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

Feb 16 - 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 - 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 - 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 - News Summary Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jan 13 - News Summary Friday January 13, 2017

Jan 12 - 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 - News Summary Wednesday January 11, 2016

Jan 9 - News Summary Monday January 9, 2017

Jan 6 - Indian Shrimp Imports to US Surge 34% in Nov; Total Shipments on Record Pace at 1.2 Billion Lbs

Jan 5 - FDA Mahi Rejections Highest Since 2012 as Filth Accounts for 65% of All Seafood Refusals in 2016

Jan 4 - News Summary January 4, 2017

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

Jan 3 - News Summary Tuesday January 3, 2017

Jan 3 - Red Lobster Includes Wild Caught Red Shrimp in Limited Time Shrimp Promotion to Start New Year

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 21 - News Summary Wednesday December 21, 2016

Dec 20 - News Summary Tuesday December 20, 2016

Dec 19 - News Summary Monday, December 19, 2016

Dec 19 - Lobster Market Rocked by Slow Fishing in Nova Scotia

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 9 - News Summary Friday, December 9, 2016

Dec 9 - Kim Gorton Testifies on Absurdity of USDA Catfish Regulations at House Hearing

Dec 9 - Lobster Market at Inflection Point as Many Canadian Processors Halt Production This Weekend

Dec 7 - FDA Seafood Refusals Tick Down in November But Filth Keeps 2016 Rejections at Record Pace

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

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

Dec 2 - Don't Give Up on Snow Crab: 2017 Data Says Canadian Volumes Will Come Roaring Back

Dec 1 - Sea Pact Awards Four More Seafood Research Projects with Annual Grant Funding

Nov 30 - Canada's Bay of Fundy Herring Fishery Gets MSC Certified

Nov 29 - News Summary Tuesday November 29, 2016

Nov 29 - Nova Scotia Lobster Season Opens with First Haul Back at Midnight Tonight

Nov 29 - Seafood Sales Reported Excellent Through China's Online Sellers on Singles Day

Nov 28 - News Summary Monday November 28, 2016

Nov 28 - Uncertainty over Prices As SW Nova Scotia Lobster Season Opens This Week

Nov 25 - Urner Barry and Seafood News Closed November 24 and 25 for Thanksgiving

Nov 24 - Urner Barry and Seafood News Closed November 24 and 25 for Thanksgiving

Nov 23 - News Summary Wednesday November 23, 2016

Nov 23 - Urner Barry and Seafood News Closed November 24 and 25 for Thanksgiving

Nov 22 - Lobster Industry Supports Kaikoura Fishing Closures

Nov 21 - PODCAST: 26-30 Ct. Price Spreads Between Asian, Latin American Shrimp; Dungeness Season Starts

Nov 21 - JD and Alibaba Battle Over Fresh Seafood on Singles Day in China; JD Inks Deal with Canada

Nov 18 - News Summary Friday November 18, 2016

Nov 17 - News Summary Thursday November 17, 2016

Nov 16 - News Summary Wednesday November 16, 2016

Nov 15 - Red Lobster Launches Wild Caught Red Shrimp Promotion

Nov 15 - Canada and Chile Make Big Effort at Qingdao Fisheries and SFd Expo; Seek Chinese Investment as Well

Nov 14 - News Summary Monday November 14, 2016

Nov 14 - Maritime Fish Harvesters Cry Foul at Evidence Foreign Buyers Seeking Lobster Licenses in Nova Scotia

Nov 10 - News Summary Thursday November 10, 2016

Nov 10 - Clearwater Notes Good Global Demand for Premium Priced Seafood With Sales Up 30% in 2016

Nov 10 - Major New Brunswick Lobster Processors Warn of Possible Shortage of Tails this Winter

Nov 9 - Urner Barry Launches New Seafood Price Current With Additional Quotations, Interactive Features

Nov 7 - Thai Union Posts $1 Billion in Q3 Sales; Second Straight Record Quarter

Nov 4 - FDA Seafood Refusals Climb 20% in October

Nov 4 - The Bycatch That Gives You a Haddock

Nov 3 - News Summary Thursday November 3, 2016

Nov 3 - China's Online Seafood Dealer Gfresh Lands Major Investment Deal with E-Commerce Titan Alibaba

Nov 1 - Red Lobster Offering Free Seafood Appetizers to US Military Members on Veterans Day

Oct 31 - Free Trade Deal Helps Australia Triple its Live Rock Lobster Exports to China

