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Jun 23 - ANALYSIS: Live Lobster Market Following Seasonal Trends


Jun 22 - Brits All At Sea on Old Fish Names


Jun 21 - Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners


Jun 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 20, 2017


Jun 20 - California Budget Bill Lowers Landing Fees From State Proposal


Jun 19 - Australia's Southern Rock Lobster Stocks Showing Resistance to Climate Change


Jun 14 - Many Consumers Turn to the Expertise of Restaurants to Get Seafood into Their Diets


Jun 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 13, 2017


Jun 13 - Ecommerce Companies Drive Prices of Lobster in China Down to Unbelievable Levels


Jun 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday June 9, 2017


Jun 9 - VIDEO: Seafood Data Summary A Look at Shrimp Imports, FDA Refusals and Snow Crab Quotas


Jun 9 - Canada's St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster


Jun 9 - Lobster Promos Continue Hot and Heavy in New England This Summer Despite McDonald's Canada Pullback


Jun 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday June 7, 2017


Jun 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday June 5, 2017


Jun 5 - FDA Seafood Refusals Down Sharply in 2017 as Rejections for Filth Slide 50%


Jun 5 - Thai Union enters China consumer market with 'King Oscar' Brand Lobsters from North America


Jun 5 - Undercover Reporter Sees Live Seafood Switched For Dead Crabs, Shrimp at Fancy Changsha Restaurant


Jun 2 - After Season Closure, Board Revises Tanner Crab Strategy


Jun 1 - Coldest May in Years Slows Crab, Lobster Fisheries, Stabilizes Prices


May 31 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 31, 2017


May 31 - Red Lobster Promoting Wild Caught Red Shrimp on Summerfest Menu


May 30 - PODCAST: Ecuadorian Shrimp Fuels Asia’s Market; Alaska’s Copper River Salmon Season in Full Swing


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


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ANALYSIS: Live Lobster Market Following Seasonal Trends

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Urner Barry] by Nicole West - June 23,2017

The 4th of July is right around the corner – a time of year typically met with peak demand for live lobsters. Traders in the US are reporting higher replacement costs for product and it appears lobster market prices are following their traditional seasonal trend. By the end of next week, the major producing Lobster Fishing Areas in Canada will be closed and supplies of hard shell live lobsters will be limited. So far reports indicate that Maine is not producing  ...

Full Story »

Brits All At Sea on Old Fish Names

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Marine Stewardship Council] June 22, 2017

A study of over 2,000 Brits found many are baffled by traditional fish dishes with over half (54%) not knowing, or incorrectly guessing what a kipper is.

The research conducted for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) aims to highlight the vast array of MSC sustainable seafood available in the UK. It shows that despite being avid fish consumers, many are baffled by traditional dishes such as bloaters, Cullen skink, rock salmon and kippers. Coupled with the mistaken belief (41%) that fish labelled as sustainable is more expensive, these findings could mean many are reluctant to sample new species. There are now over 1,000 MSC labelled sustainable seafood choices including kippers, Coquilles St Jaques and redfish in supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and ...

Full Story »

Peeled Shrimp Margins Squeezed

Since about the middle of 2015, despite a few peaks, margins on peeled shrimp have been on a steady decline according to an analysis from Urner Barry. Margins bottomed out in the 4th quarter of 2016 and have rebounded since that time. But they remain at the bottom of the range since 2008. After the high prices due to EMS in 2014, peeled shrimp have generally traded in a very narrow range over the last 3 years.

Bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish, which are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, have now been rebuilt before original target dates. The Scientific and Statistical Committee report at the June Council meeting said bocaccio's increase above the overfishing level is due in large part to strong recruitment events in 1999, 2010 and 2013. Its estimated lifespan is 50 years.“The rebuilding strategies used to achieve this conservation success, coupled with favorable environmental conditions for groundfish productivity, have paid huge dividends in rebuilding our overfished groundfish stocks and resurrecting West Coast groundfish fisheries,” Council Chairman Herb Pollard

In other news, Thai producers plan to increase their shrimp output in the second half of this year, after output from farms dropped in the first two quarters of 2017 compared to last year. The expectation is for shrimp production to grow 5 percent overall this year. Thai shrimp prices, which are on the rise again, are expected to either remain stable or grow 5 percent in 2017 compared to last year said Preerasak Boonmechote, Thai Union Group’s shrimp unit managing director.

