problem is that without a clear signal from the State, the plant is likely to close as no other buyer is available. Without the volume represented by the Newport whiting surimi plant, all Oregon whiting fishermen would suffer.

Finally, a surge in Atlantic scallop landings in March has prices at auction falling faster and harder than expected. These factors have combined to drag down prices in the wholesale market in the first week of May. Landings were more than double the monthly figure from last March and were 51 percent higher from the five year monthly average for the fishery.

Full Story »

Further Restrictions on Copper River Kings as Landings Higher than Expected  

The ADF&G elected to go with a nine hour opener for today's salmon fishing period since Copper River king landings have exceeded expectations. The ADF&G will also begin the fishing period hours after an extreme low tide and it will end before the second, less extreme, low tide starts to flood in, which usually bring fish with it. “To reduce king salmon harvest during the next fishing period, start time will be delayed to avoid opening on an extreme low tide when fish are more vulnerable to harvest. In addition, the duration of this fishing period is shortened to avoid fishing after the evening low tide,” said Jeremy Botz, Alaska Department of Fish and Game management biologist in Cordova.

Scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center have captured new maturity data points for Alaskan rockfish that will provide managers with the information they need to ensure that deepwater Alaska rockfish populations stay healthy. Until now, little was known about the reproductive biology of rougheye, blackspotted, and shortraker rockfish. One important finding was a marked difference in the age that rougheye and blackspotted rockfish reach reproductive maturity.

In other news, Louisiana shrimp company Crystal Seafood Company Inc. was denied in its appeal of a court order for the company to repay the $1 million it was awarded in BP oil spill money. Court documents proved that Crystal Seafood was a failed business at the time of the spill in 2010. According to court documents, Crystal Seafood processed the last of its shrimp approximately one year before the oil spill. The same decision also said Crystal Seafood sold the last of its frozen inventory of shrimp approximately three months before the oil spill occurred in August 2010.

Meanwhile, Norway has come up with a plan to dramatically increase its seafood exports to China, and expects the trade to be worth $1.45 billion by 2025. "The plan is based on Chinese consumers' preference for Norwegian seafood, coupled with projected growth in second- and third-tier cities in China," said the Norwegian Seafood Council's director for the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, Sigmund Bjorgo.

Finally, the sentencing hearing for Carlos Rafael has been moved off another month to July 28 in U.S. District Court in Boston. Rafael, who pleaded guilty in late March to falsifying fish quotas, conspiracy and tax evasion, requested the extension. He said he needs more time gather and provide the relevant — and voluminous — financial records that are the center of the federal government's case against him.

Full Story »

DHL Now Shipping Live Crabs and Seafood from Northern Norway to South Korea and US Markets

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 25, 2017

DHL Global Forwarding will start shipping live crabs and seafood the Lakselv Airport Banak in North-Norway to markets in Asia and Northern America.  

The carrier will start dedicated weekly flights to ship fresh seafood to the DHL terminal in Oslo to South Korea and other destinations including Japan and the United States.

DHAL said all of the logistics are exactly timed, ensuring the shipments are delivered in perfect condition. Today’s first flight will be officially welcomed by the State Secretary Ronny Berg of the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries...

Full Story »

DFO Opens Newfoundland's 3Ps Inshore Cod Fishery But Issues No Decision for Offshore Harvesters

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 24, 2017

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard opened Newfoundland’s 3Ps Cod fishery only to the inshore/seasonal harvesters. So far federal authorities have not announced if the year-round offshore portion of the fishery will be open.

This announcement has left many harvesters, plant workers and their families in a cloud of uncertainty. 

“At risk, is year-round employment and job stability for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said  Kris Vascotto, Executive Director of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC)...

Full Story »

Long John's Featuring Buttermilk Breaded Alaskan Cod on Menu for the Summer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 23, 2017  

Long John Silver’s has added Buttermilk Cod sourced from Alaska to its menu for the summer season.

The premium cod product is prepared Homestyle with a buttermilk breading. The item will be available from May 29 to August 27 at participating Long John’s across the country. It will sell for $5.99 and is served with French fries and hushpuppies.

