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


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


Feb 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 17, 2017


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


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


Feb 15 - Samherji-Owned Íslandsbleikja Gets Arctic Char Processing Plant in Iceland BAP Certified


Feb 15 - China's Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Becomes First Crawfish Producer to Earn BAP Certification


Feb 15 - China Update: Tilapia Processors Restart with Stable Prices; Shrimp Production Above Expectations


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


Feb 14 - Krystal and King & Prince Seafood Partner Up to Bring Back Shrimp Po' Boys for Lent


Feb 10 - VIDEO: Shrimp Imports Set an Annual Record and FDA is Still Targeting Filth


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


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


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


Feb 7 - Surge in Indian Shrimp Shipments Drives US Imports to All-Time Record 1.33 Billion Lbs in 2016


Feb 7 - Guolian Triples its Profitability in 2016 based on increases in both export and domestic Markets


Feb 7 - BMR Group is India's First Vertically Integrated Shrimp Producer to Get Four Star BAP Approval


Feb 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 6, 2017


Feb 6 - El Pollo Local Brings Back Popular Baja Shrimp Item in Four New Menu Offerings


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


Feb 6 - FDA's Monthly Seafood Rejections Down 30% from Last January with Filth Still Leading Cause


Feb 3 - Krystal Featuring Shrimp in $9.99 Valentine's Day Meal Combo


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


Jan 31 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday January 31, 2017


Jan 31 - Commerce Upholds Duty Rates on Vietnamese Shrimp Exports in Second 5-Year Review


Jan 31 - Study Says Gulf of Mexico Dead Zones are Responsible for High Priced Brown Shrimp


Jan 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 30, 2017


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


Jan 27 - Klaas Puul Constructs New Shrimp Processing Factory in the Netherlands


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


Jan 26 - Two Guangxi Chinese Shrimp Companies Approved for Export by FDA Under the New FSMA


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


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


Jan 24 - Lowest Gulf Landings in years along with High Prices Undercut Arguments on Maintaining Shrimp Duties


Jan 24 - Shrimp Basket Restaurants Names Bubba Gump Shrimp Founder, Scott Barnett, CEO


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


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


Jan 18 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday, January 18, 2017


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


Jan 17 - PODCAST: US Shrimp Imports Spike in November and On Record Pace in 2016


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


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


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


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


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


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


Jan 9 - Bornstein Seafoods On Track to Buy Newport Waterfront Property


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


Jan 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday January 6, 2017


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


Jan 6 - China's White Shrimp Production Down by Over 150,000 tons in 2016


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


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


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


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


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


Dec 29 - China Research Report Shows Slight Decrease in White Shrimp Output in 2016


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


Dec 29 - Louisiana Announces Seasonal Closures to Commercial Shrimp Fishing Effective Jan 2


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


Dec 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 27, 2016


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


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


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


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


Dec 23 - Gulf Shrimp Market at Annual High Price in December With Landings Lowest Since 2010


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


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


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


Dec 21 - Chinese Shrimp Broodstock Companies Fill Gap Left by CP's Exit


Dec 21 - Orca Bay Features Alaskan Cod and Shrimp in New Retail Line of Dinner Entrees


Dec 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 20, 2016


Dec 20 - Letters: Southern Shrimp Alliance Responds to Criticism of Bloomberg 'Bad Shrimp' Article


Dec 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, December 19, 2016


Dec 19 - China Pouring Capital into Argentina Shrimp Fishery


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


Dec 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 16, 2016


Dec 16 - Massive Smear Article in Businessweek Aims to Push Shrimp Imports Under USDA Inspection


Dec 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 15, 2016


Dec 15 - Louisiana To Close Shrimp Season in Portions of State Inside Waters


Dec 15 - Thai Shrimp Farmers Assoc. Sees Continued Improvement in 2017; With Growing Thai Exports to China


Dec 14 - Over 1,500 Seafood Facilities Worldwide Now Certified Against BAP Standard


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


Dec 12 - PODCAST: Shrimp Imports Recap featuring Paul Brown


Dec 9 - After Vannamei Difficulties, Some Guangdong Farmers Turn to Japanese Kuruma Shrimp for Live Market


Dec 9 - Rabobank Commodity Outlook Sees Strong Salmon, Shrimp Markets; Lower Fishmeal Prices


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


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


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


Dec 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 7, 2016


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


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 6 - Shrimp Imports from India Highest Ever for Oct, Up 17%; Total US Shipments on Record Pace in 2016


