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Feb 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 20, 2017


Feb 20 - PODCAST: India Carries US Shrimp Imports to Record; Snow Crab Prices Smash Records Before Boston


Feb 20 - Russia's Quota Incentive Program Does Not Spur Crab Producers to Place Domestic Shipbuilding Orders


Feb 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday February 15, 2017


Feb 15 - Hokkaido Crab Dealer Goes Bankrupt After Russia Tightens Crab Enforcement


Feb 15 - How Alaskans Forced Snow Crab Prices Above $8.00; This Price Likely to Carry Through to Boston


Feb 14 - Fishery Tensions Rise Between China and South Korea after Korean Landings Hit Record Lows


Feb 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 13, 2017


Feb 13 - California Salmon Groups Join in Project to Release Salmon at Bodega Bay


Feb 10 - Atlantic States Fishery Managers Adopt Coast-Wide Jonah Crab Claw Harvesting Rule; Set Bycatch Plan


Feb 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 9, 2017


Feb 9 - Oregon's Domoic Acid Scare Eases as Coos Bay Reopens Under Evisceration Order


Feb 7 - Strong Demand and Cultural Preferences for Seafood Driving Up Prices in China for New Year Sales


Feb 7 - Clearwater Invests $5 Million to Boost Arctic Surf Clam Processing Capacity at Canadian Plants


Feb 7 - German Zverev, Friendly to China, Will Head Russian Fish Industry Group to Push Gov't on Exports


Feb 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 3, 2017


Feb 3 - ASFMC Wants to Reduce Number of Lobster Traps in Southern New England to Rebuild Stock


Feb 3 - Oregon Closes 65-mile Stretch of Coast to Commercial Dungeness Crabbing


Feb 2 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 2, 2017


Feb 2 - 4% Cut Recommended to Norton Sound's Winter Season King Crab Quota; Ice Conditions Reportedly Poor


Feb 2 - Russia Confirms Increases in Snow Crab, Bairdi TACs for 2017


Feb 2 - Oregon Detects One "Hot" Dungeness Crab Near Winchester Bay


Feb 1 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday February 1, 2017


Feb 1 - Texas based Sustainable Sea Products Buys Dickie Poh Seafood, Keeping Dickie's Deviled Crab Line


Feb 1 - Alaska Marine Conservation Council Wants to Reconnect Anchorage Residents to Locally Sourced Seafood


Jan 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday January 27, 2017


Jan 27 - NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin


Jan 27 - Russian Crab Association Says Domestic Consumption of King Crab Has Doubled


Jan 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 26, 2017


Jan 26 - Tumultuous Dungeness Crab Season Leads to Abundant Supply


Jan 26 - Chinese Ecommerce Company Sends Michelin Chef to Lucky Customers Home with New Year Order


Jan 24 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday January 24, 2017


Jan 24 - Symphony of Seafood Showcases New Alaska Seafood Products


Jan 23 - Unfortunate Decision on Bairdi Suggests Alaska Failing its Fisheries Obligations in Age of Austerity


Jan 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday, January 19, 2017


Jan 19 - Commerce Sec. Pritzker Declares Fisheries Disasters for Nine West Coast Species


Jan 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Jan 17 - Russia's Future Barents Sea Snow Crab Harvest Could Reach 27,000 tons


Jan 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 16, 2017


Jan 16 - SE Alaska Tanner and Golden King Crab Season Opens Feb. 17, Harvest Forecast Down from Last Year


Jan 16 - Shipment of California Dungeness Crab to China Allowed by Chinese, but not by Canadians


Jan 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday January 13, 2017


Jan 13 - Dungeness Crab Susceptible to Ocean Acidification in Unexpected Ways


Jan 13 - Important Fish Habitat Formed by Slow-growing Corals may Recover More Slowly in Warming Climate


Jan 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 12, 2017


Jan 12 - Last Remaining California Area of Commercial Dungeness Crab Fishery to Open


Jan 12 - Signs point to Surging Market for High-End Imported Seafood in China This New Year


Jan 11 - China Cuts Tariff Rates on Large Range of Imported Seafood


Jan 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday January 10, 2017


Jan 10 - West Bengal Eyes Fisheries Sector as Big Investment Target


Jan 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 9, 2017


Jan 9 - Dungeness Crabbers, Processors Reach Compromise Price of $2.875 lb, Ending Strike


Jan 9 - NFI Sues NOAA Over New Seafood Fraud Import Rules Claiming Regulatory Overreach


Jan 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 5, 2017


Jan 5 - Oregon Dungeness Crabbers, Processors Return to Price Negotiations


Jan 5 - Southeast Alaska Opens for Tanner Crab on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017


Jan 4 - Seafood.com News Summary January 4, 2017


Jan 4 - PODCAST: West Coast's Dungeness Fishermen Go on Strike


Jan 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday January 3, 2017


Jan 3 - Dungeness Crab Strike Continues on West Coast


Dec 30 - Most Popular Seafood News Stories of 2016 Now Available


Dec 29 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 29, 2016


Dec 28 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 28, 2016


Dec 28 - Fort Bragg, Calif., Area Open to Dungeness Crabbing Dec. 29


Dec 27 - Northern China Inland Port Receiving Live Russian King Crab for First Time


Dec 27 - PODCAST: Gulf's Already Poor Shrimp Harvest Enters Seasonal Decline


Dec 27 - N. Pacific Council Threatens New England Style Fisheries Management Collapse in Gulf of Alaska