Meanwhile, lobster industry representatives in Massachusetts are urging legislators to support a proposal to expand in-state processing of lobsters and lobster parts. The proposal, contained in an amendment in the state Senate’s recently passed budget, would allow licensed Bay State wholesalers to process unfrozen raw lobsters, as well as allowing the sale of previously frozen raw in-shell tails and the importation of unfrozen shell-on lobster parts and tails. "Right now, we depend on Canada for so much of our processing facilities,” said Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, which supports the proposal. “This would allow us to do that processing here in Massachusetts, helping us to create jobs here and create markets for our lobster products.”

With what looks like a "sustained push" of reds up the Nushagak and Wood Rivers, coupled with stronger winds in the forecast, the ADF&G is likely to make an announcement to ready the fleet for possible fishing time. "There was a big uptick in passage yesterday: 59,000 raw count and still pushing this morning," said west side area manager Tim Sands early Monday.

Finally, today is my last day as production editor for Urner Barry and Seafoodnews.com. My career in the seafood industry will continue as I have taken a position in Boston. It’s been a privilege learning and writing about this industry and I’m extremely grateful to Urner Barry and Seafood News for the opportunity they have offered me over the last six years to serve you, our readers.

Full Story »

Australia's Southern Rock Lobster Stocks Showing Resistance to Climate Change

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 19, 2017

Research from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) suggests Australia’s Southern rock lobster fishery is showing resistance to climate change.  

The research identified many complex environmental factors affecting the abundance of juvenile lobsters, but those that were important in one region were often completely different from those in another.

“The reef settlement of the rock lobster J. edwardsii is a complex process where larval behaviour, biological factors and oceanographic processes interact over different scales,” said Professor Gardner.

Full Story »

AquaBounty to Produce GM Salmon in Indiana with $14 Million Purchase of Bell Fish Company's Assets

AquaBounty Technologies will soon be able to produce its genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon in the United States as the firm has struck a $14 million deal to buy some of the assets of Bell Fish Company in Albany Indiana. AquaBounty said the facility's first harvest could come as soon as the third quarter of 2019. Once fully operational, the facility will have an expected annual capacity of 1,200 metric tons. "This acquisition marks an important milestone and provides the Company with its first commercial-scale facility in the United States for growing eco-friendly AquAdvantage Salmon. This site will enable production of healthy Atlantic salmon, which will not require vaccines or antibiotics, in a sustainable and responsible manner close to domestic consumers,” said Ronald Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has recommended that the Joint Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission cut the 2018 Barents Sea cod quota 20 percent from last year citing poor recruitment in the fishery. The Council’s recommendation would set the total cod quota at 712,000 metric tons. This represents a 183,000 metric ton reduction from last year’s quota. The Commission will take up ICES advice when it makes its quota determination this fall.

In other news, a price war is breaking out over ecommerce lobster sales in the Chinese Province of Ningbo. Online retailers are offering live North American lobsters at deeply discounted prices in order to compete for sales and market share in both the online retail space and from traditional grocers.

Meanwhile, citing 20 years of success with groups such as Conservation International, the MSC, and others, the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) outlined its $37 million, five-year strategy for building sustainable seafood markets. The initiative is part of the foundation’s ocean strategy that takes a systems approach—working on both the supply and demand side—to promote sustainability in five core countries: Indonesia, Peru, Chile, Mexico and the United States. "The Walton Family Foundation has probably had more impact on the seafood sustainability movement than some of the more well-known consumer facing advocates," writes John Sackton in an analysis of the plan. "They have leveraged a market-based strategy in which they paid NGO's to lobby and convince the retail supply chain to adopt seafood sustainability standards."

Finally, the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to global markets is up this year but the increase is not because of more sales to the US market. So far Vietnam's seafood exports are up 7.5 percent worldwide but sales to the US market are down nearly 13 percent. The US is traditionally the top market for Vietnam's seafood exports like pangasius and shrimp. However, higher duty rates and the implementation of the catfish inspection program under the USDA have forced Vietnam's exporters to seek other markets like China.

Full Story »

Lobster Promos Continue Hot and Heavy in New England This Summer Despite McDondald's Canada Pullback

Yesterday we reported that McDonald's Canada has suspended its summer McLobster promotion, citing the high price of meat. But that does not seem to have deterred foodservice in New England. McDonald's is rolling out its McLobster in New England again this year, with a price of 7.99 for the basic roll, and $10.99 for the combo. Panera bread also is featuring its summer lobster roll, priced a bit high at $17.99, but still on the menu. Meanwhile, Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut has begun a Lobster Madness promotion with the slogan "Get Your Tails in Here", which will run through September 4th. With foodservice continuing lobster promotions and usage, suppliers will be more confident about building inventory for programs this fall.

