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


Mar 28 - Pollock roe Auctions Return High Prices, in Boost to Alaska Companies


Mar 28 - Russia Dangles More Pollock Allocations if Koreans Invest in Russian Processing


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


Mar 17 - Russian Fishing Industry Faces More Consolidation as Companies Prepare for 10 Year Quota Auctions


Mar 17 - Commentator Gives up In Confusion Over Sustainable Fish Guides; Just a Personal Choice, She Says


Mar 16 - Plea Hearing for Carlos Rafael Delayed to March 30, 2017


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


Mar 15 - Russia Plans to Seize Fishing Quotas from Producers Who Build Trawlers With Foreign Capital


Mar 15 - Russia's Pollock Catch in Okhotsk Sea Loses Momentum in Early March


Mar 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday March 7, 2017


Mar 7 - Russian Fishery Co. Buying Dalmore Pollock Business, Will Have Nearly 300,000 tons of Quota


Mar 6 - Mariner Seafood to Debut GO WILD Brand of Vacum Packed Line of Wild Caught Seafood at Boston


Mar 2 - John Sevier Named New President of International Seafoods - Alaska


Feb 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 23, 2017


Feb 23 - Adak's Seafood Plant Not Processing Bering Sea Cod Because of Damage, Not Over Deliveries Lawsuit


Feb 22 - White Castle Adds Crab Cake Sandwich to Menu for Lent


Feb 22 - State-Waters Cod Season Opens to Pot Gear as Federal Pot Gear Season Closes in Gulf of Alaska


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


Feb 17 - Bojangles' Features Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich for Lent


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


Feb 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 14, 2017


Feb 14 - Russian Fishery Co. Plans Major Pollock Expansion with Chinese Backing


Feb 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 10, 2017


Feb 10 - Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty


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


Feb 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 7, 2017


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


Jan 31 - Alaska MCC says 'New England Style Fishery Collapse' not Useful Comparison for Gulf of Alaska


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


Jan 26 - SMAST Researchers, Gulf of Maine Fishermen Hope Video Survey System Will Produce Better Cod Surveys


Jan 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday January 25, 2017


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


Jan 20 - Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand


Jan 19 - FDA Says 90% of Fish Species are "Best Choice" for Pregnant Women in Confusing Final Guidance


Jan 17 - AFDF Announces List of New Product Entries for Alaska Symphony of Seafood


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


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


Jan 11 - NMFS Seeks Comments on Inseason Adjustments to BS/AI Pollock, Cod, Atka Mackerel


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


Dec 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 30, 2016


Dec 30 - AFDF Calls for New Products in Alaska Symphony of Seafood Competition, Deadline January 6


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


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


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


Dec 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 22, 2016


Dec 22 - Gidrostroy Could become Largest Russian Pollock Producer if PBTF Purchase Closes


Dec 20 - Massive Chinese Fish Processing Center in Border Region Threatens Russian Domestic Fish Processing


Dec 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 13, 2016


Dec 13 - EU Fish Processors Say Pollock Imports Continue to Decline but Russia Market Share Improves


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


Dec 12 - Pollock TAC Basically Unchanged in Bering Sea for 2017, Despite Huge increase in Biomass


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


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


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


Nov 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday November 30, 2016


Nov 30 - Ecosystem Reports at Council Point to Possible Future Declines in Pollock, Cod after some Good Years


Nov 29 - Biggest Russian Quota Holder Karat Plans $250 Mln investment in Barents Sea and Distant Water Fleets


Nov 28 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 28, 2016


Nov 28 - Jump in Alaska Pollock Biomass Should Have Little Impact Say Sellers, Because of 2 Mln ton Cap


Nov 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday November 22, 2016


Nov 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 21, 2016


Nov 21 - South Korea Facing Pollock Shortage, Aims to Rebuild Imports and Trade Ties to Russia


Nov 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 14, 2016


Nov 14 - Major Japanese Companies Maruha and Nissui See Differing Results, with Nissui Dragged Down by Chile


Nov 14 - Russian Fishing Company May be Sold in Further Shakeup For Russian Pollock Industry


Nov 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday November 8, 2016


Nov 8 - Russia Plans to Increase Pollock Production and Restart Sardine Processing