Dec 26 - Seafood News is Closed Today in Observance of Christmas Day


Dec 23 - Seafood News Will be Closed on December 26 in Observance of Christmas Day


Dec 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 23, 2016


Dec 23 - SeaPak Launches Shrimp Rangoons, Shrimp Rice Rolls to Kroger, Giant Eagle Stores for Limited Time


Dec 22 - Washington, Oregon Plan Dungeness Crab Openings January 1


Dec 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 21, 2016


Dec 21 - One Area Remains Closed to Crabbing in California; Oregon to Discuss Options for Opening


Dec 21 - China Shuts Down Dungeness Crab Exports from US for Second Time


Dec 19 - China Pouring Capital into Argentina Shrimp Fishery


Dec 19 - PODCAST: Mahi Set to Disappear from Menus in 2017, Oregon Crabbing, Thai Shrimp Forecast


Dec 15 - Deep -Sea Coral MPA Established Off Mid-Atlantic With Fishing Exemptions for Lobsters and Red Crabs


Dec 15 - Cooke Ready to Expand Hake and Red Crab Exports from Uruguay After Fripur Purchase


Dec 15 - Louisiana Blue Crab is First to be Certified Against G.U.L.F's RFM Standard


Dec 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 14, 2016


Dec 14 - Portion of Oregon Opens to Negotiated $3 Per Pound Crab Price


Dec 14 - Russia Sees Continuing Increase in Crab Production, Which is up 10,000 tons This Year


Dec 14 - Washington State Joins International Alliance Calling for Ocean Protection


Dec 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, December 12, 2016


Dec 12 - Oregon Opens Two Southern Ports for Dungeness Crab Fishing


Dec 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday, December 9, 2016


Dec 9 - Crab Sales Gaining Momentum in Japan, as Customers Accept 10% Price Rise on King Crab


Dec 9 - VIDEO: Seafood News Recap; Snow Crab Inventories; Bumble Bee Exec Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing


Dec 9 - Obama Administration Publishes Final Rule on IUU and Seafood Fraud; Shrimp Implementation Delayed


Dec 7 - Christian Brun, Head of Maritime Fishermen's Union, Dies in Car Accident in New Brunswick


Dec 7 - Smaller Fisheries Like Geoducks, Sea Cucumbers and Winter Kings Continue in Ak (Fish Radio)


Dec 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 6, 2016


Dec 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday December 5, 2016


Dec 5 - PODCAST: Oregon and Washington's Dungeness Season Delayed and Alaska's Pollock Biomass Reported


Dec 5 - Buyback Completed in Alaska Golden King Crab Fishery; NMFS to No Longer Collect Buyback Fee


Dec 5 - Southern Oregon Dungeness Crab Test Safe Prior to Discussion on Opening Dates


Dec 5 - Murray, Cantwell Push to Declare Six Fisheries Disasters in Washington State


Dec 5 - China Temporarily Halts Live Dungeness Crab From California in Response to Domoic Acid Reports


Dec 2 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 2, 2016


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License Agreement

Iceland's Commercial Fishermen Resume Fishing as Labor Deal Gets Narrow Approval

Commercial fishermen in Iceland commenced fishing on Sunday after an agreement was narrowly passed between the major fishermen’s unions and the boat owners. The deal ends a three-month work stoppage for Iceland’s commercial fishermen that walked off the job in November. On Friday, we reported Iceland’s fishing strike could come to a quick end because of a recent decision to sharply raise Iceland’s commercial capelin quota. This deal should ease upwards pressure on cod prices and shrinking inventories in the UK market. The strike was starting to cut into fresh and frozen cod production out of Iceland, which is a major cod supplier to global markets. Additionally, any fears of fresh cod shortages in the US market, particularly on the East Coast, are also likely to fade.

Leading Russian crab producers failed to reach any agreements with domestic shipbuilders to place orders for new ships. According to a recent law passed by the Russian government, crab producers are required to use domestic shipbuilders to build new fishing vessels. in return for quota allocations."Unfortunately, none of Russia's leading crab producers, which participated in the meeting, was able to complete and place a clear order. Each of producers requires ships in accordance with their own, specific needs, which, however, has nothing to do with mass production. Due to this, we were unable to reach any agreements," said Vitaly Gvozdev, a senior representative of Nordic Engineering

In other news, there will be a concerted effort during Alaska's upcoming Board of Fish meetings to end the so-called "fish wars" and move discussions out of the realm of political battles and keep it firmly in the arena of science-based fisheries management that benefits everyone. At the meeting, the board will consider a 174 fishery management proposals. “I’m not going to do a tit-for-tat allocation battle back and forth,” said David Martin, President of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association. “That doesn’t benefit anybody.”

Meanwhile, President Trumps's executive order that requires two regulations be effectively eliminated for each new one that is created could disrupt the implementation of some federal fishery management regulations. The vast majority of federal fisheries regulations do not the standard, meaning routine closures and assessments should proceed as they always have. However, NOAA Fisheries has several regulations currently under consideration that are “significant regulatory actions” including a proposed update to ensure consistent application of rules at federal marine sanctuaries and an effort to combat the spread of illegally caught or fraudulently identified seafood in U.S. markets.

Finally, some analysts say Vietnam's goal to raise its total annual value of shrimp exports to global markets to $10 billion by 2025 might not be realistic. Experts calculate that if the added value of shrimp is doubled by 2025, the country would earn $6 billion from exports. For the $4 billion remainder, Vietnam would have to produce an additional 1 million metric tons of shrimp. And even though the production goal is attainable, analysts say the value of the shrimp will not be high enough to reach the $10 billion goal.