The DFO announced that the snow crab season in area 3K, off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, will be extended to July 15th, due to heavy pack ice which has been impacting vessels attempting to leave port. The two-week extension increases the likelihood that the quota in 3K will be caught. However, the Coast Guard warns that pack ice could stall in some areas, including traditional near-shore fishing grounds.

In other news, Peggy Parker writes of a moving tribute that was held for Chris Oliver, the outgoing executive director of the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council who is soon to be the head of the National Marine Fisheries Service. Members of the Council's Advisory Panel, the Scientific and Statistical Committee, other agencies involved in Alaska's fishing industry, and stakeholders all quietly gathered in the main meeting room to wish him well. Among the remarks was a commendation presented to Oliver by the Coast Guard. "Mr. Oliver's vigilance, leadership, and professionalism have been fundamental to the stewardship of Alaska's fishery resources. His many contributions and dedication to public service are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard," said Coast Guard Captain Stephen While in presenting Oliver with the Meritorious Public Service Award.

Meanwhile, salmon-supporting groups have been holding meetings about a double-barreled proposal to significantly strengthen legal protections for Alaskan rivers that contain salmon. One of the key provisions of both a House Bill and a proposed ballot initiative is a clause that calls for all rivers and streams to be considered salmon-bearing unless proven otherwise. The proposal has major implications for the state’s construction and mining industries.

Finally, some of Alaska's seafood processors say they are depending on more US workers from the Lower 48 to fill jobs because of a lack of available foreign workers this season. The shortage of foreign seasonal workers is due to a change in a returning worker exemption. Processors also said the 66,000 employee cap on allowable foreign workers was reached much earlier this year compared to 2016. 

Full Story »

Canada's St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton June 9, 2017

On World Oceans Day yesterday, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced  that St. Anns Bank, east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada's latest marine protected area.

St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area is 4,364 square kilometres in size and is located off the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The area is important for conservation, containing leatherback sea turtles, deep-sea corals, sponges and sea pens, and recovering populations of Atlantic cod and Atlantic wolffish. Over 100 species have been identified in this area and it comprises an important migratory corridor for wildlife travelling to and from the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Through regulations published in Canada Gazette, the entire area will be off-limits to oil and gas exploration activities and bottom trawling. Three fishing zones, covering approximately one quarter of the marine protected area have been established for lower impact fisheries, predominately for snow crab, lobster, halibut, and whelk.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada first announced St. Anns Bank as an “Area of Interest” for a marine protected area in 2011...

Full Story »

Ignite Files Chapter 11 and Announces Sale of Joe's Crab Shack to KRG Acquisitions

Ignite Restaurant Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Texas court and said it will sell off its Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tab restaurant brands to KRG Acquisitions. Ignite Restaurant Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Texas court and said it will sell off its Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tab restaurant brands to KRG Acquisitions. ”Today's sale agreement represents the culmination of a long and thorough process, and is an important step in positioning Joe's and Brick House for future growth and success," said Ignite Chief Executive Jonathan Tibus

McDonald's stores in Atlantic Canada will not carry the McLobster sandwich this summer because of high priced lobster meat. Some stores that tried to menu the item this year were selling it for $11.99, which was two dollars more than last year. "The increased price of lobster per pound means that we are currently unable to offer this menu item at a reasonable price for our guests," said Adam Grachnik of McDonald's.

In other news Russia's Vyborg Shipyard and a group of companies members, along with Arkhangelsk Trawl Fleet, of the Non-profit Partnership North-West Fishery Consortium, signed contracts for construction of six crab-fishing vessels. The vessels are intended for catching king, snow crab and other crab species and will have Ice3 class.

Meanwhile, Indian seafood shipments reached a record high value of $5.78 billion, more $1.0 billion more than last year. India's seafood export volume was up 2 million metric ton compared to last year. The increase was primarily driven by shrimp exports to the US and other global markets. India is by far the largest shrimp supplier to the US in 2017. Monthly US shrimp imports were 80 percent in April and are up 40 percent for the year in 2017.

Finally, Orca Bay Seafoods sent out a brief notice reminding the industry that it is in the process of relocating its distribution center from Bellevue to Burien in Washington. “All orders scheduled to ship 6/12/17 & 6/13/17 will be shipped out of our current distribution center in Bellevue, WA. Beginning 6/14/17, we will be shipping out of Burien, WA,” Orca Bay said.