Nov 7 - ASMI's Trailblazing New Products Project Seeks to Expand Sales to Additional Markets


Oct 27 - US Shrimp Consumption Unchanged in 2015 But Easily Maintains Number One Spot in NFI's Top Ten List


Oct 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday October 26, 2016


Oct 26 - NOAA Says Seafood Consumption Heading in Right Direction in US, as 2015 Per Capita Number Jumps


Oct 26 - ASMI Annual Meeting Reviews Difficult 2016 and Looks at Challenges and Opportunities in 2017


Oct 21 - Bundrant says New Products and More Value Added Products Only Way to Boost Pollock Prices


Oct 18 - Baader Teams up with Leroy for 100,000 ton Salmon Factory Using New Gutting System


Oct 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday October 17, 2016


Oct 17 - TINRO Estimates Show Increases in Pollock, Crab Stocks in Russia Far East


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


Oct 12 - Global Whitefish Supply Predicted to Decline Slightly in 2017; Led by Atlantic Cod


Oct 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, October 10, 2016


Oct 10 - Alaska's Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers Complete First Year of Marketing Campaign in Germany


Oct 10 - Westward Fishmeal Plant Explosion Likely Sparked by Burst Pipe; Plant Should Reopen by A season


Oct 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday October 6, 2016


Oct 6 - With Quota Renewals Coming in 2018, Russia Gets Serious Processing of Pollock in the Far East


Sep 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday September 21, 2016


Sep 21 - Russia to Boost Pollock Exports to EU, Domestic Demand low due to Poor Quality in Soviet Times


Sep 13 - Ocean Trawler Owner Orlov Commits to Build Series of Russian Onshore Processing Plants


Sep 8 - Sysco Commits to Sourcing Farmed Seafood Certified by the ASC


Sep 7 - Oceana Uses 'Study' on Seafood Fraud to Push for More Traceability Regulation


Sep 7 - Saildrones Helping F/V Oscar Dyson in Pollock Survey, Unmanned Craft Can Expand Survey Footprint


Sep 2 - Hanjin Disruption Will Have Little Impact on Seafood Shippers


Aug 31 - Russian Pollock Fillet Production is Up, Some US 'B' Season Surimi Prices Negotiated in Japan


Aug 24 - Mothership and Shoreside Whiting Sectors Struggling This Year as Catches Fall Behind


Aug 19 - Gloucester's Sustainable Groundfish Assoc. Gets Acadian redfish, haddock, Pollock MSC Certified


Aug 18 - NFI Says Greenpeace to Issue Rank and Spank US Foodservice Listings as Early as Monday


Aug 18 - Pollock Conservation Co-Op Now Taking Funding Proposals for Alaskan Fishery Improvement Projects


Aug 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday August 17, 2016


Aug 17 - Trident Seafoods Japan to Promote Pollock Fillet Products at Tokyo Seafood Show


Aug 16 - Rabobank Says Brazil's Aquaculture Sector May Reach 500,000 tons of Tilapia in 4 Years


Aug 16 - Long Johns' Launches Social Media Campaign Emphasizing Sustainability, Quality and Family


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Pollock roe Auctions Return High Prices, in Boost to Alaska Companies

The American pollock industry got a welcome whiff of stronger markets as the annual first A season pollock roe auction concluded in Seattle writes John Sackton. Trading and demand was strong, and prices were generally higher than last year. Given the additional volume, the auction has been a welcome boost at a time when pollock prices for blocks are very low.

Canada's Northern cod stocks continue to rebound in Newfoundland, but the industry is still deep in the critical zone, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). But despite DFO’s warning that fishing should be kept to “the lowest possible levels,” a representative of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FFAW) says it’s time for a significant increase in quota. The Groundfish Enterprise Allocation Council (GEAC) says that Newfoundland needs to wait before getting commercial cod activity underway. “While the industry is naturally excited about the prospects of an increased harvest, we need to resist the temptation to increase catch prematurely – a view shared by the Standing Committee of Fisheries. We must act responsibly; the world fisheries community is watching, and we must get it right this time," said Dr. Kris Vascotto the Executive Director of the GEAC.