Full Story »

Russia's Quota Incentive Program Does Not Spur Crab Producers to Place Domestic Shipbuilding Orders

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - February 20, 2017

Leading Russian crab producers have failed to reach an agreement with the domestic shipbuilders, regarding the placement of orders for new crab vessels, which is required by the recently amended Russian legislation in the field of fish and seafood production, according to recent statements of an official spokesman of Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

The recent decision of the Russian government to include crabs in the "under keel" quota program (which involves placement of orders for the building of fishing trawlers at domestic shipyards in exchange of quotas’ provision) became a big surprise for domestic crab producers, which have been forced to start talks with  domestic shipbuilders, regarding with the building of ships at their capacities, amid the prospects of inevitable tighthening of competition in the sector... 

Full Story »

Hokkaido Crab Dealer Goes Bankrupt After Russia Tightens Crab Enforcement

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Japan Reports] - February 15, 2017

A Hokkaido crab dealer has gone bankrupt under the impact of Russia's tightened fishing regulations and soaring procurement costs.

Kanikichi Gyorakuichi Suisan Co., a fresh fish trader based in Kushiro, eastern Hokkaido, was ordered by Kushiro District Court on Feb. 3 to begin bankruptcy procedures.

Its debt amounted to about 189 million yen, according to Kushiro Branch of Data Bank Ltd., a private credit agency.

Kanikichi (president: Kazuyoshi Kamata) was founded in 1999 ...

Full Story »

Fishery Tensions Rise Between China and South Korea after Korean Landings Hit Record Lows

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong  Feb 14, 2017

South Korea’s fisheries output in 2016 hits the lowest level within the past 45 years. And its media blame it on China’s “illegal fishing”. 
 
According to the KMI (Korea Maritime Institute), South Korea’s fisheries output is 923-thousand tons in the coastal and inshore sea areas during 2016. The number has contracted by 12.7% from that of the previous year. And it has been at the lowest level since 1972 when the output was 956,276 tons. The KMI blames China’s “illegal fishing” for the drastic reduction in its marine resources. 
 
The average catch per vessel per day of fishing has declined from 370.3 tons in 1972 to 251.6 tons last year in the inshore areas. And the capacity has contracted from 10.1 tons to 6.2 tons for fishing boats in coastal areas. 
 
Although there has been great improvement in South Korea’s fishing technologies within the past decades, the output has decreased rather than increased. According to the analysis of the KMI, the country’s current fisheries resources are only 62% of those in 1972. ...

Full Story »

California Salmon Groups Join in Project to Release Salmon at Bodega Bay 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Santa Rosa Press Democrat] by Mary Callahan - February 13, 2017

A quarter-million tiny, young salmon, each just a few inches long, are scheduled to be released into Bodega Bay this spring, providing a potential bright spot amid ongoing hardship for the North Coast fishing fleet.

The hatchery-reared fish will be trucked directly to Sonoma County from the state-run Mokelumne River hatchery near Lodi as part of a continuing effort to augment California’s declining Chinook salmon stocks, which took an especially hard hit during the prolonged drought.

Modeled after similar programs elsewhere on the California coast, the operation involves the use of a custom-made net pen to be positioned in the water, dockside, at Spud Point Marina in order to receive the smolts. The pen will provide a place for the young fish to adjust after their tanker ride and to acclimate to salt water before they head toward open water with the outgoing tide a few hours after their arrival.

The key advantage of such an effort is it allows the young fish to bypass the obstacles they would otherwise face getting downstream to the ocean, past unscreened water pumps and other dangers in the Sacramento River/San Joaquin River system, enhancing their chance of surviving to adulthood.

“The delta pumps just eat all those fish coming down, ...

Full Story »

Oregon's Domoic Acid Scare Eases as Coos Bay Reopens Under Evisceration Order 

Oregon agencies reopened a Dungeness crab harvesting area in Coos Bay that was closed last week after a single crab tested for elevated levels of toxic domoic acid. Fishermen and processors said the decision to completely close the area resulted in chaos, especially for those dependent on live buyers. However, a round of tests confirmed domoic that acid levels were below the minimum threshold that would trigger a closure. The closure order was lifted but an evisceration order remains in place. "Considerations for the removal of the evisceration requirement on crab harvested from the biotoxin management area will occur when there are two successive rounds of domoic acid test results all below 30 ppm in viscera," Oregon officials said in a statement.

Four McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco will test a crab sandwich item beginning today. The sandwich is made with snow crab that is blended with seasoned mayonnaise and diced celery. “We wanted to test our own take on the beloved crab sandwich,” Nick Vergis, McDonald’s Co-op President for the Greater Bay Area, said in a statement. “We’re excited for our customers to try it and share their feedback.” The Co-Op said if the product performs will they will launch the item to 250 McDonald's stores in the Bay Area.

In other news, the head of Samherji, Iceland’s largest fishing and fish processing company, has warned that the fishermen’s strike could lead to certain fish products disappearing from the shelves of major UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer. Both M&S and Waitrose are major buyers of Icelandic cod and haddock, much of it flown to the UK within a day or two of being caught. The length of the strike, now at three months and counting, is what is causing major concerns for buyers not just in the UK but also in the East Coast of the US.