Full Story »

FDA Seafood Refusals Down Sharply in 2017 Rejections for Filth Slide 50%

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 5, 2017

Filth is still the top reason for the FDA’s seafood refusals in 2017 but the administration is refusing far less seafood this year compared to 2016 levels.

In May, the FDA’s seafood refusals were down 40 percent compared to the same time last year—a difference of about 70 line items.

Overall, the administration has refused 697 line items of seafood, which is down 27 percent from year-to-date figures in 2016...

Full Story »

Undercover Reporter Sees Live Seafood Switched For Dead Crabs, Shrimp at Fancy Changsha Restaurant

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [xianzhaiwang.cn] Translated by Amy Zhong June 5 2017

A well-known seafood restaurant in Changsha replaced live seafood with the dead crabs, shrimp and lobster. And it earned about one thousand yuan in selling one king crab.

According to some insiders, two suspicious persons have been spotted in the kitchen of a renowned and nine-year-old seafood restaurant in Changsha city recently. They were there neither to cook food nor to prepare materials. Their job was to replace live seafood which customers had chosen with the dead ones.

All the staff in the kitchen followed the orders of these two people. Because they could create great profits for the restaurant, which used to be known for the freshness of its food and reasonable prices.

The reporters have gone undercover to learn more about this special job. One reporter applied for a job in the kitchen...

Full Story »

Coldest May in Years Slows Crab, Lobster Fisheries, Stabilizes Prices

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  June 1, 2017

June 1st is a good time to take stock of the Canadian snow crab fisheries, as a significant portion of the quota is now landed, and the end of the season at the end of June or first part of July is in sight.

As we report elsewhere today, ice conditions in Newfoundland are the worst in years, and pack ice is socked in along the northeast coast.  This has slowed crab fishing in some areas, and forced boats to deliver to plants that are ice-free.

At the same time, May has seen a series of storms, including a significant snow storm in the Province on May 24th, and this has kept fishing down.

The result is that at this point about 43% of the Newfoundland quota has been landed.  There is some fear that unless the situation breaks and catches improve, the reduced Newfoundland quota for 2017 may not be caught...

Full Story »

Red Lobster Promoting Wild Caught Red Shrimp on Summerfest Menu

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 31, 2017

Red Lobster is featuring six new dishes on its menu as part of its Lobster & Shrimp Summerfest promotion, including wild- caught red shrimp from Argentina.

The annual event sees Red Lobster feature unique, seasonally inspired lobster and shrimp dishes on its menu. This summer the promotional event will take advantage of the wild-caught red shrimp the chain introduced on its menu last fall. It was the first time in years Red Lobster started featuring a wild caught shrimp item...

Full Story »

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 »

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

Full Story »

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...

Full Story »

Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - June 21, 2017

Just Shrimp is a new concept with just three units in Illinois.  But they are making a splash.   Their original location in Tinley Park recently added a few more non-fried items to their menu: Grilled shrimp skewers and fresh grilled salmon. 

Recently, Just Shrimp started smoking salmon in-house, and added two sandwiches their customers seem to enjoy. The smoked salmon fillet sandwich is servedcold, on a buttered and toasted soft bun  ...

Full Story »

California Budget Bill Lowers Landing Fees From State Proposal

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - June 20, 2017

Five months of opposing a huge landing tax increase in California yielded victory Thursday as the legislature sent a budget to Gov. Jerry Brown with landing fees less than 10 percent of what the governor originally proposed.

California seafood industry members were shocked in January to find landing taxes that would increase an average of 1300 percent in an effort to make up a $20 million state Fish and Wildlife budget shortfall. The landing taxes had not changed in 20 years. ...

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Many Consumers Turn to the Expertise of Restaurants to Get Seafood into Their Diets

Majority of U.S. Consumers Don’t Eat The Recommended Amount of Fish or Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NPD GROUP] June 14, 2017

The health benefits of eating seafood are well-documented but many consumers lack the confidence to select the right seafood and prepare it at home, which is why many consumers turn to restaurants. Shellfish, which tends to be more costly and therefore to some consumers riskier to prepare at home, appear to be the seafood of choice when dining out, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Case shipments of shrimp, lobster, and other crustaceans shipped by broadline distributors to independent and small chain...

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Ecommerce Companies Drive Prices of Lobster in China Down to Unbelievable Levels

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Eastay.com] Translated by Amy Zhong  June 13, 2017

A price war is breaking out over ecommerce lobster sales in the Province of Ningbo, directly south of Shanghai.  As new entrants come on board, they are offering lobsters at lower prices than in the US, and with free delivery to the customer's home.  This cost appears to be unsustainable, but a new importer, iseafoods.cn, is making this offer. Their prices are about 66% of Chinese supermarket lobster prices...