In other news, dozens of angry fishermen in Mexico burned a boat as part of a threat to force out a ship operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in Mexico's Gulf of California. The fishermen are upset with a misguided campaign by a group of conservationists that called for US consumers to boycott Mexican shrimp in order to save the endangered vaquita porpoise. "Just as they are judging us fishermen, we will judge all the environmentalists," said Sunshine Rodriguez, a leader of the local fishing cooperative in San Felipe, Baja California. "We aren't going to just sit around."

Two subsidiaries of Pacific Andes have filed for their own Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in a New York court this week. These filings follow a court decision in the British Virgin Islands this past February that allowed creditor banks to liquidate one of Pacific's other subsidiaries. Nouvelle Foods International Limited and Golden Target Pacific Limited said they “believe that it is in the best interests of its shareholders to file for protection under Chapter 11 to ensure the continuation of a transparent and comprehensive restructuring process.”

Finally, India's major port city Visakhapatnam in the state of Andhra Pradesh will get a a state of the art seafood processing and cold storage facility. The units will be modeled after operations in Japan and China. They will be outfitted to produce and store seafood exports for major markets including Europe, South America and Central America.

Full Story »

Russia Dangles More Pollock Allocations if Koreans Invest in Russian Processing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  March 28, 2017

The Russian government will consider increasing pollock quotas for South Korea and Japan for the fishing in the Russian territorial waters this year, according to recent statements of Ilya Shestakov, head of Rosrybolovstvo.

Implementation of these plans, however, will depend on certain conditions. 

According to Rosrybolovstvo, the quota of South Korea for catching fish in Russian waters has been reduced twice in recent years, however there is a possibility that it could be increased already this year..

Full Story »

Russian Fishing Industry Faces More Consolidation as Companies Prepare for 10 Year Quota Auctions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugen Gerden  March 17, 2017

The Russian fishing industry is on the verge of further consolidation, due to the possible sale of the Russian Fishing Company (former Rysskoe More Dobycha), one of Russia’s largest fish producers, according to some sources close to Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

Among the potential bidders are some well-known Russian fishing producers and the major competitors of the Russian Fishing Company in the domestic market.  In recent years Russian Fishing Company has significantly strengthened...

Full Story »

Plea Hearing for Carlos Rafael Delayed to March 30, 2017

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - March 16, 2017

NEW BEDFORD — The ongoing legal saga of Carlos Rafael has been extended again with a new court date. Yesterday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Massachusetts said Rafael's plea statement has been postponed to March 30 at 2:30 p.m. in Boston's U.S. District Court.

Rafael is expected to plead guilty to charges related to evading fishing quotas and smuggling profits to Portugal. He was originally scheduled...

Full Story »

Rosrybolovstvo Plans to Seize Fishing Quotas from Those Who Build Trawlers With Foreign Capital

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Eugene Gerden - March 15, 2017

Rosrybolovstvo, Russia's federal fisheries agency, plans to start more active seizures of fishing quotas from harvesters who rely on foreign capital to build vessels. The plan is to transfer the quota to fishermen who build their fishing trawlers at local shipyards, according to an official spokesman of Rosrybolovstvo. 

As part of the plan, Rosrybolovstvo will conduct a wide-reaching audit of the domestic fish producers, similar to one that occurred several years ago...

Full Story »

Chicken of the Frozen Foods Enters Scallop Business in Marketing Deal with Northern Wind

Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods (COSFF) will enter the scallop business after the major distributor announced a marketing agreement with Massachusetts-based Northern Wind. According to the agreement the companies will work together to provide customers with high quality, responsibly sourced frozen scallops. “We are excited about the opportunity to combine Northern Wind’s expertise and sustainability footprint with our distribution network. The two companies are well positioned to further develop this important category,” said Bryan Rosenberg, CEO of Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods.

The first round of monthly shrimp imports figures of 2017 showed continued strength in shipments from India and Indonesia. As of January, total US shrimp imports were up 2.2 percent compared to last January. Indian shrimp imports continue to fuel the US market and were higher from historical monthly averages. Indonesian production, meanwhile, is generally stronger this time of the year compared to other major US suppliers and shipments were up 12 percent. Imports from many key US suppliers were down in January.