Meanwhile, at their Seattle meeting Feb. 1-6, the North Pacific Fishery Management council focused on some of the structures at the core of fisheries management, reviewed catch share programs and looked for areas to tune up in both the halibut IFQ fishery and the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Today's story recaps some of the major themes from the meetings.

Finally, Maine's Department of Natural Resources will propose a lottery system to issue new fishing permits for the valuable elver fishery. Right now, entry into the fishery is closed, but current permit holders are getting older with about a dozen fishermen having exited the fishery in the last two years. “We’re all getting older and eventually we’re going to pass away,” Darrell Young, head of the Maine Elver Fishermen Association. “As people die off or give up or whatever, there will be a drawing.”

Full Story »

Strong Demand and Cultural Preferences for Seafood Driving Up Prices in China for New Year Sales

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [FishFirst] with material from and John Sackton Amy Zhong  - February 7, 2017

A roundup of Chinese seafood markets just prior to the new year shows strong prices and good consumer demand.  Also there is evidence of an increased cultural preference for seafood over more traditional chicken dishes.
 
Our article focuses on specific city reports, and makes some general observations.
 
Shanghai:  overall seafood prices have risen 30% to 40% over the past year in the wet markets.  
 
Dalian:  Although seafood prices are high, they are comparable to their peak ..

Full Story »

German Zverev, Friendly to China, Will Head Russian Fish Industry Group to Push Gov't  on Exports

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 7, 2017

The struggle between those in the Russian government who want to limit exports and sell more Russian fish domestically and those who want to keep their position on the world market selling to China for reprocessing is heating up.

Some fish producers who favor the domestic option, are concerned that German Zverev, the head of the Russian Pollock Association, will now lead the major Russian fishing trade group called the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (ARAFEEE).   
 
Alexander Fomin, the current head of the national group, is leaving prior to the end of his normal term.
 
According to Zverev, being on a new post, he plans to focus on the development of the balanced and reasoned position of the Russian fishing business for the forthcoming talks with the Russian government on the distribution of quotas for 2018 by the Russian government...

Full Story »

ASFMC Wants to Reduce Number of Lobster Traps in Southern New England to Rebuild Stock

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 3, 2017

The Atlantic States Fisheries Marine Commission wants to reduce the number of traps by 25 percent in Southern New England in an attempt to rebuild the region’s dwindling lobster stock.

According to the ASFMC’s plan published in its Draft Addendum XXV, a trap reduction program would be implemented that would “remove a significant portion of allowable traps employed in the lobster and Jonah crab fisheries.”

The ASFMC’s Lobster Board wants to achieve a 20 to 60 percent egg production target in the Southern New England fishery.  An analysis suggests a 25 percent trap reduction could a 13.1 percent increase in egg production...

Full Story »

Oregon Detects One "Hot" Dungeness Crab Near Winchester Bay 

Oregon fishery managers closed part of the state to recreational crabbing Wednesday due to elevated levels of domoic acid, raising concerns about potential changes for the commercial crab fishery. Fishery managers said crab tested from the Newport area were clean and the one "hot" crab off of Winchester Bay might be an anomaly. The recreational closure comes at a time when the commercial fishery off the southern Oregon Coast is booming. A decision about the commercial fishery is expected today.

In other news, Thailand has stepped up prosecutions for human trafficking and hopes its status will be upgraded in the annual U.S. Trafficking in Persons report, the foreign minister said on Thursday. In 2016, Thailand said it investigated 333 cases tied to human trafficking. Of those, Thai officials prosecuted 301 people and convicted 268. In last year's TIP report, Thailand reported investigating 317 cases, prosecuting 242 people, and convicting 241. "We believe that any government would have a good feeling about, or even admire, what we have done," Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said in a news conference. "We certainly are hopeful we'll be viewed favorably."

A notorious anti-science climate skeptic, Kenneth Haapala, is no longer part of the “landing” team overseeing hires at NOAA and the Department of Commerce. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was among a group senators that opposed the Trump Administration's decision to include Haapala in the transition team. "Haapala, who does not hold an advanced degree in any of the natural sciences, has made a career out of denying the science behind climate change and advocating against actions necessary to protect Americans from its worst impacts. NOAA is a technical agency that produces world-class science to help businesses, governments and individuals manage risk and understand the environments where they are operating," said Senator Whitehouse in a letter he sent to President Trump.

Meanwhile, Russian fishery officials confirmed quota increases for its snow (opilio) and bairdi crab fisheries in the Far East for the 2017 fishing season. The combined quota from the North Okhotsk and Primorskiy regions will be about 25,700 tons, which is a 16 percent increase. Bairdi will be 5200 tons mostly in the Kamchatka Kurile sub area. The Russian red king crab quota, meanwhile, is set at 21,672 tons, a 25 percent increase to the quota.

Finally, Spain's Supreme Court overturned severe penalties doled out to key figures working for family-owned fishing company Vidal Armadores for their involvement in a large IUU toothfish fishing ring. The Court said that Spanish national law is insufficient to pin a crime on persons when acts are committed in a place where those acts are not a criminal offense, in this case, that means the High Seas. Both legal experts and toothfish industry participants say this decision sets a dangerous precedent that could spark attempts to resume IUU activity.

Full Story »

Russia Confirms Increases in Snow Crab, Bairdi TACs for 2017

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 2, 2017

Russia's Rosrybolovstvo has announced catch quotas for the Far East for 2017.  They reflect the advice of TiNRO that was previously published.
 
