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


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


May 23 - James Beard Chef Says Maine Should Start Eating its Invasive Green Crab Problem


May 23 - Congressional Trade Committee Hears Testimony About US Seafood Trade Deficits from ASPA and NFI


May 22 - PODCAST: Canada’s Snow Crab Market Stabilizes and China’s Era of High Shrimp Output Fades


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


May 19 - New England Fisheries Council to Consider Deep Sea Coral-Protection Rules


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


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


May 18 - Oregon State Partners with NIOSH to Focus on Maritime Safety


May 17 - Congressional Seafood Names Matthew Berrie as Food Safety Director


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


May 12 - PODCAST: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Lobster Prices Strong Heading into Mother’s Day


May 12 - VIDEO: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Scallop Market in a Tailspin; Lobster Prices Up


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 11 - Slow Lobster Landings in Gulf of St. Lawrence Push up Prices for Mothers Day; Threaten Disruption


May 10 - Thai Union Credits Red Lobster Investment for 19% Hike in Profits with Q1 Sales Steady


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


May 9 - 9th China Shrimp Forum Looks at Asian and Ecuador Production, China to Be Largest Global Importer


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


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


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


May 4 - FDA Seafood Refusals Down 33% in April and 24% YTD, But Shrimp Rejections About the Same


May 2 - Red Lobster Brings in New Crabcake Item as Part of Current Promotion


May 1 - Monday is the day for New Brunswick and PEI Lobster to start in Earnest


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


Apr 26 - Cozy Harbor Wins Two Seafood Excellence Awards at European Seafood Expo for Retail Lobster Products


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


Apr 26 - PODCAST: Gulf Snow Crab Quota Beats Expectation; Whole Salmon Floods US Market; Brussels Show Starts


Apr 26 - Developer Outbids Cook’s Lobster Owner to Buy Historic Maine Island Wharf


Apr 24 - VIDEO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Quota Beats Expectations; European Whole Salmon Floods US


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


Apr 19 - Letters: Laitram Says Steam Cookers Catching on In NB Crab Industry with Quality Advantages


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


Apr 17 - Fortune Fish Expands into E-Commerce Seafood Sales With Deal to Buy Lobster Gram


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


Apr 12 - Tom Mazzetta Calls on Domestic and Imported Seafood Industries to Come Together to Promote US Sales


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


Apr 10 - Seafood Harvesters of America Opposes Modern Fish Act


Apr 7 - VIDEO: Newfoundland Crab and Shrimp Quotas Release; India's Shrimp Sales to Vietnam


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


Apr 5 - Phil Walsh of Alfa Gamma Critical of Plans to Raise Southern New England Lobster Carapace Size


Apr 5 - Seafood Refusals Down in Q1 But Shrimp, Mahi and Filth Still on FDA Radar


Apr 5 - Oregon Senators Urge Administration to Maintain Funding for National Sea Grant Program


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


Apr 3 - Camanchaca Gets MSC Certification for South American Langostino Lobster Fishery


Apr 3 - Canada will Ship Lobsters and Scallops to Europe Duty-Free as Early as May 1st


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


Mar 29 - Gulf Snow Crab May Not be Underway Until Week of April 23rd Due to Ice


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


Mar 27 - Florida's Spiny Lobster Season to Close on April 1


Mar 27 - Maine Lobstermen Figured Out How to Make More Money Off Their Catches


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


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


Mar 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, March 20, 2017


Mar 20 - Mike Tourkistas Steps Down from CEO Role as East Coast Seafoods Hires New CEO


Mar 17 - Whitecap Will Celebrate 50 Years of Luxury Brand Canadian Crab at Boston, Brussels and China Shows


Mar 17 - Lobsters 2nd Largest Volume Import at Zhengzhou Airport as Expanded Air Cargo Capacity Continues


Mar 16 - Australia Quarantines Shellfish in Moreton Bay to Combat Spread of Whitespot Disease


Mar 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday March 15, 2017


Mar 15 - Clearwater to Debut Norway Lobster, Rock Crab and Additional Arctic Surf Clam Products at Boston


Mar 15 - Chinese Press Hints at More Crackdown on Lobster and Shrimp Smuggling Through Vietnam


Mar 13 - PODCAST: Maine Lobster Reaches Record Values and Mahi Comes Off US Restaurant Menus