Meanwhile, Alaskan red king crab from Bristol Bay has fetched the highest price ever for fishermen according to reports. Meanwhile, Bering Sea snow crab prices are also at unprecedented levels.

In other news, the Russian Fishery Company, one of Russia’s largest fish producers, is considering acquiring the assets to major Russian pollock producer Dalmore in a deal valued at $150 million. Negotiations between the sides are currently underway. If finalized, the deal will allow Russian Fishery Company to increase its pollock catch by more than 20 percent.

Finally, India's shrimp feed and shrimp producer Avanti has entered into a joint venture with Thai Union. Avanti's Chairman and Managing Director, Alluri Indra Kumar has plans to increase the company's revenue share of shrimp exports to about 40 percent of the business by 2020. Currently, the revenue breakdown between Avanti's shrimp export and shrimp feed is 15 percent and 85 percent respectively.

Full Story »

 

Mariner Seafood to Debut GO WILD Brand of Vacum Packed Line of Wild Caught Seafood at Boston

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 6, 2017

Massachusetts-based seafood distributor Mariner Seafood will debut its GO WILD™ brand of super chilled, grab-and-go seafood at the upcoming Seafood Expo North America.

The ready-to-prepare line of wild-caught seafood utilizes vacuum skin packaging (VSP) technology adapted to meet seafood’s special requirements.

"We believe our GO WILD™ brand of wild-caught fish, shrimp and scallops will transform the way super chilled or frozen wild-caught seafood is brought to market," said Jack Flynn, President of Mariner Seafood...

 

Full Story »

Amid Adak Plant Delays and Law Suit Against AM 113, Pacific Cod “A” Season Closes Today

We clarify a story from last week that said Adak's cod and pollock processing plant was not taking cod deliveries because of a lawsuit over the Amendment 113 regulation requiring mandatory cod deliveries to the plant. However, the plant has actually been out of commission since a severe 2015 winter storm-damaged portions of the roof. The city sent a letter to NMFS, according to Amendment 113 protocol, notifying them they would not be buying cod this winter and last fall. The lawsuit, meanwhile, was filed by The Groundfish Forum claiming it violated national standards and other laws. But the lawsuit itself is not responsible for the current lack of cod processing at the Adak plant."There are trawl catcher vessel owners, who have delivered a fair amount of cod to the Adak plant over the years when it was operating, that would be willing to deliver to another renovated shore plant if it was in operation," said Brent Paine, executive director of the United Catcher Boats, a plaintiff in the suit. "They just want an option to deliver their catch to multiple markets, onshore or offshore."

Russian investigators suspect federal fishing authorities at Rosrybolovstvo are involved in a corruption ring to fix a fishery quota auction scheduled to take place next month. The auction will distribute fishing quotas to Russian producers at 700 new sites. Authorities had already arrested a consultant on the suspicion that the person was involved in a criminal scheme to fix the outcome of certain quota auctions. Reports suggest Ilya Shestakov, the current head of Rosrybolovstvo, may be suspended or even fired for his alleged involvement in the scandal that is still under investigation.

The Hawaii Longline Association opposes a bill that would change the rules for how fishing licenses are issued to foreign crew members that make up the majority of the state's commercial fleet. The bill would require anyone seeking a commercial fishing license in Hawaii to appear in person. "It could lead to the use of no foreign crew in the fishery, which would be very devastating," said Jim Cook, a member of the association's board of directors. "It would be similar to having no immigrant people in agriculture in Hawaii or any other part of the United States."

In other news, Thai Union Group reported a 7.3 percent rise in sales last year. Chief executive Thiraphong Chansiri said the US market accounted for 39 percent of its total sales. "Despite challenging costs for raw materials and economic volatility in various markets around the world, we delivered a stable bottom line," said Chansiri.

Finally, Ecuador’s SONGA was awarded four-star certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices Program for its shrimp production operation. SONGA is one of the top four white shrimp producers in Ecuador. In 2015 and 2016, SONGA was the top Ecuadorian exporter to mainland China, South Korea and the United States.

Full Story »

White Castle Adds Crab Cake Sandwich to Menu for Lent

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 22, 2017

White Castle has added a Seafood Crab Cake Slider to its menu in time for the Lenten season.