“The light flavor of the Cod balances really well with the tangy flavor of the buttermilk,” said Peter Czizek, Vice President of Culinary Innovation and Quality Assurance. “It has a big crunchy bite, and the light, flaky fish smooths it out. It really is delightful.” “Buttermilk is such a great summer flavor and we’ve added convenience, “continued Czizek. “Summer is meant for spending time with family, so we’ve got dinner covered.”

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F/V America's Finest, Largest Catcher Processor Built in US in 30 Years, May Need Jones Act Waiver

Fishermen's Finest Inc. and the Dakota Creek Shipyard in Anacortes, WA, have run into a Jones Act issue with the construction of F/V America's Finest, which is the largest catcher processor to be constructed in the US in nearly 30 years. The issue involves some very complex rules under the Jones Act for what constitutes American built vessels. At issue here is the amount of foreign steel that was used to fabricate the vessel. If the vessel cannot get a Congressional waiver from the Jones Act requirement, it cannot be used in a US fishery. For Fishermen's Finest, they would have to sell the vessel to a foreign buyer at a deep discount which would bankrupt the company and deal a serious economic blow to Washinton state's economy and the US fishing industry. "It seems to us that granting a waiver is the correct and only suitable choice, and we expect that view will also be widely shared in the West Coast fishing industry and the Amendment 80 fleet, once the full details are known," writes John Sackton.

Ecuadorian farmed shrimp production in 2017 is at record high levels and the country’s sales to the Asian market account for more than half of its output. Ecuador prefers to produce a Head-on shrimp that the Asian market--specifically China--prefers. At the same time, Chinese shrimp production in recent years has not been able to keep up with spikes in demand. This year, China is forecast to be a net shrimp importer in 2017. The US and EU market share for Ecuadorian shrimp continues to decline as Ecuador's sales to these markets have been flat.

In other news, with nearly half the total chinook pre-season harvest taken in the Copper River's first 12-hour opener, the pressure is building for in-season management to ensure the harvest won't exceed 4,000 Chinook, as prescribed in the management plan writes Peggy Parker. This year's Chinook return to the Copper River is the lowest since 1985. The problem for the in-season ADF&G managers is that even when fishermen are not targeting chinooks with large-mesh nets, they will catch a few with sockeye gear during the first four weeks of the season.

Meanwhile, we run an opinion piece from the Environmental Defense Council that calls for the creation of a Groundfish Monitoring Fund in response to the Carlos Rafael case. " One of the major causes of the New England cod crisis, and a key enabler of Rafael’s crimes, is inadequate monitoring of the groundfish fleet," said Matt Tinning and Johanna Thomas of the EDF. "In other places, like the U.S. Pacific and British Columbia, successful groundfish monitoring programs have helped resuscitate stocks and put fishermen on a level playing field."

Finally, Alaska salmon managers are hoping for the best and planning for the worst as state lawmakers extend into a third special session to try to agree on a state budget. Layoff notices will start going out June 1 if legislators cannot agree on a budget during the third special session. "It's similar to what happened last year. Pink slips go out on June 1 and then we have to start getting people out because they cannot be on salary effective July 1," said Scott Kelley, director of the commercial fisheries division at Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Juneau.

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First 22,000 Lbs of Copper River Salmon Lands in Seattle; 77,000 More Lbs. Expected Today

The first 22,000 pounds of Copper River salmon was delivered to the Seattle-Tacoma airport on Friday morning as part of the industry’s annual start to the summer fishing season. The fish was delivered by Alaska Airlines on a Boeing 737 dubbed the “Salmon 30 Salmon.” It was just the first delivery with four more flights scheduled today that will bring an additional 77,000 pounds of Copper River salmon from Anchorage to Sea-Tac. The 2017 Copper River commercial harvest projections for sockeye and coho salmon are 889,000 fish and 207,000 fish respectively. The chinook run is forecast to be 29,000 fish, which would be the smallest run since 1985.