Mar 10 - VIDEO: Maine’s Lobster Fishery Reaches Record Values; High Priced Mahi Starts to Come off Menus


Mar 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday March 8, 2017


Mar 8 - Clearwater Reports 2016 Results and Positive Outlook for 2017


Mar 7 - Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods Enters Scallop Business in Marketing Deal with Northern Wind


Mar 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday March 6, 2017


Mar 6 - Red Lobster Adds Maine Lobster Items to Limited Time Lunch Menu for Lobsterfest


Mar 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday March 3, 2017


Mar 3 - US, Chinese Demand Sends Maine Lobster Values to Record Levels as Landings Top 130 Million Lbs


Mar 3 - Maine Officials Seek Input from Lobstermen Potentially Affected by Proposed Coral Rules


Feb 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 27, 2017


Feb 24 - MSC Streamlines Assessment in Pilot Program for Echebastar Indian Ocean Skipjack Tuna


Feb 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 21, 2017


Feb 17 - Red Chamber to Allow Federal Observers Aboard its Red Shrimp Boats in Argentina to Meet FIP Goal


Feb 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 16, 2017


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


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


Feb 10 - China Changing from Largest Seafood Exporter to Largest Seafood Importer With Government Support


Feb 8 - Quiznos Brings Back Lobster Subs for Lent


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


Feb 6 - Red Lobster Brings Back Lobsterfest With Four New Combo Entrees


Feb 3 - Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative Scores with Lobster Guacamole for Super Bowl Weekend


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


Jan 31 - Performance Food Group Buys Assets to Orlando-Based Distributor Bar Harbor Seafood


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


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


Jan 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 23, 2017


Jan 23 - Thai Union Secures $694 Million in Investment Funds in Strong Support of Red Lobster Deal


Jan 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday, January 20, 2017


Jan 18 - Most Lays Offs at Mazzetta's Gloucester Subsidiary Were Temp Workers; Finding Jobs for Full Timers


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


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


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


Jan 12 - Bahamian Spiny Lobster Fishery Embarks on MSC Assessment


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 11 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday January 11, 2016


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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 »

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.

Full Story »

Congressional Trade Committee Hears Testimony About Seafood Trade Deficits from ASPA and NFI

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - May 23, 2017

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.” 

The Omnibus Report is a response to an Executive Order from the Trump Administration that told the Department of Commerce and other federal agencies to identify the trading partners with which the U.S. had significant trade deficits with last year...

Full Story »

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.

Full Story »

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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Oregon State Partners with NIOSH to Focus on Maritime Safety

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - May 18, 2017

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Safety improvements are coming to commercial fishing and seafood processing industries.

Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Center for Maritime Safety and Health Studies are teaming up to improve safety and health conditions in the maritime industry in the U.S.

College researchers will work with NIOSH to study and address occupational and safety issues in the maritime industry; ...

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 »

VIDEO: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Scallop Market in a Tailspin; Lobster Prices Up Ahead of Mother’s Day




Full Story »

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."

Full Story »

Thai Union Credits Red Lobster Investment for 19% Hike in Profits with Q1 Sales Steady

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 10, 2017

Thai Union Group said sales contributions from Red Lobster helped offset higher raw material prices for tuna and shrimp as the company posted a rise in net profits for the first quarter.

Thai Union reported a 19.3 percent increase in first-quarter profits. The company’s sales were up marginally, less than one percent.

Sales contributions from Thai Union’s frozen and chilled seafood business were up 5.6 percent over the same period last year, despite continued sluggish demand in Europe. In addition, PetCare and value-added product sales grew 17.4 percent year-over-year due to new product launches and continued market penetration improvement...

Full Story »

9th China Shrimp Forum Looks at Asian and Ecuador Production, China to Be Largest Global Importer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CAPMA] translated by Amy Zhong  May 9, 2017

Representatives from eight main shrimp aquaculture producers gathered in Zhanjiang to exchange ideas about their aquaculture and market situation last month.  This was the 9th China International Shrimp Industry Development Forum in Zhanjiang.

White shrimps are popular aquaculture species worldwide. They not only create great wealth but also large quantities of jobs. And the industry has developed quite well. However, drastic changes have occurred within the past few years thanks to shifts in consumption markets, farming environment, and various diseases.