The item will be offered for a limited time at participating restaurants. The crab cake sliders are topped with a creole sauce and served on White Castle’s signature steamed bun.

"White Castle has been innovating since 1921, when we started the first fast food chain. Today we are proud to continue leading the industry by being the first to offer a seafood crab cake sandwich at all restaurants,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - February 20, 2017

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

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

Full Story »

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 »

Russian Fishery Co. Plans Major Pollock Expansion with Chinese Backing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 14, 2017

The Russian Fishery Co. plans to significantly expand pollock production volumes, yet its plan, backed by China, may run into opposition from state agencies.

Russian Fishery Co., one of Russia’s leading fish producers and processors, (formerly Russkoe More – Dobycha"), plans to significantly increase the volume of fish production this year, and aims to further supplies both to domestic and foreign markets, according to Andrew Teterkin, CEO of the company.
 
Particular attention will be paid for the increase of pollock production. Last year the volume of the company’s total production amounted to 280,000 tons, of which 220,000 tons accounted for pollock, while the remaining 50,000 tons for Pacific herring. However, according to the company’s plans, these figures should be significantly increased already this year.
 
Implementation of these plans will take place through the renewal of the company’s fishing fleet.  This will involve the building of at least 6 

Full Story »

Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  Japan Reports  February 10, 2017

The A Season pollock roe auction in Seattle has been set for March 14-16th, around the same time as last year.
 
However, developments on the fishing grounds and in the market give buyers both cause for optimism, and some concern as well.
 
First, on the market side, cutbacks in roe production last year, especially due to small fish size on the US side, have...

Full Story »

Surge in Indian Shrimp Shipments Drives US Imports to All-Time Record 1.33 Billion Lbs in 2016

Although December 2016 shrimp imports were down 3.4 percent, annual imports for 2016 were 3 percent higher than last year establishing a new annual record import volume of 1.33 billion lbs. of shrimp. The importance of Indian shrimp imports to the US market cannot be overemphasized. Indian shrimp exports to the US were up 40 million pounds for the year, a 13.5 percent increase. Monthly shipments were exceptionally strong in the 2nd half of the year, corresponding with India's seasonal harvesting schedule

The US market share for Norwegian salmon continues to grow even though output is down. Norwegian salmon exports to the US market in January were up 1,045 metric tons compared to last January. This is because US buyers turned to Norway to help plug production shortfalls from Chile. In December, US imports for fresh salmon fillets from Norway were up 6 percent. For the year, the US imported 44.5 million pounds of fresh salmon fillets from Norway, an increase of 21.6 percent. "Norwegian salmon is strengthening its position in the US and taking market share in a growing market. The market volume has increased from 12 percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2016. In the United States new salmon products have been launched in cooperation with the major supermarket chains," said Egil Ove Sundheim with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

German Zverev, the head of the Russian Pollock Association, was named the head of major Russian fishing trade group the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (ARAFEEE). This group represents the industry in negotiating fish policy with the government. Zverev said he plans to focus on the development of the balanced and reasoned position of the Russian fishing business for the forthcoming talks with the government on the distribution of fishing quotas for 2018 by the Russian government. However, some in the industry take issue with Zverev's pro-Chinese position. Under Zverev, fish producers believe that Russia will continue to be mostly export-oriented.

In other news, Vietnam plans to expand the area it devotes to shrimp farming to push exports to $10 billion a year. An increase in salinity in the waters is bad for rice production but good for shrimp farming so the government is teaching rice farmers how to raise shrimp so they can break into the business. “Natural conditions in the Mekong Delta are very suitable for shrimp, and higher seawater level caused by the climate change will allow us to expand the shrimp farms,” said Minister of Agriculture Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Finally, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) issued a statement that directly addresses the decision by European retailer Carrefour to stop the sale of farmed pangasius out of concern over how the fish are produced. “The ASC is sorry to see that a few retailers have decided to halt sales of pangasius. When farmed responsibly, and according to robust environmental and social criteria as defined in the ASC Pangasius Standard, buyers and consumers can have confidence in their selection of pangasius for their families,” the ASC said in a statement.