Oct 27 - Atlantic States Commission Hikes Menhaden Quota Over 6% for 2017 Season

Oct 26 - JD Fresh Claims Revolutionary Delivery of Frozen Seafood to Interior China with Zhoushan Deal

Oct 26 - Wellhead Disaster Averted by 12 Meters in Shell Offshore Drilling Incident on Scotian Shelf

Oct 20 - News Summary Thursday October 20, 2016

Oct 19 - PODCAST: Seafood News Reboots Show With Update on EU Live Lobster Ban; Sysco Seafood Awards; Imports

Oct 18 - News Summary Tuesday October 18, 2016

Oct 17 - News Summary Monday October 17, 2016

Oct 17 - Good Lobster Supplies Spur Competition in China, With Walmart Prices for Lobster Lower Than Online

Oct 17 - Shellfish Harvested from RI Waters Test Negative for Toxins

Oct 13 - Marine Stewardship Council Annual Report Shows Near Record Revenue; Jump in Revenue per SKU

Oct 12 - News Summary Wednesday October 12, 2016

Oct 12 - PEI Fall Lobster Season Ends on a High Note

Oct 10 - News Summary Monday, October 10, 2016

Oct 10 - Thai Union Makes $575 Million Investment to purchase up to 49% of Red Lobster

Oct 10 - University of Tasmania Announces Breakthrough in Commercial Aquaculture of Ornatus Lobster spp,

Oct 7 - News Summary Friday October 7, 2016

Oct 6 - News Summary Thursday October 6, 2016

Oct 6 - FDA Seafood Refusals Dip to Monthly Low in Sept But Overall Rejections Continue to Outpace 2015

Oct 6 - Despite Claims of Ecommerce Platforms in China, Many Problems with Seafood Delivery Not Solved

Oct 5 - P.F. Chang's Adds Shrimp and Lobster Options to Fall Season Menu

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 17, 2017

Major US seafood importer, processor and distributor Red Chamber said it will participate with Argentina’s national fisheries research institute INIDEP in a fishery observer program for the inshore Patagonian pink shrimp fishery.

Argentina’s Patagonian pink shrimp are also known as red shrimp or Pleoticus muelleri. They are a wild-caught coldwater shrimp.

The fishery is harvested in two distinct sectors: inshore and offshore. The inshore fishery is comprised of day boats that catch shrimp for four to five hours at a time. Inshore fishing occurs between November and April. 

Full Story »

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 ...

Full Story »

China Changing from Largest Seafood Exporter to Largest Seafood Importer With Government Support

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong  February 10, 2017

China is changing from the largest global seafood exporter to the largest global seafood importer with full government support.   This has significant implication for both fishing policy, where the government plans to restrict harvests, and for tariff policy, where the government has already reduced some seafood import tariffs and is likely to take further action in this area.
One government action is to take 20,000 fishing vessels out of commission.
China’s marine resources have been in decline with environmental pollution, overfishing, and at sea transportation and transshipment. 
The Ministry of Agriculture has released two notices to improve the situation. The first one is about further strengthening the control of China’s fishing boats to better manage marine resources. The second one is about the adaptation of China’s fishing closed fishing season rules.
The country’s fishing volume of marine resources are going to contract, according to these notices. The projected decline will be to around 10 million tons in 2020. This is 3.09 million tons lower compared with the volume of 2015. ...



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 »

Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative Scores with Lobster Guacamole for Super Bowl Weekend

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - February 3, 2017

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has a hit campaign with its earned media in Parade Magazine Online for lobster Guacamole.
They say "Whether you’re cheering on the New England Patriots or are an Atlanta Falcons fan who just loves lobster, this Maine Lobster Guacamole recipe from Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative will make you a Super Bowl MVP."
The positioning is really clever.  Adding some lobster meat to Guacamole..

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 31, 2017

Performance Food Group (PFG) has purchased the assets to major Florida-based seafood distributor Bar Harbor Seafood. The deal solidifies PFG’s seafood supply chain in the Florida foodservice market.

According to the deal, Bar Harbor’s current president and founder Jeff Hazell will retain his title. The company will also keep its name and will be roped into PFG’s Specialty Company cluster.  Hazell will report to PFG’s Executive Vice President of Operations Jim Hope.