On April 19, representatives from eight main production countries..

Full Story »

Ocean Choice International Buys Out Minority Partner Landvis

Ocean Choice International (OCI) announced the successful buyout of its minority partner, Landvis Canada Inc. Martin Sullivan (CEO) and Blaine Sullivan (COO), are now the sole owners of the operation they helped co-found. “This transaction is another important positive milestone for the future of OCI as a leading global seafood supplier, and will give us much more flexibility to successfully carry out our growth strategy. This is a very exciting step forward for OCI, and illustrates our long-term commitment to the company, our customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate,” said Martin Sullivan. The Sullivans spent years trying to negotiate a refinancing deal, which eventually turned into a major dispute with Landvis for control of the company.  

On April 27, Japan's bluefin tuna catch reached 4,008 tons, which topped the annual quota for the first time since a quota restriction was introduced. Observers are calling the violation of the catch limit a serious breach of conduct. It will likely result in growing calls from Europe, the United States and other countries for Japan to improve its resource management of Pacific bluefin tuna. “We take this matter seriously,” an official with Japan's Fishery Agency said during the Pacific Bluefin Tuna International Stakeholders Meeting in late April in Tokyo. “We’ll analyze the cause of the problem and take various preventive measures.”

In other news, the Togiak herring roe seine fleet has landed about 70 percent of its 16,060 mt quota in the first seven days of the season. The percentage of the quota caught by this time in the season is running slightly ahead of past years. Roe percentages this year have been reported at 11.1 percent overall, with average size of the fish at 417 grams.

The Marine Stewardship Council and Aquaculture Stewardship Council signed an agreement with major Brazilian meat processing company JBS to sell MSC and ASC certified seafood products at the company’s Swift retail stores in the San Paulo region. This makes Swift the first retailer in Latin America to carry ASC and MSC-certified seafood products. “We are extremely proud to be the first retailer in Latin America to launch an ASC/MSC product line. Sustainability is a priority for JBS and we aim to engage with our customers with marketing materials to inform and promote this initiative,” said Paulo Christofani, the project Manager at JBS.

Finally, some restaurants in PEI are cutting back on featuring lobster on menus because of high prices. Lobster is selling at the wharf for a record $8/pound in Nova Scotia, and Island fishermen are anticipating a similar price on P.E.I. this season.

Have a great weekend.

Full Story »

FDA Seafood Refusals Down 33% in April and 24% YTD, But Shrimp Rejections About the Same

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - May 4, 2017

The number of seafood items refused entry to the US market by the FDA fell in April, which dragged overall rejections for the year. Similar to last month, shrimp and filth remain the top species and reasons for refusals.

The FDA rejected 114 lie of items of seafood in April. The figure was down 33 percent from a year ago.

For the year FDA seafood refusals are down 24 percent. A decline of over 200 line items compared to this time last year...

Full Story »

Monday is the day for New Brunswick and PEI Lobster to start in Earnest

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton May 1, 2017

Monday the first lobsters should hit the dock in PEI, and traps will be set that day in New Brunswick.

For PEI, the decision was made by the DFO to set traps on Saturday. Lobster fishermen in PEI don't fish on Sunday, so Monday will see the first product at the wharf. In New Brunswick, ice and weather are still a little bit of a concern. The DFO postponed the New Brunswick opening by a day due to poor weather forecast for

In New Brunswick, ice and weather are still a little bit of a concern. The DFO postponed the New Brunswick opening by a day due to a poor weather forecast for Sunday and lingering concerns with Ice. But the decision has been made to open the fishery at 6 am Monday. DFO's Luc Légère said some areas

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Cozy Harbor Wins Two Seafood Excellence Awards at European Seafood Expo for Retail Lobster Products

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - April 26, 2017

Cozy Harbor Seafood of Portland, Maine, which has spent years developing an export program to Europe, saw some of its efforts pay off this year wth two Seafood Excellence awards.

Cozy Harbor won the top prize for Best Retail Product.

Cozy Harbor entered three lobster products, a split tail, a whole tail, and lobster meat, which are flash frozen with nitrogen..