Full Story »

Alaska MCC says  'New England Style Fishery Collapse' not Useful Comparison for Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Letters]  By Shannon Carrol January 31, 2017

Shannon is Fisheries Policy Director, Alaska Marine Conservation Council (shannon@akmarine.org)

The premise of Mr. Sackton’s December 27, 2016 article, N. Pacific Council Threatens New England Style Fisheries Management Collapse in Gulf of Alaska, is misleading. He compares the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery to the groundfish fishery in New England, and claims that the Council decision will take the Gulf down the same downward path followed by New England. Yet, the case of the New England groundfish fishery is entirely inapposite to that of the Gulf of Alaska.
 
As Mr. Sackton points out, the New England fishery has long ...

Full Story »

Pollock roe Auctions Return High Prices, in Boost to Alaska Companies

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton March 28, 2017

The American pollock industry got a welcome whiff of stronger markets as the annual first A season pollock roe auction concluded in Seattle.

Trading and demand was strong, and prices were generally higher than last year. Also volumes improved to about 9000 tons. 7744 tons were bid at the auction, and 1254 tons were sold on private contracts.

Overall value rose to $42 million, vs $24 million last year. But this number is still below what was achieved in 2015...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 21, 2017

Mariner Seafood launched a line of wild caught seafood items at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston that uses a patented technology that gives retailers an option to feature the items in fresh seafood cases.

The GO WILD seafood brand uses patented, breathable film that allows oxygen to flow through the products. This super chill pack technology extends the shelf life of the portioned out seafood products...

Full Story »

Commentator Gives up In Confusion Over Sustainable Fish Guides; Just a Personal Choice, She Says

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NPR] by Natalie Jacewicz - March 16, 2017

 This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. "I don't know," he replied. "I think they're just normal shrimp." I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed "normal."

What about the cod?Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught?...

 

Full Story »

Russia Plans to Seize Fishing Quotas from Producers Who Build Trawlers With Foreign Capital

Russia's federal fisheries agency plans to start more active seizures of fishing quotas from harvesters who rely on foreign capital to build vessels. The seizures are part of a plan is to encourage fishermen to build fishing trawlers at local shipyards, according to a spokesman at Rosrybolovstvo. Initially, the goal will be to distribute about 20% of the total volume of fishing quotas to local producers that use domestic shipyards. Ultimately, Russia wants as much as 35 percent of quotas distributed to producers that use domestic shipbuilders. In more Russian fishery news, Japan's Hokkaido Federation of Fishermen say Russia's catch of pollock with roe from the Sea of Okhotsk is down about 7 percent during the A season. The federation says that the pace of production slowed from last year around late February, and showed no signs of recovery in the first week of March.

Reports in China suggest customs officials are cracking down on illegal shrimp and lobster shipments imported through Vietnam. Reports suggest buyers in China are pushing for illegal seafood smuggling to avoid high tariffs. It is beleived that the illegal trade will continue for a couple more years until a free trade agreement between China and Australia goes into effect in 2019. That agreement will eliminate rates on Australian seafood shipped to the Chinese market over the course of four years.

In other news, Maine seafood distributor Bristol Seafood has earned Fair Trade Certification for its line of North Atlantic Sea Scallops. This is the first domestically harvested seafood item in the US market to earn recognition from the Fair Trade program. “We are very proud to be the first to introduce Fair Trade Certified seafood harvested in the United States,” said Peter Handy, Presi­dent and CEO of Bristol Seafood. “All of our products are based on integrity and sustainable practices, and Fair Trade certification gives our customers third-party valida­tion that we operate in a socially responsible manner as well.”

Meanwhile, commercial salmon fishermen in Oregon and California are once again looking at no significant summer season this year -- a repeat of similar conditions in the late 2000s. The Pacific Fishery Management Council this week announced sport and commercial salmon fishing seasons that would go out for public review between now and its April 6-11 meeting. The Council will choose the final fishing seasons in April for submittal to the National Marine Fisheries Service's approval and implementation by May 1.

Finally, a new bill is being proposed by Alaska lawmakers that would require captains collect an as yet undefined amount of each crew’s wages and remit it to the state Department of Revenue. The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) opposes the proposal. “We don’t want to be tax collectors, we just want to be able to send a 1099 to the state and then they collect from the crews. We have no idea what their taxes are and I think they are going to make more work for themselves," said UFA's president Jerry McCune.