The largest Snow crab fishery will be in North Okhotsk, at around 15,500 tons  The next largest area is Primorskiy, with about 5200 tons.  Overall snow crab should total about 25,700 tons.
 
Bairdi will be 5200 tons mostly in the Kamchatka Kurile sub area.  Another 6000 tons will be deep sea red crab (Angulatus), and some triangle tanner crab.
 
Red king crab will be 21,672 tons.  Overall, the total TAC's for all species are up about 10%

Full Story »

West Coast Whiting Stock Assessment Shows Population Highest Since 1980s 

The draft stock assessment for the Pacific whiting (hake) stock off the West Coast of North America was released yesterday with higher estimates of spawning biomass that last year, which could result in an estimated median catch limit for 2017 of 969,840 tons writes Peggy Parker. The new estimate for the catch is based on the whiting default harvest rule. “The stock is estimated to be at its highest biomass level since the 1980s as a result of es­timated large 2010 and 2014 cohorts. The 2014 cohort has not yet been observed by the survey and only twice by the commercial fishery, thus its absolute size is highly uncertain,” reads the report.

Cooke Aquaculture confirmed that Chris Reuttgers will step down as CEO of the company. Pal Angell-Hansen, will take over as interim Chairman of Icicle on February 13. According to a statement from Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke, Reuttgers elected to resign from the top executive spot at Icicle. “After leading Icicle through the subsequent transition period, Chris made the personal decision to pursue other career opportunities,” Cooke said in a statement. "We appreciate the strong and experienced management team in the Seattle office and know they will provide critical support to Mr. Angell-Hansen and the Cooke management team as we invest in and further develop the business."

In other news, levels of hazardous substances at the proposed relocation site for Japan's Tsukiji Market spiked suddenly according to a January 30 probe by Tokyo officials. Toxic levels of benzene and arsenic were found to exceed national environmental standards by as much as 79 times. Officials have ordered another round of groundwater testing with results expected in early March.

Meanwhile, Fishwise has issued two white papers on seafood traceability and labor abuse in the seafood supply chain. Both papers are comprehensive reviews of how both government and industry is tackling the problems identified. The reports include some recommendation on supply chain best practices, that Fishwise hopes will be adopted by its retail partners. The reports also detail the industry support of many of these initiatives through corporate programs, including those of Thai Union, High Liner, Young's Seafood and the National Fisheries Institute.

Finally, Deviled Crab, an iconic Richmond, Virginia seafood specialty since the late 1970s, will continue to be available thanks to the absorption of the former Dickie’s Seafood and Veterans’ Best operations by Sustainable Sea Products International (SSPI). The new company will be called Sustainable Sea Products International – Mid-Atlantic and will also sell other prepared seafood items in addition to Dickie's existing product lines. “Dickies Seafood, and Dickies deviled crabs are part of Richmond culture and history. That won’t go away,” said SSPI President, Stephen White. “Today’s consumer wants convenient, high quality seafood that is easy to prepare and responsibly sourced. We can deliver that now.”

Full Story »

Alaska Marine Conservation Council Wants to Reconnect Anchorage Residents to Locally Sourced Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 1, 2017

The Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC) wants to reconnect local Anchorage residents with the commercial fishing industry with its Catch of the Season program.

The AMCC is an NGO that advocates for sustainable fishing practices habitat protection, and local stewardship. The organization says supports an ecosystem-based approach to research and marine resource management that incorporates the best science available, experiential knowledge, and the wisdom of tradition...

Full Story »

NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 27, 2017

In a nearly unprecedented display of unanimity, members of the fishing industry representing New England, Pacific, North Pacific, MidAtlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaiian and Southeastern fisheries, as well as the National Fisheries Institute based in Washington, D.C. have rallied to support the appointment of North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Director Chris Oliver as the next Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The push comes at a time when more 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported from overseas, resulting in an astonishing $13 billion seafood trade deficit...

Full Story »

Tumultuous Dungeness Crab Season Leads to Abundant Supply 

A spike in West Coast Dungeness crab deliveries in early January resulted in a glut of landings with nowhere to go reports Susan Chambers. This year's Dungeness season has been far from smooth. Openings were slightly delayed and scattered, China shut down imports of live crabs from the US and fishermen went on strike for better boat prices. But once fishing started, West Coast processors were unable to keep up with a surge of deliveries. Crab was everywhere: stacked in totes, chilled on vessels, stored in live tanks, cooked and frozen. However, reports now suggest the back up is easing after a series of storms slowed fishing last week. This gave processors some time to catch up. Meanwhile, China is now accepting limited live crab shipments.

Based on numbers by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, fishery managers are predicting a much better pink salmon run for 2017 in the major producing regions. The pinks returning to Alaska this summer will be from the 2015 pack, the largest year on record. For Southeast Alaska, the catch forecast calls for 43 million pink salmon, slightly above the 10 year average. The Prince William Sound run could top 60 million pinks this summer according to ADF&G.

Chinese shrimp producers Beihai Wanjing Marine Products and Beihai Evergreen Aquatic Product Science and Technology have passed an official FDA examination against new standards in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These are the first food companies in Beihai of Guangxi to get FDA approval under the FSMA guidelines. Both companies process and sell shrimp to the US and other markets.