Full Story »

PODCAST: Gulf Snow Crab Quota Beats Expectation; Whole Salmon Floods US Market; Brussels Show Starts

Full Story »

James Beard Chef Says Maine Should Start Eating its Invasive Green Crab Problem

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bangor Daily News] by Bill Trotter - May 23, 2017

European green crabs have scurried around coastal waters off Maine since they first hitchhiked here on ships in the 1800s, but only in the past few years have the invasive crustaceans begun to devour the softshell clam industry and decimate delicate eelgrass habitat.

And as harvesters and scientists have scurried to find a solution to the invasion, a number of uses for the crabs have been floated — extracting the meat in China, composting, and even processing the creatures into cat food...

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PODCAST: Canada’s Snow Crab Market Stabilizes and China’s Era of High Shrimp Output Fades

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New England Fisheries Council Propose Deep Sea Coral-Protection Rules

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - May 19, 2017

The New England Fishery Management Council wants to hear from the public about proposed rules for new management areas to protect deep-sea corals in the Gulf of Maine and in the slope/canyon region south of Georges Bank.

At issue are several alternatives under consideration in the Draft Omnibus Deep-Sea Coral Amendment. The Council wants feedback from the public on which alternatives...

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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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Congressional Seafood Names Matthew Berrie as Food Safety Director

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - May 17, 2017

Alexandria, Va. — Congressional Seafood Company has named Matthew Berrie as director of food safety at the company’s new state-of-the-art plant in Jessup, Md.

In his new role, Berrie will be responsible for ensuring strict compliance with Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), Safe Quality Food (SQF) guidelines, and other safety and quality standards. Berrie oversees all of the company’s safety and quality control efforts, which include monthly audits of its warehouse and processing facility, including its ...

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PODCAST: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Lobster Prices Strong Heading into Mother’s Day

In this week’s episode of the Seafood News Podcast show, Urner Barry and Seafoodnews.com Editor Michael Ramsingh talks about High Liner’s deal to buy all of the assets to major shrimp importer Rubicon Resources. Meanwhile, the lobster market is strong as the industry heads into the busy Mother’s Day weekend. Plus, Chris Oliver accepted the top position as the Assistant Administrator of National Marine Fisheries Service. Meanwhile, Atlantic scallop prices were in free fall the first week of May because of a surge in landings. Happy Mother’s Day!

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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...

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Slow Lobster Landings in Gulf of St. Lawrence Push up Prices for Mothers Day; Threaten Disruption

SEAFOODNEWS. COM  by John Sackton  May 11, 2017

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.

Mother’s day is a very traditional peak lobster sales day in Atlantic Canada, but this year, prices are so high that a lobster meal can cost over $100. 

Denis Breau, a fish shop owner in Moncton, said “for us it is terrible.  The world finds it too expensive.  There are a lot of people who are not on board and not buying.”

Currently, prices on the wharf in New Brunswick are around $7.50 CA for market..

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Bumble Bee Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing; Agrees to Pay $25 Million Fine

Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to plead guilty for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish, such as canned and pouched tuna. As part of the deal, Bumble Bee agreed to pay a $25 million criminal fine. Bumble Bee told a federal court in California that it and some co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of shelf-stable tuna fish from as early as the first quarter of 2011 through at least as late as the fourth quarter of 2013. The company’s guilty plea is actually just the latest deal the Department of Justice has cut with the company. Two of Bumble Bee's sales executives plead guilty to their involvement in the scheme last December. Neither the executives nor Bumble Bee specifically named any other co-conspirators involved in the scheme.

Fishermen blame cold waters in major lobster fishing areas 33 and 34 in Nova Scotia for sharply lower lobster landings this spring. Ashton Spinney, co-chair of the Lobster Advisory Committee for Lobster Fishing Area 34, says only half as many lobsters, as usual, are being brought ashore this spring. Reports were similar out of LFA 33. Fishermen are noting that landings this spring are down from record harvest figures last season, but that global demand for lobsters remains quite high.

We are sad to report that James “Jim” Beaton an icon in the Alaska fishing industry, passed away on April 22 at the age of 80. Beaton leaves a legacy that is hard to underestimate. He was a founder of the United Fishermen of Alaska, served on the Board of Fish for a decade, shepherded limited entry legislation during a "civil war" that divided the industry, helped pass the state's private, non-profit hatchery legislation, and developed many fisheries. His guiding principles were to protect the resource first and the fishermen second.