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Russia's Pollock Catch in Okhotsk Sea Loses Momentum in Early March

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  March 15, 2017

According to the Hokkaido Federation of Fishermen, the catch of pollock with roe for the Russian A season totaled 498,900 tons as of March 8, down about 7% from the prior year.

About 74% of the TAC has been taken.  The federation says that the pace of operation slowed from last year around late February, and showed no signs of recovery in the first week of March.

Therefore the shortfall from 2016 is likely to increase.  

Currently, a total of 137 fishing vessels are operating in the area...

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Russian Fishery Co. Buying Dalmore Pollock Business, Will Have Nearly 300,000 tons of Quota

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - March 7, 2017

Russian Fishery Company (a former Russkoe More Dobycha), one of Russia’s largest fish producers, owned by Maxim Vorobyov and Gleb Frank, is considering acquiring the pollock business of Dalmoreproduct, a Russian pollock producer in the Far East.

Negotiations between the sides are currently underway.  The amount of the deal may reach US$150 million. It is planned that the deal will allow Russian Fishery Company to increase its pollock catch by more than 20%.

The deal has already been approved by the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) and is expected to be closed in the coming weeks.

Currently Dalmoreproduct operates quotas for pollock catch with an annual volume of 60,000 tons.

 

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John Sevier Named New President of International Seafoods - Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - March 2, 2017

John R. Sevier was named ISA-AK’s new president in early February. As president, he is in charge of ISA’s Kodiak-based processing and cold storage operation.

Sevier has a nearly 40-year history in the seafood industry, starting as a quality assurance manager with Alaska Pacific Seafoods in 1976. He served as plant manager for APS in Kodiak, after they became a division of North Pacific Processors.

In 1997 NPP transferred Sevier to Sitka, where he was general manager of Sitka Sound Seafoods and the company’s Yakutat operations. In 2003 he was promoted to senior vice president of Alaska operations and moved to NPP’s corporate headquarters in Seattle.

In 2005, he became a consultant and director of crab operations for Aqua Star in Qingdao, China...

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Adak's Seafood Plant Not Processing Bering Sea Cod Because of Damage, Not Over Deliveries Lawsuit

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - February 23, 2017

Yesterday morning National Marine Fisheries Service closed the “A” season for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI). The TAC had been reached which prompted the closure on the earliest date ever for the “A” season. In 2016, the A season trawl P-cod fishery remained open until March 9.

The early closure is a defining note in a fishery that has historically included deliveries to Adak’s cod processing plant since it opened in 1999...

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State-Waters Cod Season Opens to Pot Gear as Federal Pot Gear Season Closes in Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 22, 2017

The Pacific cod season in state waters will open to pot gear in Prince William Sound (Area E) and Cook Inlet (Area H) at noon on Friday, February 24, 2017. The parallel seasons for jig and longline gear remains open until closed by emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The season follows the closure of the parallel Pacific cod pot season one day before. This coincides with the National Marine Fisheries Service closure of the Pacific cod pot gear sector int he federal Central Gulf of Alaska.

For the state-waters season in Prince William Sound, a guideline harvest level of 4,338,141 lbs. is split between...

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Bojangles' Features Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich for Lent

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

Charlotte, NC -- The BojAngler is back and ready to make a splash! Following a popular debut last year, Bojangles’ has brought back the delicious BojAngler fish sandwich, which is now available at participating restaurants for a limited time.

There’s nothing flaky about this fish sandwich. Unless, of course, you’re referring to the actual filet, a delightfully light, wild-caught Alaskan Pollock filet with a generous dash of Bojangles’ popular fry seasoning. The filet is paired with a slice of all-natural cheddar cheese and zesty tartar sauce, all between a golden-brown toasted, buttered bun. Perfect for lunch or dinner, the BojAngler proves that a brand famous for its flavorful chicken and made-from-scratch ...