In other news, prices for imported frozen salmon from Chile are now at all-time record high levels in January according to Urner Barry. This is a function of more limited farmed production from both Chilean and European suppliers, in addition to Alaska’s historically poor pink salmon run in 2016. Fresh salmon demand has limited the available supply to produce more frozen product. This happened at the same time that Alaska’s pink salmon run was a major bust, which forced buyers to use Chilean salmon to fill their need for frozen product.

Finally, seafood wholesalers in Australia are preparing their customers for a spike in shrimp prices because of the country's ban on imported raw white shrimp. Australia banned imports after the 's first ever case of white spot was confirmed in five shrimp farms in Queensland. Wholesalers say supplies are getting tight and the expectation is for prices to possibly triple in just a few months.

Full Story »

PODCAST: India Carries US Shrimp Imports to Record; Snow Crab Prices Smash Records Before Boston

Full Story »

How Alaskans Forced Snow Crab Prices Above $8.00; This Price Likely to Carry Through to Boston

Reports from Japan say “Bering Sea Opilio Prices are escalating wildly above $8.00” due to the production cutback in Alaska. As a result, wholesale snow crab prices in Japan have smashed all records, and are up about 50 percent over last year. Traders think the $8.00 per pound prices will also be on offer at the Boston Seafood Show. However, they hold out hope for an early opening of the Canadian Gulf season, especially if ice conditions are not severe this year. As far as snow crab buyers go, all eyes are on the opening of the Gulf and Newfoundland seasons writes John Sackton.

Marine Harvest doubled its earnings in 2016 as the operator benefitted from strong global demand for limited inventories of high-priced salmon. “2016 was a great year for Marine Harvest, with both record earnings and cash flow generation. I am very proud of the work all our colleagues have put in to achieve these results,” said Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog.  The world’s top salmon producer also announced plans to expand its market share in North America with a new processing facility and farming sites in Canada. 

In other news, tilapia processing plants have started back to work after the Chinese New Year. But output is still low. The market situation in 2016 has taken a toll on farmers feeding and stocking of tilapia, which has meant stable prices amid small supplies. Meanwhile, white shrimp production in sheds, or roof covered ponds, exceeded expectations in South China, with the result that for the first time in several years there was no major price increase on shrimp during the New Year festival.

Iceland’s Ministry of Fisheries raised its commercial capelin quota to 299,000 metric tons, which is a sharply higher quota compared to last year. Major Iceland fishing company HB Grandi is among the key capelin harvesting companies in the country and said the higher quota should benefit Japan's roe market. "There is strong demand for roe-bearing capelin on the Japanese market and as stocks are low, roe prices are high," said Garðar Svavarsson, head of HB Grandi's pelagics division.

Finally, the votes fell short for a second round of Southeast Alaska salmon seine permits to be retired, or bought back, by a federal loan. The referendum failed by 26 votes among 315 eligible to participate

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How Alaskans Forced Snow Crab Prices Above $8.00; This Price Likely to Carry Through to Boston

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - February 15, 2017

Reports from Japan say “Bering Sea Opilio Prices are escalating wildly above $8.00” due to the production cutback in Alaska.
 
As a result wholesale snow crab prices in Japan have smashed all records, and are up about 50% over last year.
 
As of this week, about 12.6 million pounds has been caught, and 9 million pounds remains to be fished, or about 41% of ...

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ASMI Pushes Back Against British Campaigners Who Object to Alaska Salmon Processed in China

A statement from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Insitute explained why Alaskan salmon sold at grocery stores in the UK is processed in China. This response was prompted after Tesco explained its supply chain practices to customers on social media who wanted to know why its wild Alaskan salmon fillet products carry a Country of Origin label that says China. The grocer's response triggered some blowback about the carbon footprint that is created to produce Alaskan salmon for the UK market. But ASMI defended the industry's practices. "'Salmon... are exported to China because it is the most efficient means of providing a quality product," an ASMI spokesperson said. They added that hand filleting provides a better yield than machine filleting, which "offsets the CO2 footprint and means more of the fish is consumed and utilized."

An updated set of fishing data sheets compiled by United Fishermen of Alaska emphasizes the importance of commercial fishing and seafood processing to many Alaska communities, including Cordova. “Alaska’s commercial fisheries bring millions in fishing and processing revenue and employ may thousands in the major fishing ports every year,” said Jerry McCune, president of UFA. “Alaska’s seafood industry is also a significant contributor for tax revenues and indirect jobs for virtually all Alaska communities." 

In other news, federal fishery officials in Chile enacted algae monitoring protocols in the Gulf of Penas after a toxic strain was detected last week in 149,000 dead salmon smolt. Surveillance is now underway for waters in the Gulf of Penas, which is a major shipping lane that salmon producers use to transport fish by boat. The salmon were infected with the Karenia mikimotoi strain of algae during transport since the boats recirculate the Gulf waters into the salmon holding tanks during the relocation process.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard is still searching for a Seattle-based crab boat with six crew members aboard that apparently sank in rough seas about two miles northwest of St. George Island, Alaska. The 98-foot crab boat the F/V Destination sent out an emergency beacon Saturday morning from an area where 30 mph winds, below-freezing temperatures and snow had whipped up 5- to 8-foot seas. The boat is based in Seattle and two Seattle residents are listed among its ownership group. The Coast Guard said the boat operates out of Sand Point, Alaska.

Finally, Maine-based Bristol Seafood was named the "2016 Vendor of the Year" by major West Coast seafood distributor Santa Monica Seafood. "They have a very high fulfillment rate, little to no quality issues, and they are great at not only providing us market data, but also presenting us several options before we make a strategic purchase," said Roger O’Brien, CEO of Santa Monica Seafood. Bristol also named Ted McDermott as the Regional Sales Manager for its new branch on the West Coast.