In other news, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved a proposal that would establish a pilot program allowing Louisiana to manage red-snapper stocks in both state and federal waters off its coast for three years starting in 2019. This vote gives Louisiana the go-ahead to flesh out the plan into an actual amendment that would ultimately need to be approved by the advisory panel.

Finally, we run a report from the 9th China International Shrimp Industry Development Forum in Zhanjiang. Several notable industry representatives from the world's major shrimp producers spoke at the conference about future production trends. Some of the key takeaways were ongoing production increases from Ecuador and India. At the same time, China is expected to emerge as the world's largest shrimp importer by the end of this year.

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B.C. Geoducks Prized on World Stage

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Business Vancouver] by Glen Korstrom - May 9, 2017

Paul Leung walks along the seafood counter of a Yata Supermarket in Kowloon and picks up a shrink-wrapped container with a small geoduck that is on sale for 128 Hong Kong dollars ($22.20).

The clam, with its distinctive, long siphon, has been freshly killed. The geoduck (pronounced “gooey duck”) was burrowing in a seabed off the west coast of North America a mere 48 to 72 hours earlier.

It’s a popular delicacy in much of Asia.

“Normally people go to a hotel restaurant to eat geoduck,” said Leung, a merchandise buyer for the eight-store Yata chain, ...

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Indian Shrimp Imports to US Up 20 Million Pounds from 2016; Accounts for 25% of Q1 Volume

The volume of Indian shrimp imported into the US market in the first quarter of the year exceeded 2016 levels by about 20 million pounds. Indian shrimp now represents more than a quarter of all imported volumes in the US market this year. According to shrimp import date from the US Department of Commerce, March imports increased 2.3 percent increase for the month. Overall imports are now down only 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, Indonesian imports were up for the month and for the year. Thailand and Vietnam imports are down sharply for the month while other supplying countries are mixed. Argentine imports remain up. Ecuador’s March imports were for the month but remain generally lower because of higher shipments to Asian and European markets. Ecuador is optimistic that it will sell more than 50 percent of its white shrimp production to Asia.

A former Louisiana official, an Alaskan fishery manager, and a Sea Grant program director are reportedly in the running to head the National Marine Fisheries Service. Robert Barham, Chris Oliver, and LaDon Swann are the three candidates that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to select from. It's unclear when Ross — or the White House — will make that decision. Chris Olver has received overwhelming support from fishing associations in Alaska and across the country. Most recently a group of seven fishing groups from the Gulf of Mexico sent a letter to Ross in support of Oliver's nomination.

In other news, the number of seafood items refused entry to the US market by the FDA fell in April, which dragged overall rejections for the year. Similar to last month, shrimp and filth remain the top species and reasons for refusals. However, shrimp rejections are about the same through the first four months of 2017 compared to last year. Filth is still the top violation but accounts for 40 percent of this year’s refusals versus the 60 percent share of rejections filth was responsible for in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government's announcement yesterday to not list Atlantic bluefin tuna as endangered, despite data on low abundance, low recruitment, and high uncertainty on population health, rests primarily on the socio-economic objective of allowing a fishery for Canada's 600 licensed bluefin tuna fishermen write Peggy Parker. Canada's decision to not list Atlantic bluefin tuna under Endangered Species Act triggers a Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) directive to institute specific management actions aimed at stock recovery. This will be the first time since the inception of DFO’s listing policy that a decision to not list has been made.

Finally, a legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to toughen penalties on lobstermen who fish too many traps or use “sunken trawls,” as part of an industry-supported effort to crack down on lawbreakers. The law would allow DMR’s commissioner to order longer license suspensions for lobstermen who violate the laws on the first offense and, in several cases, permanently revoke the licenses of repeat offenders.

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Red Lobster Brings in New Crab Cake Item as Part of Current Promotion

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - May 2, 2017

Red Lobster announced a new crab cake item, Southern Style Crab Cakes, as part of its Create Your Own Seafood Trio® event.   The current promotion features nine dishes, of which five a new to the chain's menu.  Beginning today and for a limited time, guests can build their perfect plate by choosing from three of nine delicious selections for only $15.99.