“Bar Seafood is a highly regarded organization dedicated to delivering a full range of live, fresh and frozen seafood items with a reputation for high-quality products and great service,” said Hope...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Amy Zhong and John Sackton 

Competition in e-commerce is heating up in China.  One innovative company surprised a customer by sending a Michelin chef and two waitresses to her banquet, along with her food.
Huang, a Guangzhou customer ordered a large menu on the Preliminary Eve, instead of her traditional Cantonese pun choi cuisine.
She ordered  Chilean king crabs, fish from New Zealand, live Canadian lobsters, clams, Vietnamese tiger prawns, plaice from Iceland, Russian codfish and live shame-faced crabs from France. Her commodities have arrived within 24 hours. And along with the seafood comes a Michelin-starred chef and two foreign waitresses...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 23, 2017

Thai Union Public Group secured $694 million in funding in a sign of strong investor and banking sector support of its recent investment in Red Lobster.

The company said it successfully completed a book building for 12 million Thai Baht (US$339 million) in long term funding. Thai Union said it was the largest number of debentures ever issued by the compabny. The issuance included 3 year, 5 year, 7 year and 10 year bonds. 

Bangkok Bank PCL, Bank of Ayudhya PCL, and Siam Commercial Bank PCL were Lead Managers...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 18, 2017

The Mazzetta Company said it will find jobs for full time staff that were laid off and will eventually bring back its temporary workforce that were also let go from its Gloucester Seafood Processing (GSP) subsidiary.

The Illinois-based seafood importer and distributor issued the statement in response to a local news article that confirmed ...

Full Story »

Fortune Fish Int'l Makes Five of its Executive Managers Partners in the Company 

Fortune International, the parent company to Fortune Fish & Gourmet, has made five members of its executive management team partners and co-owners of the company. Fortune’s Danielle Charette, Dominick Gattuso, Wally Lezniak, Mark Palicki and Suad Tanovic are now partners and co-owners of the Illinois-based seafood distributor. “These new partnerships recognize the company’s most senior management team and acknowledge their hard-work and commitment,” said Sean J. O’Scannlain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortune Fish. “Each of these individuals brings unique talents to our business and I look forward to their sustained strong leadership as we continue to grow in the years ahead”.

Lobster fishermen in Prince Edward Island want to slow down the scheduled increases to minimum carapace sizes and have those increases applied to the spring fishery. The Prince County Fishermen's Association proposed a motion that if LFA 25 is required to go up in carapace length, then the spring districts 24 and 26A should have to follow suit. The PCFA is also working with a group of fishermen in New Brunswick who want to slow down the increases in LFA 25.

In other news, a Newfoundland crab fishermen withdrew an appeal challenging a decision by Canada's federal fishery managers to take away his commercial fishing license. The fisherman, Kirby Elson, had refused to obey a DFO requirement that he exit a so-called "controlling agreement" with two Newfoundland and Labrador fish processors. Federal fishery authorities said the agreement violated the owner-operator policy that prevents individuals or corporations other than the license holder to control the use of the license.

Meanwhile, Australian investigators believe imported bait shrimp from China is behind the first ever white spot outbreak to reach the country. The bait shrimp were tied to Chinese supplier Sino. AUstrlaian officials suspended the import license for Sino last week. Additionally, some seafood importers were found guilty of deliberately tampering with what are supposed to be random samples of imported shrimp. The guilty parties could be forced to pay $3 million to clean up the outbreak at the southeast Queensland farm sites where the white spot was detected.

Finally, researchers at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University published a study that found mislabeled seafood at sushi restaurants in Los Angeles. The study suggests that the mislabeling was intentional even though the investigation didn't turn up a shred of hard evidence to support the claim. "It’s irresponsible to publicly opine about fraud happening at the supplier level when this particular research provides no evidence to demonstrate that,” said the National Fisheries Insitute's Lynsee Fowler in response to the study's claims.

Urner Barry and Seafood News will be traveling to San Francisco for the NFI's Global Seafood Market Conference. We look forward to catching up with all of those in attendance throughout the week. Safe travels to everybody and have a great weekend.


Full Story »

Bahamian Spiny Lobster Fishery Embarks on MSC Assessment

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - January 12, 2017

The Bahamian spiny lobster fishery has stepped forward for assessment to the Marine Stewardship Council’s  global standard for sustainable fishing. Working with scientists, the fishing industry and conservation groups, MSC has developed the world’s most credible and recognized standard for environmentally sustainable wild-caught seafood.

Since 2009, the World Wildlife Fund, together with Bahamas Marine Exporters Association, The Bahamas Department of Marine Resources and The Nature Conservancy, have been driving improvements to the fishery. Through a Fishery Improvement Project addressing governance, fishing practices, and environmental impacts, their efforts have been aimed at helping the fishery meet the MSC standard.