The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement Implementation Act, or CETA, cleared its final hurdle in the Parliament of Canada on Tuesday. When approved, tariff rates on Canadian live lobster shipments to the EU market will drop from 8 percent to zero overnight. Maine's lobster industry is concerned that they will not be able to compete with Canadian shippers in the EU market since their live shipments will continue to carry an 8 percent tariff.

The Vietnamese government passed a decree that requires pangasius producers and exporters to meet four key provisions to legally ship fish to overseas markets. According to the decree, producers must have proper documentation to trace their pangasius back to the farming sites and processing facilities. Additionally, the fish must be produced to specific food safety standards and have state-approved certificates as evidence. The rules go into effect this July.

In other news, Alaska Governor Bill Walker ordered a special session of the Alaska state legislature after lawmakers were unable to reach a budget deal this week. Walker, in a brief interview in his office after signing his special session proclamation, said he was "actually encouraged" by the passage in the House and Senate of deficit-reduction bills, even if the two chambers hadn't yet agreed on a single version. "So far as I can tell, everybody is still talking," he said.

Finally, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council has told salmon producer Tassal to clean up its farmings sites in Macquarie Harbour, on Tasmania's west coast or it will not be recertified. A report by auditors for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) has found Tassal has failed to comply with 19 requirements for certification at two sites. The major findings relate to a lack of compliance with Marine Farming Licence conditions, listing ecosystem function, community engagement and legal compliance as areas of failure.

Have a great weekend.

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NE Fisheries Scientists Expect Drastic Changes as Gulf of Maine and Georges warm 7 to 9 degrees

A new paper by a number of scientists formerly with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center suggests that there will be drastic changes in fisheries and the ports that depend on them during the next 60 to 80 years. Among the predictions for specific species, lobster and dogfish are likely to thrive. Also mid-Atlantic Fish like croaker and striped bass will find more suitable habitat in New England. The “changes will result in ecological, economic, social, and natural resource management challenges throughout the region,” said Kristin Kleisner, the lead author of the study. “It is important to understand large-scale patterns in these changes so that we can plan for and mitigate adverse effects as much as possible.”

The USDA said domestic catfish processors operate similarly to meat and poultry processing-only operations and can be subject to inspections just once per production shift. When the USDA adopted catfish inspections last March, inspectors practiced continuous inspection procedures so the agency could understand the fish slaughtering and production process. But the USDA said it is adopting the FDA’s definition of fish processing, which combines the slaughter and processing steps. This will exempt domestic catfish operators from continuous inspections once the program takes full effect this September.

In other news, Russia plans to significantly increase exports of cod and pollock to the Latin American market in coming years. Russia's Federal Fishery Agency said demand for white fish in the domestic market is relatively low. Meanwhile, demand for white fish is up significantly in such countries as Brazil, Argentina and other Latin America states. To date, there are already several agreements to supply Russian cod and pollock to Brazil.

The season’s first catch of Copper River salmon will arrive in Seattle straight from Alaska this Friday. As per tradition, the Alaska Airlines Boeing "salmon 30 salmon" will deliver the fish to the Sea-Tac Airport. The seasoned opened this morning. 

Finally, The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) said the suspension of the offshore Marine Stewardship Council certificate for the Newfoundland cod fishery in the 3Ps region confirmed its initial concern and objection to the designation. The EAC was among a group that objected to the 3Ps certification last year. "While we fully support efforts to both achieve and celebrate improvements in sustainable fisheries, we had deep concerns about this cod stock throughout the certification process. Suffice it to say we are not at all surprised that the issues we raised last year, including low bar for recovery, evidence of poor stock health and a high rate of mortality," said Susanna Fuller, Senior Marine Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.

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NE Fisheries Scientists Expect Drastic Changes as Gulf of Maine and Georges warm 7 to 9 degrees

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton May 18, 2017

A new paper by a number of scientists formerly with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center suggests that there will be drastic changes in fisheries and the ports that depend on them during the next 60 to 80 years.

Sea temperatures in the Gulf of Maine have warmed faster than 99% of the worlds oceans over the past decade.