This year's Create Your Own Seafood Trio selections include:

Pasta Specialties: NEW! Lobster Cavatappi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, Grilled Chicken Alfredo

Classic Favorites: NEW! Southern-Style Crab Cakes, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp Scampi

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PEI's Spring Lobster Season a Go for Saturday

Saturday is setting day for the spring lobster season in PEI. The PEI Fishermen's Association said some fishermen will probably set and pull their traps that day, especially in harbors that aren't far from shore. Close to 1,000 boats will be in the water for setting day. The lobster season in fishing area 24 and 26A runs until June 29. Traditionally, Island lobster fishermen don't fish on Sunday, so Monday could see big landings from the two-day haul.

Shrimp harvesting is now underway in the Mekong Delta but the industry is already expecting production to fall short of processor needs. The expectation is that the harvest will only meet 40-50 percent of the demand from the processing sector. This is likely going to keep raw material prices high in the domestic market and require Vietnamese processors to import raw material.

In other news, the Russian pollock Association signed a five-year review for recertification of the pollock fishery under the MSC at the recent Seafood Expo in Brussels. The signing was attended by the head of the Russian Fisheries Agency Ilya Shestakov and MSC head Rupert Howes. Earlier, the Pollock association joined in the Association of Sustainable Fisheries, which is the industry stakeholder group within the MSC. The meeting of the ASF this year focused on the problems of updating the MSC standards, and the danger than large numbers of fisheries would fail to meet the new requirements.

Meanwhile, the Alaska House and Senate convened together Thursday to take confirmation votes on Gov. Bill Walker's appointees to lead state departments, boards and commissions — including Walker's recent appointments to the Board of Fish — then left without voting. By postponing the votes, lawmakers leave themselves a point of potential leverage over Walker's administration as they try to negotiate budget and deficit-reduction deals. Similar postponements have taken place before.

Finally, halibut quota share values continue to soar in Alaska’s major fishing areas. The halibut IFQ prices have gone up about $5 a year for the past several years as the fish stocks have appeared to stabilize and increased slightly. Dock prices for halibut also have remained high, in the $6 to $7 per pound range at major ports.

Have a great weekend.

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Indian Shrimp Exporters Say 5% Strengthening of Rupee Hurting Profitability of US Shrimp Sales

Indian shrimp exporters say a stronger rupee against the US dollar is hurting profits on shrimp sales to the US market. At the present exchange rate, Indian exporters are reportedly incurring losses on each consignment they ship. Since the beginning of 2017, the Indian rupee has appreciated more than five percent against the US dollar. “The net realization for each sale has come down. It will proportionately impact the raw material prices. We are incurring losses,” said Tara Patnaik, chairman of Falcon Marine Exports Ltd, a major Indian shrimp and seafood exporter.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order that will instruct Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to engage in a sweeping review of many national monuments created by presidential proclamation since 1996. The review will evaluate more than 100,000 acres to see whether local communities should be given additional input into their scope and restrictions. An estimated 24-40 monuments are likely to come under review. “When you designate a monument, the local community should have a voice,” Zinke said, adding that the economic impact on miners, loggers and fishermen should be taken into account.

In other news, the Gulf of Maine Research Insitute has discontinued its annual forecast of lobster landings. The GMRI said it is dropping the forecast because of criticism from Maine’s lobster industry about the report’s timing and accuracy, and its effect on lobster prices.

Meanwhile, Cozy Harbor Seafood of Portland, Maine, which has spent years developing an export program to Europe, saw some of its efforts pay off this year wth two Seafood Excellence awards reports John Sackton from Brussels. Cozy Harbor entered three lobster products, a split tail, a whole tail, and lobster meat, which are flash frozen with nitrogen and packed in colorful sleeves. The lobster meat pack, which is a tamper-proof cup with a full-color sleeve, won the best retail product. The company also won a special prize for best seafood product line, which included its lobster meat cup, and the two packs of lobster tails.

Finally, an arbitrater for the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Mexico over its dispute of the US’s dolphin-safe tuna labeling laws. The decision allows Mexico to impose $163 million in annual sanctions against the US. This decision ends a seven-year battle between Mexico and the US over dolphin-safe tuna labeling laws. Mexico said the US law created an unfair trade barrier on Mexican-caught canned tuna shipments sent to the US market.

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