"We welcome the Bahamian spiny lobster fishery’s decision to enter MSC assessment ...

Full Story »

China Cuts Tariff Rates on Large Range of Imported Seafood

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM   by John Sackton and Amy Zhong  January 11, 2016

China's Ministry of Finance announced a significant range of tariff reductions on seafood products, to take effect January 1, 2017.
The move is part of a Chinese government policy to normalize seafood imports in recognition that imported seafood has become popular with domestic consumers.  More moves that normalize seafood imports are likely to follow.
The principal beneficiaries of the tariff reduction will be companies in Russia, Canada, the US and Norway.
The major reductions include H&G frozen cod and pollock.  For cod, the tariff will fall from 10% to 2%.
For Pollock, from 10% to 5%....

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

The National Fisheries Institute, six major seafood companies, and two West Coast Associations sued the Obama Administration over the final US Rule regarding seafood import regulations in federal district court on Friday, Jan 6th. The NFI's lawsuit claims that the new rule is not based on a risk assessment with data about seafood fraud, but without evidence will impose enormous and unjustified costs on the American public and the seafood industry. NFI President John Connelly said NOAA's proposed rule “grossly underestimates the cost and impact of the regulation on those companies doing the right thing, and will not solve the problem. NOAA’s fundamental shift from targeted investigation of the suspected guilty to arbitrary and massive data collection from the innocent creates an enormous economic burden on American companies.”

Oregon Dungeness crabbers and processors agreed Friday afternoon to a compromise ex-vessel price of $2.875 per pound. This will enable Oregon fishermen to get back on the water or to set their gear for the first time. The settlement came out of the fifth round of state-supervised price talks between fishermen and processors since November. This series was one of the longest and toughest series of negotiations, lasting seven days in total reports Susan Chambers.

In other news, live lobster prices continue to rise with inventories limited because of limited production out of Nova Scotia coupled with high demand ahead of the Chinese New Year. Bad weather in Nova Scotia's highly productive fishing areas 33 and 34 has sharply reduced the number of days that the province's fishermen have been able to operate.

Meanwhile, former state Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham denied allegations that he and other members of the department misspent and were fiscally irresponsible with the BP oil spill money the state was paid during the crisis. Barham's comments were in response to accusations made by Charlie Melancon, the former head of Wildlife and Fisheries who recently resigned from the position. “It was a crisis like no other, and there was no manual on how to deal with the BP spill,” Barham said. “We were concerned on how to recapture market share (for Louisiana seafood) we were losing by the hour.”

Finally, Alaska's House Special Committee on Fisheries will focus on sustainability and how the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and others are contributing to it. Specifically, the committee will focus on how money is being spent in the state agency and will determine what ongoing studies and more are contributing to sustainability. “Fisheries is the largest private employer in the state, a huge resource for the state of Alaska,” said Committee Chair Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak. “I don’t think people realize the impact, and they need to understand that, whether you live in Fairbanks, Kodiak or wherever. There isn’t a community in the state that fisheries doesn’t somehow touch."

Full Story »

FDA Mahi Rejections Highest Since 2012 as Filth Accounts for 65% of All Seafood Refusals in 2016

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 5, 2017

Mahi and filth were the key drivers in the FDA’s overall increase in seafood rejection rates in 2016, which finished the year up 10 percent compared to the 2015 total.

The FDA rejected 141 line items of seafood in December, that figure was up 64 percent from the November monthly total but was down 34 percent compared to last December.

Seafood rejections for the year reached 1,909 line items in 2016, representing a 10 percent increase to refusals compared to the year prior...

Full Story »

PODCAST: West Coast's Dungeness Fishermen Go on Strike

Full Story »

Nova Scotia Tests Project with Chinese Online Retailer Tmall  to Export Only Premium Quality Lobsters

Three Nova Scotia lobsters exporters and Chinese online retailer Tmall agreed to participate in a pilot project that will ensure Chinese consumers are getting premium lobsters. During this project, which is to run from May through to September, three Nova Scotia companies will export 300,000 live lobsters to be sold through Tmall. Under the deal inked by Nova Scotia and Tmall, which is part of Alibaba's e-commerce business, lobster exporters will submit to a quality-control initiative. This will include a quality standards manual, a training program and regular audits at participating export plants in Nova Scotia and the receiver sites in China. “The online market in China is a huge, huge business opportunity and we’re seeing this as an opportunity to reach new customers," said Robert MacDonald, Gidney’s president and general manager.