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Atlantic States Fishery Managers Adopt Coast-Wide Jonah Crab Claw Harvesting Rule; Set Bycatch Plan

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 10, 2017

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) adopted a coast-wide standard for Jonah crab claw harvesting and set a bycatch quota for Jonah crabs landed by East Coast fishermen.

American Lobster Management, which operates within the ASMFC, approved Board Addendum II to the Jonah Crab Fishery Management Plan (FMP). This addendum establishes a harvest quota for Jonah crab claws. Fishermen can now detach and harvest claws at sea, with a required minimum claw length of 2.75 inches if the volume of claws landed is greater than five gallons. Claw landings less than five gallons do not have to meet the minimum claw length standard. Fishermen also may harvest whole crabs which meet the 4.75-inch minimum carapace width...

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Oregon's Domoic Acid Scare Eases as Coos Bay Reopens Under Evisceration Order

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - February 9, 2017

Oregon agencies have approved lifting a crab harvesting closure of a Central Coast area due to one test of lower domoic acid levels -- but an evisceration order remains in place.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, on Wednesday held a conference call with industry advisers to determine whether to open the area under an evisceration order or to keep it closed completely pending the second round of domoic acid testing. The state originally closed it to all harvesting due to one crab with a domoic acid level above 30 ppm...

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Clearwater Invests $5 Million to Boost Arctic Surf Clam Processing Capacity at Canadian Plants

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 7, 2017

Clearwater Seafoods will invest $5 million to increase the processing capacity of its Arctic surf clam operations in Canada.

The investments in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Grand Bank, Newfoundland will add new jobs, processing capacity and spur continued sustainable growth of the fishery said Ian Smith, CEO of Clearwater.

"Today's investment is good news for local jobs, domestic seafood processing capacity and those looking for the very finest wild-caught surf clams from Atlantic Canada," says Mr. Smith. "With this investment, Clearwater will continue to expand the export market for wild-caught Canadian seafood and build on its global leadership in sustainable seafood excellence."

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Oregon Closes 65-mile Stretch of Coast to Commercial Dungeness Crabbing 

Oregon health and fishery managers took the rare step late Thursday of closing the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in a roughly 65-mile area after the season was already open, due to one crab with viscera that had an elevated level of domoic acid. The state closed recreational crabbing in the area from the North Jetty at Coos Bay north to Heceta Head, north of Florence, on Wednesday. The temporary rule issued Thursday for the commercial industry includes a closure and also evisceration orders, documenting procedures and other instructions for fishermen and processors. "The closure is limited to that portion of the Central Coast," ODFW managers said in a statement. "Areas south of Coos Bay and north of Heceta Head remain open to commercial crabbing."

One cod importer in Boston says the prolonged fishermen's strike in Iceland has forced many US buyers to use suppliers and it could take years for Iceland's cod exporters to regain their market share. “The problem here in the US is that most customers order the same amount on a regular basis. For those customers, the quality of the product matters much, and that’s where Iceland excels beyond all others, but stability is also important," said Eric Kaiser, CEO Aquanor Marketing in Boston. "Since we started importing fish from Iceland in 1992, the supply has always been steady. Now, for the first time, there is a long-term lack of products, and most of the customers have found new suppliers. They import fish from Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, Norway and Canada.”

In other news, the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to China could reach $1 billion in 2017. This would be a record-setting figure for Vietnamese exporters. VASEP says the forecast is based on high demand in China for seafood given the expansion of the middle class. “As Chinese consumption rises, Vietnamese seafood exports are expected to top $1 billion in 2017,” said Truong Dinh Hoe, the chairman of VASEP.

Meanwhile, discussions continue in Alaska on how to patch up the state’s $3 billion budget hole, and again fishermen will feel the cuts from one realm or another. The ADF&G's budget has been slashed 30 percent since 2014. Among the concerns is if enough money will be available to conduct crucial salmon assessments like funding for salmon weirs. “These salmon fishermen can’t survive without the information of these weir counters that the department has seen to eliminate. I almost have to question if this is an attention-getting measure…. a message to the Legislature that you can’t cut our budget because we’re going to cut weirs," said Kodiak Rep. Louise Stutes.

Finally, Louisiana's newly elected Gov. John Bel Edwards told a group of recreational anglers Thursday that he was open to state regulation of red snapper fishing off Louisiana’s shore. “We ought to be able to regulate ourselves when it comes to fishing,” Edwards told the Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana. The Governor's position runs counter to the state's Wildlife Department that said Louisiana could not afford a state-sponsored snapper management program. However, that was the position under Department head Charlie Melancon, who has since resigned from the position.

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Oregon Closes 65-mile Stretch of Coast to Commercial Dungeness Crabbing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - February 3, 2017

Oregon health and fishery managers took the rare step late Thursday of closing the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in a roughly 65-mile area after the season was already open, due to one crab with viscera that had an elevated level of domoic acid.

The state closed recreational crabbing in the area from the North Jetty at Coos Bay north to Heceta Head, north of Florence, on Wednesday...