The scientists applied a new more sophisticated global warming model to project habitat availability for 53 species using a 10 KM grid.  This is far more accurate than previous studies that have estimated changes using 100 kilometer grids...

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Era of High Shrimp Output in China is 'Gone Forever'

The era of high shrimp output in China may be gone forever. This corresponds with predictions that China will become the largest global shrimp importer this year. In today's story we breakdown shrimp production forecasts for the all of the major aquaculture regions across China. Overall, poor weather and high incidence of disease in many areas appear to show that farmed shrimp production will be lower in the first half of this year than last year.

Even though the EU has raised its inspection rates on Indian seafood imports, rejections have been in steady decline the last five years. The EU is now inspecting half of all seafood imported from India. Previously that figure was just 10 percent. "However, Indian seafood industry proved its mettle and managed to withstand the new restrictions, by maintaining a low rejection rate," said A Jayathilak, chairman of MPEDA.

In other news, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for the 3Ps cod fishery in Newfoundland has been voluntarily suspended by the certificate holders. A recent spike in mortalities prompted the suspension and efforts are underway to identify the cause so the fishery can get the certification reinstated. “While recent recruitment of young fish has been above average, the reality is, the science now shows a concerning trend in the 3Ps cod stock. In fact, modeled estimates of total mortality have increased by over 65 percent since the initial assessment for certification,” said Dr. Kris Vascotto, Executive Director of the Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council.

Meanwhile, the Copper River salmon season starts tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. Alaska time, signaling the first large run of fresh sockeye in the world. The 2017 commercial harvest projections for sockeye salmon are 889,000 fish. This is usually the best time to target chinook or king salmon, as their run peaks at the early part of the sockeye run. But this year, biologists are forecasting a total run of only 29,000 chinook, the smallest on record since 1985.

Finally, the first ever Bristol Bay Fish Expo will be held this year on June 9th and 10th, just prior to the opening of the salmon season. The event is modeled on Comfish in Kodiak, and on the Seattle Fish Expo. The event is a chance for some of the processors in the Bay to become more acquainted with community needs.

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Salmon Season Threatened by Budget Impasse

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio] by Laine Welch - May 17, 2017

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – No budget from Alaska lawmakers could cut into salmon season. More after this –

Today is the deadline for Alaska lawmakers to agree on a budget or go into a second, possibly month long, extension. That means in two weeks pink slips could go out to all state workers in advance of job layoffs...

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Russia Vows Crackdown on 10,000 tons of IUU Snow Crab Fished in Barents Sea

The Russian government plans to tighten a fight over illegal crab catch in the Barents Sea. The Russsian government is talking with Norwegian officials to fight crab poaching since the opilio fishery in the Norway / Russian area could increase to 50,000 tons. The Russian government estimates the value of the entire IUU crab haul around $30 million annually. As much as 10,000 metric tons of snow crab is illegally fished each year according to Russian estimates.  

The former Trident Surimi plant on the Newport Waterfront will open at the end of this week or early next week, after Pacific Seafood and the Oregon dept. of Justice agreed on conditions for the acquisition. It is highly unusual for the Oregon Dept. of Justice to give an opinion about a merger or acquisition, but because the Dept. had intervened with a friend of the court brief in a lawsuit claiming Pacific Seafood was too concentrated on the Oregon coast, the company was reluctant to operate another plant without a sign off from the DOJ. “We very much appreciate the Governor and Attorney General’s leadership in addressing this extraordinary situation. They moved quickly to reach a solution that saves 147 traded-sector jobs, retains the market for Newport’s commercial fishing fleet, and preserves Oregon’s access to a major export market," said Dan Occhipinti a spokesperson at Pacific.

In other news, the $1 trillion federal spending bill did not include disaster funding for West Coast pink salmon and Dungeness crab fishermen. Congress could choose to appropriate the money separately, but chances of that happening are slim.