Alaskan cod and pollock fishing and processing in Adak has been put on hold for the second straight year. According to Adak city officials, fishermen do not want to catch pollock because of low prices. Meanwhile, the city's processing plant said it would likely only process pollock if it could also start receiving cod deliveries. However, cod fishermen are currently suing to stop a 2015 NPFMC decision that requires them to deliver tons of their harvest to Adak.

In other news, Hawaii lawmakers advanced a bill that requires more oversight of the commercial fishing industry after an Associated Press investigation found labor abuse aboard US owned and operated commercial tuna longliners. The bill would require fishing boat owners who want a commercial license in Hawaii to provide state officials with a copy of employment contracts held with every fisherman on board before the license is granted. The bill passed the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs Tuesday and it goes next to the Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament has approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. The deal, which has been seven years in the making, will eliminate almost all trade tariffs between the European Union and Canada. Economists say tariffs on Canada's seafood exports to the EU are likely to be phased out over the next three to seven years under CETA.

Finally, Eastern Pacific fisheries managers finally reached an agreement last week on fishing for Pacific bigeye and yellowfin tunas. It took more than seven months and the measures are not without criticism, but the regulations align with other international management and acknowledge excessive fishing effort may harm the tuna resources.

Full Story »

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...

Full Story »

Quiznos Brings Back Lobster Subs for Lent

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 8, 2017

Quiznos is once again featuring North American lobster on its menu for a limited time as part of its annual Lenten season promotion.

The sandwich chain is bringing back three menu items that make use of American Lobster: a Lobster & Seafood Scampi Bake; Lobster & Seafood Salad Sub; Lobster & Seafood Fresh Salad.

"We know guests look forward to our lobster menu items each year," said Quiznos CEO, Susan Lintonsmith. "And as an industry leader, we continue to innovate our premium seafood selection. We're excited to offer our flavor-seeking fans an indulgent, new recipe that is a great complement to our existing lobster classics ­– a warm, garlic-based Lobster & Seafood Scampi Bake."

Full Story »

Red Lobster Brings Back Lobsterfest With Four New Combo Entrees

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 6, 2017

Red Lobster announced the return of its annual Lobsterfest promotion with several new menu options that pair lobster with other seafood items.

This year’s promotion is featuring a Lobster Mix and Match selection that lets customers choose any two lobster tails from four choices to create their own entrée – Creamy Shrimp-Topped Lobster Tail, Seafood-Stuffed Lobster Tail, Steamed Maine Lobster Tail, or Grilled Maine Lobster Tail.

The Mix and Match offer is just one of four entrées Red Lobster has rolled out for its annual Losterfest promotion. This year the national chain is pairing its lobster with other seafood and protein options. The entrée include: Wood-Grilled Lobster and Red Shrimp; Stuffed Tilapia with Langostino Lobster and its Lobsterfest® Surf & Turf...

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 »

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 »

Alaska's 2017 Copper River Salmon Run Forecast Would Tie 2016 as Lowest in Decades

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game released a Copper River forecast on Friday for 2017 that anticipates a king salmon run that would tie 2016 as the smallest since 1980. The ADFG's 2017 chinook salmon total run forecast of 29,000 is about 34,000 less than the 18-year average total run size of 63,000. The forecast for the king salmon return is barely more than the minimum escapement goal of 24,000. After accounting for sport and subsistence harvest, that would allow for a commercial harvest of just 3,500 of the species. Additionally, ADFG forecasts 1.5 million sockeye to return to Copper River, the third-lowest in the last 20 years.

John Sackton writes why the Alaska Board of Fisheries' decision to deny a well-researched plan for a small Bairdi fishery this year put out of date science over the interests of the “economy and well-being” of the people of the state. The reason the Bairdi was closed was not for lack of a surplus of harvestable males. Instead, it was due to the poor survey results for females even though there were real issues with the conclusion that female abundance was below the target threshold Sackton writes. "At a time where the financial future of the state and many communities are on the line, to forgo that revenue due to poor science or the inability to adjust models to current data is simply not an acceptable outcome," Sackton says in today's story.

In other news, UK restaurant chain Burger and Lobster may be in serious financial trouble because of the high cost of lobster meat. The restaurant chain, which opened a 170 seat location in Manchester said it is struggling to pay back debts after racking up a pre-tax loss of more than £7m (US$8.7 million), according to accounts filed with Companies House. The chain has already sold off its loss-making 300-seat Cardiff site. Burger and Lobster has also ditched its £20 ($24.95) fixed price policy for its burgers, lobsters and lobster rolls last year, dropping burgers to £16 ($19.96) and pricing lobster dishes between £19 ($23.70) and £54 ($67.36).