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Banks Closer to Forcing Pacific Andes Liquidation with Court Win in British Virgin Islands

Banks who are major creditors of Pacific Andes are one step closer to winning liquidation of the company, after a judge ruled in their favor in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The BVI Commercial Court ordered the appointment of liquidators over Pacific Andes Enterprises Limited, Parkmond Group Limited, and PARD Trade Limited, three BVI incorporated companies that form a key part of the China Fishery Group. The applications were unsuccessfully contested on the principal ground that the appointment of liquidators would irretrievably damage the prospects of a wider, global restructuring of the Pacific Andes Group.

An investment group concluded that Northern Dynasty's Pebble mining deposit in Alaska is not commercially viable. "Mining it would require so much upfront investment that it would actually destroy value," said Kerrisdale Capital in its analysis of Northern Dynasty's assets. The analysis goes a step further and says Northern Dynasty attempted to hide the real value of the assets from the public. "Kerrisdale believes Northern Dynasty’s former partners concluded that the Pebble project had a negative present value – an assessment that Northern Dynasty has spent years trying to conceal from public," the firm said.

In other news, the Russian Fishery Co. plans to significantly expand pollock production volumes, yet its plan, backed by China, may run into opposition from state agencies. Russian Fishery's expansion plan includes a $50-$60 million proposal to expand its fishing fleet with the construction of six factory trawlers. Russian Fishery would rely on a loan from Chinese investors and overseas shipyards to build the boats. But this runs counter to a federal plan that awards catch quotas to operators that commit to using domestic resources to expand the Russian fishing industry.

Meanwhile, we run an Editorial published by the Daily Astorian in Oregon that slams state Governor Kate Brown's intention to squash an agreement that allows for the use of gillnets to commercially harvest some salmon on the Columbia River. "Yes, all Oregonians want recreational fishing to prosper. But by rejecting any compromise on behalf of hardworking commercial fishermen, Brown places herself solidly against jobs for struggling rural voters," the Astorian said.

Finally, Krystal is bringing back Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches for the Lenten season in partnership with King & Prince Seafood. The burger chain will feature the fried shrimp sandwiches on its menu in a $5 meal deal. The shrimp can also be ordered by the basket. "Krystal and Shrimp ring nicely together," said Mike Tigani, Director of Marketing for King & Prince Seafood. "We are humbled to be working with a company that prides themselves on the same Southern culture and great food we at King & Prince do."

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Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty

The A Season pollock roe auction in Seattle has been set for March 14-16th and developments on the fishing grounds and in the market are giving buyers both cause for optimism, and some concern as well. On the market side, cutbacks in roe production last year, especially due to small fish size on the US side, have led to lower supplies in the market, and roe manufacturers are generally low on inventory and eager to buy. Japanese buyers think that the slight increase in TAC for the pollock A season will help increase the supply of roe. They are also encouraged by increased Russian quotas, stable stocks in Russia, and some indications of larger fish size in the Sea of Okhotsk. However, on the US side, fish sizes trended smaller. At the same time, the pollock fleet is constrained by chinook bycatch concerns. Additionally, there does appear to be a very mixed picture among roe processors in Japan, which means some companies could put in strong bids with others holding back at auction.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she plans to reverse a compromise that allowed for the limited use of commercial gillnets on the Columbia River in favor of an outright ban on the use of the gear. In a letter to Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair Michael Finley, Brown asked the commission to comply with state policy and with an agreement with Washington, which voted in January to end gillnetting in the main channel in two years and increase recreational fishers' portion of Chinook. This order overrides an alternative plan approved by the commission that opted to split the Columbia River chinook harvest between the recreational and commercial sectors 80/20, respectively,

In other news, 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.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report confirmed that the toxic algae detected in 140,000 dead salmon smolt earlier this week is not located near salmon farms in Southern Chile where the salmon originated from. Rather, this particular strain has infested portions of shipping lanes used by producers. The salmon were infected during transport since boats recirculate ocean water into the tanks where the fish are stored during transport.

Finally, the Associated Press published a follow-up report to its September investigation that identified labor abuse commercial longliners in Hawaii. This time, the AP report says Hawaii appears to be violating its own rules that require commercial fishermen to obtain a state-issued fishing license. The AP said that the state is using voided landing permits to get workers a commercial fishing permit even though they have not lawfully entered the country.

Have a great weekend.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 7, 2017

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

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

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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...

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