Full Story »

VIDEO: Seafood Data Summary A Look at Shrimp Imports, FDA Refusals and Snow Crab Quotas 

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Lobster Promos Continue Hot and Heavy in New England This Summer Despite McDonald's Canada Pullback

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - June 9, 2017 

The series of storms slowing down fishing will have to end at some point, and foodservice in New England has already cast the die for a major summer of lobster promotions.

Yesterday we reported that McDonald's Canada has suspended its summer McLobster promotion, citing the high price of meat.  

But that does not seem to have deterred foodservice in New England.

McDonald's is rolling out its McLobster in New England again this year, with a price of 7.99 for the basic roll, and $10.99 for the combo.

Panera bread also is featuring its summer lobster roll, priced a bit high at $17.99, but still on the menu.

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Thai Union enters China consumer market with 'King Oscar' Brand Lobsters from North America

Thai Union and Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods are now selling lobsters directly to the Chinese market under the King Oscar brand. The distribution channel uses both brick and mortar stores and online retail. The lobsters are available at G-Super supermarket chain and directly through an online store operated by Thai Union. Thai Union plans to grow distribution to more supermarkets and e-commerce platforms.

The Department of Justice has charged Stephen Hodge+a former executive with Chicken of the Sea+ with conspiring to fix the price of canned seafood from 2011 to 2013. Hodge was charged on May 30 through a "criminal information," a type of charging document prosecutors tend to use in connection with people who are negotiating plea deals.StarKist said in a statement that Hodge had worked for the company but left in December 2013. "StarKist has cooperated and is continuing to fully cooperate with the investigation," StarKist said.

In other news, the most current DFO quota reports, covering to near the end of May, show that Gulf snow crab landings in New Brunswick and Quebec are outpacing Newfoundland. In the Gulf, out of a 39,000 ton quota, about 65 percent has been landed, and it looks likely the quota will be caught by the end of the season at the end of June writes John Sackton. In Newfoundland, for all NAFO divisions which include also the fishing areas outside of 200 miles, the total quota is 35,000 tons of which 38% has been taken as of May 31st.

Meanwhile, Indian seafood imports now account for over 25% of Vietnam's imported market according to a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development report. This makes India far and away Vietnam's top seafood supplier. In the last two years, India has become a key shrimp supplier to the Vietnamese market.

Finally, filth is still the top reason for the FDA’s seafood refusals in 2017 but the administration is refusing far less seafood this year compared to 2016 levels. In May, the FDA’s seafood refusals were down 40 percent compared to the same time last year. It appears the FDA is detecting less filth in these species compared to a year ago with refusals for filth down 52 percent from a year ago.

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Thai Union enters China consumer market with 'King Oscar' Brand Lobsters from North America

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [www.jiemian.com] Translated by Amy Zhong  June 5, 2017

Some foreign food like Boston lobsters and Chilean salmon are working hard to attract more middle class consumers in China.

And more are seafood is being flown into this market. One of the newcomers is lobster supplied by Thai Union through its Chicken of the Sea Frozen Seafood subsidiary in California. These lobsters, whose brand name is King Oscar,  have been available in the supermarket G-Super and the online store of Thai Union since this May. And they intend to enter more supermarkets and e-commerce platforms in the future...

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After Season Closure, Board Revises Tanner Crab Strategy

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Alaska Journal of Commerce] by Elizabeth Earl - June 2, 2017

Bering Sea Tanner crab fishermen have a new harvest strategy in place, though it likely won’t be the last time the plan gets revised.

The Board of Fisheries held a special meeting in Anchorage May 17 and 18 to deal with just the harvest strategy.

Crab fishermen raised concerns about the value of the harvest strategy...

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News Summary May 31, 2017

Today's Main Story: High Liner Completes $107 Million Purchase of Major Shrimp Importer Rubicon Resources

The news opens reporting that High Liner Foods completed the acquisition of major shrimp importer Rubicon Resources. The deal for High Liner to buy the assets to Rubicon was originally announced in mid-May. According to the details of the deal, High Liner would buy Rubicon for $107 million. Rubicon has corporate headquarters in Culver City, CA and also operates over 11 shrimp and seafood processing facilities in South East Asia. In addition to ...

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PODCAST: Ecuadorian Shrimp Fuels Asia’s Market; Alaska’s Copper River Salmon Season in Full Swing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend.

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