Meanwhile, biologists say Nova Scotia's haddock biomass in the Bay of Fundy and Georges Bank are potentially massive. A population assessment for the southern Scotian Shelf and Bay of Fundy estimates that 264 million haddock were hatched there in 2013 and survived their first year. This means the population of adult haddock in those waters could be around 100,00 metric tons this year and in 2018. On Georges Bank, the population is predicted to be even bigger, with Canadian and American scientists estimating the 2013 hatch at 1.3 billion fish. "We're seeing signs of it now, but we would expect to see the fish at the larger, more commercially harvestable sizes in a couple of years," said Alain d'Entremont, chief operating officer at O'Neil Fisheries in Digby.

Finally, a Massachusetts District Court judge granted a motion for a delay in the trial for both Carlos Rafael and Antonio Freitas. Rafael's attorney asked for a 5 week continuance based on another upcoming trial, and also on possible talks with the US attorney to settle the case. Rafael is accused of falsifying fish landing information, and selling fish not counted against his quota allocation, in violation of numerous federal fisheries statutes. The tentative date for a trial for Rafael, if it comes to pass, would be after March 20th.

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News Summary January 20, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand

North American pollock surimi prices record their first drop in 3 years and 9 months in Japan thanks to robust landings in Alaska. Prices of pollock surimi--which serves as materials for fish paste products such as kamaboko and chikuwa in Japan--are turning lower. The downturn was triggered by a drastic increase in pollock catch in North America, which diluted the sense of short supply around the globe. Another cause was the decrease in the consumption of pollock fillets in Europe. While surimi product makers can expect the effects of cost reduction, it is uncertain whether the raw material price fall directly leads to retail price cuts as producers had suffered deteriorating profit due to high prices during the preceding years.

In other news, Northern Dynasty Minerals has more than tripled since the U.S. election to approach a four-year high this week amid speculation the incoming administration will allow the explorer’s long-stalled Pebble project in Alaska to move ahead. Last week, the Vancouver-based company drummed up C$43 million ($32.4 million) in a secondary share offering to investors eager for a stake in 

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News Summary January 17, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Russia's Barents Sea Snow Crab Production Could Reach 27,000 Metric Tons Say Fishery Officials

Today’s top headline reports that Russia plans to increase the volume of catch of snow crab in the Barents Sea in the coming years, according to an official spokesman of Ilya Shestakov, head of the Russian Rosrybolovstvo. According to Konstantin Sokolov, Head of the Laboratory of Coastal Research of the Russian Knipovich Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography, in recent years the demand for snow crab in Russia has significantly ...

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American Seafoods Names Corporate Food Industry Exec Mikel Durham CEO; Bodal to Stay on as Chairman 

The Board of Directors for American Seafoods Group named Mikel Durham the next CEO of the company, she will replace current CEO Bernt Bodal on January 16. Bodal, who has served as American’s CEO since 2000, will continue as Chairman of the company. Durham is a veteran of the corporate food industry. She is an independent Board member of Tyson Foods and has previously worked for PepsiCo, Burger King, Cadbury Schweppes, Guinness Venture Markets, CSM Bakery Solutions and Yum! Brands. “American Seafoods is a leader in supplying high-quality, sustainably harvested, and healthy wild-caught seafood products throughout the world,” said Durham. “I’m excited for the opportunity to work with this dynamic organization to further realize its growth objectives.”

Sales of high-end imported seafood including items such as lobster, king crab, salmon, Dungeness crabs and Argentinean shrimp appear to be surging in China prior to the Chinese New Year on January 28th. For lobsters, unlike 2016 when New Year's sales were barely over the prior year, all indications are that sales are up substantially. Many Chinese companies have started their promotion activities on e-commerce platforms, which have emerged as key sales and distribution channel for fresh seafood to Chinese consumers.

In other news, The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) has signed a cooperative agreement with the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance (CAPPMA) to open an office in Shanghai. Jane Bi, the GAA’s Asia business development director, will relocate to China to run the office. The GAA said the partnership represents the next step in its efforts to advance responsible aquaculture in China through the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program. "My job is to assist both the marketplace and industry with the resources and information that they require to advance that mission. Being from China, I cannot feel more excited and honored to be leading our efforts there,” said Bi.