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4% Cut Recommended to Norton Sound's Winter Season King Crab Quota; Ice Conditions Reportedly Poor

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 2, 2017

Alaska’s winter red king crab season in Norton Sound will start on February 7 and could be operating with a quota slightly below last year’s. The region’s crabbers have also been advised of poor ice conditions.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Crab Planning Team recommended a total commercial Guideline Harvest Limit (GHL) of 496,000 pounds. This was based on a total legal male biomass of 4.32 million pounds.

The resulting winter harvest based on these figures is 39,744 lbs since regulations require 8 percent of the GHL to be allocated to the winter season fishery...

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Oregon Detects One "Hot" Dungeness Crab Near Winchester Bay

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - February 2, 2017

Oregon fishery managers closed part of the state to recreational crabbing Wednesday due to elevated levels of domoic acid, raising concerns about potential changes for the commercial crab fishery.

The state closed the ocean and bays between the north jetty at Coos Bay to Heceta Head, near Florence...

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Texas based Sustainable Sea Products Buys Dickie Poh Seafood, Keeping Dickie's Deviled Crab Line 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 1, 2017

Deviled Crab, an iconic Richmond, Virginia seafood specialty since the late 1970s, will continue to be available to consumers thanks to the absorption of the former Dickie’s Seafood and Veterans’ Best operations by Sustainable Sea Products International (SSPI).  
 
Dickie Poh Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, 2016. This happened after the company had supplied Ukrop's supermarkets with shrimp and other seafood for many years.  Yet with the sale of Ukrops in 2010, Dickie Poh soon lost the account, and revenues fell by 75%.  Since then the company has focused on building out new supply relationships.  They took on a new owner in 2015, but that was not enough to prevent bankruptcy.  Sustainable Sea Products was one of the largest unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy filing.
 
SSPI is the marketing and distribution arm of Texas-based Global Blue Technologie...

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NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin 

Several letters from major US seafood industry associations and companies were sent to the White House that overwhelmingly support the candidacy of NPFMC Director Chris Oliver to be the next Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at NOAA. In total, the letters represented 55 seafood companies, trade associations and conservation groups. Oliver has spent his career in fisheries management, serving for the past 16 years as the Executive Director of the NPFMC. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Oliver also worked served as the Deputy Director and Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan Coordinator. “America’s fisheries generate millions of jobs and contribute billions to the economy, but we could do a lot more,” said Daniel Occhipinti, General Counsel of Oregon-based Pacific Seafood Group and one of the leaders of the coalition. “We believe Chris Oliver has the experience to increase the economic productivity of our fisheries while also promoting conservation and sustainability, which is critical.”

In another step forward for global acceptance of the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI), the Japan Fisheries Association announced that the Japan Marine Ecolabel, known as MEL-Japan, will seek to be benchmarked by the standard. Initially, the Marine Ecolabel Japan Council will revise the current certification standards of the MEL Japan scheme and will announce the new standards in mid-February this year. As of last October, this certification had been granted to a total of 70 Japanese operators (with 11 of them having duplicate certification for fisheries and distribution/processing.)

Demand is high for octopus in the US and other major markets since its versatility in the kitchen makes it one of the emerging items in the seafood industry. "It is extremely popular with millennials who can build their own poke cups or bowls and have fresh ingredients with no waste or leftovers and have tons of variety," said Mike Daniels, VP of Operations and Sales at Seaport. But while demand for octopus in the US is booming, production declines have limited supplies. This is has pushed up prices in all octopus categories in the US for this emerging seafood item.

Meanwhile, Chilean mussel company St. Andrews Seafood intends to double its sales to the Asian market. St. Andrews is already largest mussel seller in the world, so the increase means its planned output will reach 25 thousand tons.

Finally, Russia's Association of Crab Catchers of the Far East says domestic king crab consumption has doubled. Demand for crab in Russia is steadily growing because of the country' improving economic situation, which has given rise to the purchasing power of local consumers. The Association says as much as 25 percent of Russia's crab landings are now making it to the domestic market and that this figure could go higher in the next several years.

Also be sure to check out our latest Seafood News Weekly recap video. This week's show discusses some of our top stories including the canceled Bairdi crab season in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico's poor shrimp harvest. Also featured is a special segment from the National Fisheries Insitute that recaps the Global Seafood Market Conference in San Francisco. 

Have a great weekend.

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Russian Crab Association Says Domestic Consumption of King Crab Has Doubled

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  January 27, 2017

Crab consumption is predicted to grow in Russia in the coming years.
 
The demand for crab is Russia steadily growing, amid the ever improving economic situation in the country and the rise of purchasing power of local consumers, according to recent statements of the Russian Association of Crab Catchers of the Far East.
 
According to Alexander Dyplyakov, head of the Association, if in the past only 10% of total crab catch was supplied to the domestic market, than in recent years this figure has increased by almost 25% and will continue to grow in the coming years.  This suggests that Russian consumption of king crab has doubled.
 
Duplyakov has also added that crab is no longer considered as an exotic and very expensive product among the local population...
 

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Tumultuous Dungeness Crab Season Leads to Abundant Supply

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - January 26, 2017

Calling the recent West Coast Dungeness crab landings a glut is too simple. Crab was everywhere: stacked in totes, chilled on vessels, stored in live tanks, cooked and frozen. Processors couldn't keep up.

Deliveries spiked during nice weather immediately after a price settlement of $2.875 a pound between fishermen and processors in early January, when fishermen from California to Washington went fishing all at once. That was before a series of recent storms kept fishermen in, a de facto release valve that let the abundance of supply move through processing and shipping channels.

"I don't know how many pounds (were landed)," ...

 

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