Meanwhile, we run a letter by John Pappalardo, the CEO of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance, who says Carlos Rafael should be permanently banned from fishing and that his quotas should be redistributed. "Honest fishermen have not been playing on a level field with the likes of Carlos. We need to make sure they aren't put in that position again," Pappalardo writes. In a related editorial from The Portland Press Herald, what federal regulators decide to do with Rafael's fleet and quotas will set a major precedent for future violators that attempt to cheat the system.

Finally, Florida's stone crab season is officially over with a harvest of about 3 million pounds of claws valued at $30 million. These figures are down just marginally from last season.

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Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods Backs FIP for Blue Swimming Crab Fisheries in Sri Lanka

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 15, 2017

An agreement will establish a fishery improvement project for blue swimming crab fisheries off the north and northwest coast of Sri Lanka.

Recommendations for the project were researched and developed by the SLBSC FIP, which received financial assistance from Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods (COSFF), the only US importer of pasteurized blue swimming crab products from Sri Lanka.

Fishing communities, Taprobane Seafood Group (TSG), Sri Lanka’s only pasteurized blue crab manufacturer, and the Sri Lankan Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources signed the agreement...

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News Summary May 12, 2017

Today's Main Story: Pacific Seafood Hears from Oregon's Dept. of Justice With Conditions for Operating Trident Plant

Today's news opens reporting that Pacific Seafood Group, the industry's billion-dollar behemoth, has thoroughly shaken up this bustling commercial fishing town with an expansion blitz that will increase its already dominant market position. But before going ahead with a deal to buy the hulking Trident Seafoods processing plant in the heart of Newport's Bayfront, the biggest ...

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Japan Losing Out in Sockeye Market As Higher Prices Expected in Bristol Bay This Year

Japan is getting priced out of the Alaskan sockeye market because of strong US demand. Japanese traders are compelled to buy above their market cost if they accept the prices proposed by US packers. Traders point out that the Japanese cannot keep up with the US prices because the current price level of salmon products distributed in Japan do not meet the raw material costs. At the same time, it is highly probable that the prices of Bristol Bay sockeye this season will exceed last year’s level.

Chris Oliver, Executive Director director of the Alaska-based North Pacific Fisheries Managment Council, has been offered and has accepted the position of Assistant Administrator of National Marine Fisheries Service. A tentative start date is Monday, June 19, 2017. Oliver notified members of the NPFMC and staff by email yesterday, explained that "this appointment is still subject to the White House vetting and approval process, which may take a few weeks, so it is NOT final yet." He said that recent industry rumors, plus the need for transition planning, led to his email.

In other news, the Japanese Parliament agreed to ratify the first international treaty that tackles illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing—the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA). This puts Japan, one of the three major seafood consuming nations in the world, at the forefront in the global fight against IUU fishing. “Japan’s decision today is an important milestone in the fight against IUU fishing, and we expect to see important behavioral changes in the water over the next few years,” Maria Damanaki, Global Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy, said in a press release.

Meanwhile, slow lobster landings in both PEI and New Brunswick have hit a wave of demand, pushing up competition at the wharf, and prices to harvesters. Dealers say that on the docks there is now a fierce competition between processing plant buyers and live dealers. Lack of supplies and the very strong live demand is going to impact meat and tail markets later this summer say traders. Last year high prices in the Gulf in May and June set up a disastrous year for processors, many of whom lost money when the price of tails failed to cover the costs of these purchases. Currently the price of 4 oz American lobster tails has recovered somewhat compared to May of last year. But the depressed tail price last year was largely a result of inventories of tails that existed going into the spring season. That is not the case this year. So the market is likely to be much more responsive to raw material costs.

Finally, an email from the World Wildlife Fund reveals concerns that Tasmania's salmon industry is having a "significant negative impact on the environment" despite WWF's endorsement of Tassal. "WWF Australia has asked the Tasmanian Government to establish an independent, scientifically robust and transparent process, using independent marine and fisheries scientists, to set new biomass limits for Macquarie Harbour salmon farms," the email said. "At the moment the Government isn't responsibly managing the leasing or regulating [of] the industry, which is having a significant negative impact on the environment."

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