Meanwhile, the last remaining commercial Dungeness crab fishery closure area on the California coast, between Ten Mile River and Shelter Cove, will open on Jan. 16. Following this opening, areas in all three states -- Washington, Oregon and California -- have domoic acid test results below the action level and are open to fishing. However, the season has not progressed cleanly, with live export problems to China and a fishermen's strike that lasted more than a week.

Finally, Urner Barry is bringing back its popular Seafood Import Workshop series (SIW). The first edition of the re-launch will be held on February 28, 2017 at Urner Barry’s news headquarters in Toms River, New Jersey. This February’s workshop will feature an expert panel of speakers including Scott Zimmerman, founder and CEO of Safe Quality Seafood Associates; Jarrod Goldfeder, Jon Freed and Corey Norton of Trade Pacific Law PLLC; Michael Lieberman of Foa & Son and Jonathan Lieberman of New York Customs Brokers.

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


SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Finance East]  Translated by Amy Zhong with Additional Material from John Sackton    January 12, 2016

Sales of High end imported seafood including items such as lobster, king crab, salmon, Dungeness crabs and Argentinean shrimp appear to be surging in China prior to the Chinese New Year on January 28th.
For lobsters, unlike 2016 when New Year's sales were barely over the prior year, all indications are that sales are up substantially, if the supply has materialized.
Chinese consumers have started their holiday shopping in preparation for the coming Chinese New Year. High-end seafood has surged as a popular choice with the improvement of household incomes. Such high-end seafood as king crabs and lobsters are becoming widely received among consumers. 
It is about half a month before the Chinese New Year. But Chen has decided to skip her lunch break and select seafood in an aquatic market..

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Marine Harvest Will Resume Salmon Exports to China With Chinese, Norwegian Trade Relations Restored 

Marine Harvest said it will resume shipping salmon to the Chinese market this year now that political tensions between Norway and China have eased. Marine Harvest’s Chief Executive Alf Helge Aarskog said he expects shipments to resume to the Chinese market sometime in the first or second quarter this year. In mid-December, diplomatic relations between Norway and China were normalized when the two countries signed a joint statement in Beijing. This eased tensions between the countries that dated back to 2010 when Norway gave a Nobel Prize to a Chinese dissident. Given the agreement signed in December and Marine Harvest’s decision to resume shipments, it’s possible for China’s market share for Norwegian salmon increase in 2017.

The first chartered flight carrying live North American lobsters from Halifax to China landed at the Zhengzhou Xinzheng Int'l Airport in Zhengzhou, the capital of the central province of Henan. It took the plane 19 hours to fly its cargo of about 74 metric tons of live lobster to China. Two more chartered flights with lobsters are expected to land in China before the Chinese New Year on January 27.

Meanwhile, China's Ministry of Finance announced a significant range of tariff reductions on seafood products, to take effect January 1, 2017. The principal beneficiaries of the tariff reduction will be companies in Russia, Canada, the US and Norway. The major reductions include H&G frozen cod and pollock. Our story includes a full table of the tariff reductions.

In other news, A group of US senators led by Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski reintroduced the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, a bill that if passed will require increased local input and state approval before national monuments can be designated on federal lands and waters. The law will require one of three points of criteria be met before any national monument can be declared on public land or within waters of the exclusive economic zone. "At this point, we have no choice but to reform the Antiquities Act to ensure that the people being impacted by these designations are heard and respected," Murkowski said.

Finally, a report says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency expedited its approval of Aquabounty's genetically modified salmon eggs for export. Emails obtained by the CBC News said Aquabounty wanted inspectors to complete their testing since the eggs could start hatching and would be useless to customers. CFIA's chief regional inspector in Atlantic Canada, David Cameron said it is not unusual for companies to ask inspectors to reprioritize their testing schedules for export permits so they can meet deadlines.

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Indian Shrimp Imports to US Surge 34% in Nov; Total Shipments on Record Pace at 1.2 Billion Lbs

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 6, 2017

Monthly shrimp imports from India surged again to the US market in November, which helped push total shrimp shipments for the year past the 1.2 billion pound mark.

Shrimp imports from India were up 34.5 percent in November, a 10 million pound increase compared to monthly figures in 2015. India’s total imports to the US market for the year are now up nearly 13 percent or 35 million pounds compared to the same time last year.

India is now far and away the top shrimp supplier to the US market in 2016. India now leads Indonesia-- the second best US shrimp supplier--by a 70 million pound margin for the year...


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Norway's Seafood Exports Surged 23 Percent to Record High in 2016 

The value of Norway's seafood exports set an all-time record in 2016, eclipsing $10 billion for the year. Norway's Seafood Export Council said the record was driven by lower salmon supply, rising demand and a weak currency. Additionally, the average price Norwegian salmon was up 40 percent in 2016 compared to year ago levels, which made up the bulk of the overall annual increase to Norway's seafood export values.

Dungeness crabbers on the West Coast are still tied up over a fight for higher dock prices with the region's processors. However, some commercial crabbers are getting anxious since tribal fleets in Westport, WA are still fishing and selling crabs to private and tribal processors. “I’d hate to be a Westport fisherman — watching, watching, see if someone’s going to be a scab or not, if someone’s going to get one over on you,” said Bernie Lindley, a Brookings fisherman.

In other news, Alaska's pollock trawlers will start the season on January 20th in the Bering Sea. Alaska pollock is the nation’s largest fishery with nearly three billion pounds coming out of the Bering Sea and more than 420 million pounds from the Gulf of Alaska.

Meanwhile, officials with India's seafood export association MPEDA are trying to hold a meeting with South African agricultural representatives to discuss recent rejections of Indian shrimp shipments after they allegedly tested positive for containing cholera-causing bacteria. MPEDA is concerned that a delay in securing a meeting with South African officials to review their seafood testing procedures is damaging India's ability to carve out a market for its farmed shrimp in South Africa, which is viewed as an emerging market for the product.

Finally, Russia says it should be able to reduce its fish exports by 20 percent this year once it opens up a large scale fish processing plant in the Crimea region. The new complex will have the capacity to process up to 75,000 metric tons of fish and seafood per year and will be built by the Lazurny Okean Group of Companies. The complex is expected to handle fish harvested from the Russian Black Sea

We've published our first Podcast of the New Year. Our latest show discusses the Dungeness crab fishing strike and also reports Russia's highest salmon harvest in two decades; Canada's lobster exports ahead of the Chinese New Year and Red Lobster featuring Wild Caught Red Shrimp in its Big Shrimp Festival Promotion. You can downloaded or stream our podcasts to your iPhone or Andriod mobile devices through iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud

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Canadian Exporters Chartering Planes to Expedite Live Lobster Shipments to China 
Some Canadian seafood exporters are opting to charter direct flights from Halifax to China in order to expedite their live lobster shipments to the market ahead of the Chinese New Year. Meanwhile, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport has reported a boom in lobster shipments. The airport says lobster shipments are up because of a multi million dollar investment to add another pad for aircraft near the Gateway Facility; growing lobster demand from China's middle class and the low Canadian dollar fueling exports. Airport officials say cargo flights were more than triple in December, up to 15 flights from the usual five. “This has been the busiest season by far (and) the real benefit is to the Nova Scotia economy,” said Peter Spurway, the airport authority’s vice-president of corporate communications.

Crabbers from San Francisco to Washington remain tied up over a price dispute with processors, according to several news sources. The Humboldt Fishermen's Marketing Association confirmed this week that fishermen remain tied up and plan to have a coastwide conference call to discuss the re-establishment of $3 a pound ex-vessel price for Dungeness crab. As of Tuesday, no agreement has been reached.

In other news, India's Marine Products Export Development Authority wants to sell more seafood to Latin American markets, specifically to Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Authorities at MPEDA are now planning to take a trade delegation to Latin America this year to start discussions about increasing seafood sales and exports.

Meanwhile, the West Coast trawl industry is anxious to rebuild its lost rockfish market and a new exempted fishing permit (EFP) could make that happen in February writes Susan Chambers. The EFP would eliminate the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement and provide fishermen with more flexibility to design their gear for catching pelagic rockfish, a highly marketable and favored seafood on the West Coast. The EFP also could allow fishermen to use different kinds of bycatch excluders, the notice said. Fishermen also could experiment with different mesh sizes. "I think the industry -- fishermen, processors, EDF -- need look at innovative ways to get our fish back in the marketplace," Okonoiewski said, Pacific Seafood's Mike Okoniewski "and this EFP is actually a work-around on our part."

Finally, Red Lobster will feature its recently launched wild caught red shrimp from Argentina in a limited time shrimp promotion that the chain announced this week. The promotion allows guests to choose from among the chain's six new and classic shrimp dishes for $15.99. Red Lobster added wild caught red shrimp to its menu this past November. It was the first time in many years Red Lobster has featured wild shrimp. US import data shows peeled shrimp shipments from Argentina to the market have more than doubled in 2016 compared to year-ago levels.

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