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


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


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


Dec 1 - Poland’s Fish Production, Consumption on the Rise with More Herring, Smoked Salmon


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


Nov 30 - Sluggish Demand Weighs on Ecuador's US Shrimp Sales


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License Agreement

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Story »

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

Red Chamber said it will participate with Argentina’s national fisheries research institute INIDEP in a fishery observer program for the inshore Patagonian pink shrimp fishery. Argentina’s Patagonian pink shrimp are also known as red shrimp or Pleoticus muelleri. They are a wild-caught coldwater shrimp. Red Chamber Argentina (RCA) said it committed to the observer program for the Patagonian shrimp in order to fulfill goals listed in a Fishery Improvement Program for the fishery that the company is participating in. “We are looking forward to working with INIDEP to track juvenile hake bycatch in the red shrimp fishery and make progress towards management improvements,” said RCA President Marcelo Mou.

Cod prices in UK markets are on the rise from the combination of the prolonged fishermen's strike in Iceland and because of high salmon prices. Analysts say high-priced salmon has UK motivated consumers to switch to lower-priced cod. However, UK cod supplies are starting to feel the pinch from Iceland's prolong fishermen's strike that started in November. In a related story, European fish market analysts at Marko Fish say Iceland's sharply higher capelin quota announced this week could motivate Iceland's fishermen to end their strike. “There are higher probabilities that the strike will be resolved in the next few days than before due to the issue of enlarged quota for capelin of 196 thousand that will be Iceland’s share of the quota. Due to the relatively short catch window for the capelin the pressure to end the strike is increased,” said Marko Fish.

In other news, Vietnam's largest pangasius exporter Vinh Hoan purchased all of the assets to pangasius processors Thanh Binh Dong Thap Seafood for an undisclosed amount. The move increases Vinh Hoan's processing capacity by 20 percent according to a local report.

Meanwhile, NMFS said it will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on the U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries, which target bigeye tuna. The PEIS will analyze the environmental impacts of management of deep-set tuna longliners, which operate out of Hawaii, American Samoa, and the U.S. West Coast. "The PEIS is a proactive step in the management of deep-set tuna longline fisheries," said Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds. "It streamlines environmental review for future management decisions and facilitates the ability of fisheries to adaptively respond to changing conditions."

Finally, the United Fishermen of Alaska flagged concerns about House Bill 511, an income tax bill that begins hearings today in the House Finance Committee. UFA says many fishermen will have "major difficulties" complying with withholding requirements on payments to fishing crew.

Have a great weekend.

Full Story »

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Story »

China’s Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Becomes First Crawfish Producer to Earn BAP Certification 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 15, 2017

The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices has certified the world’s first crawfish facility against its Best Aquaculture Practices program the organization announced in mid-February.

China’s Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Co. Ltd. processing plant attained BAP at its facility located in Pizhou City, Jiangsu, China. The facility has been in operation since 2004 and processes cooked crawfish tail meat and freezes it for export mainly to the United States. The crawfish is imported to the United States by Bernard’s Seafood Co. Ltd. of Mansura, Louisiana.

“The GAA is thrilled to partner with Bernard’s Seafood to help bring BAP certification to crawfish and to help the company source farmed seafood responsibly,” said Chris Keller, BAP director of market development in the Americas.

Full Story »

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."

Full Story »

VIDEO: Shrimp Imports Set an Annual Record and FDA is Still Targeting Filth 






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 »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 7, 2017

Although December 2016 shrimp imports were down 3.4%, annual imports for 2016 were 3% higher than last year establishing a new record import volume of 1.33 billion lbs. of shrimp.
 
The figure was up 3 percent from 2015, which represents a 4 million pound rise in the volume.
 
This makes 2016 an all-time record for total shrimp imported to the US in a single year...

Full Story »

BMR Group is India's First Vertically Integrated Shrimp Producer to Get Four Star BAP Approval

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 7, 2017

BMR Group is India’s first vertically integrated farmed shrimp producer to earn four start certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliances Best Aquaculture Practice program.

The operator earned four-star accreditation when its feed mill BMR Industries Private was certified by the BAP.  The feed mill is situated on the same property as the company’s BAP-certified processing plant in Nellore, India. It has the capacity to produce 80,000  metric tons of feed annually...

Full Story »

El Pollo Local Brings Back Popular Baja Shrimp Item in Four New Menu Offerings

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 6, 2017

El Pollo Loco is bringing back its popular Baja Shrimp selection with the addition of four new menu items.

“We are happy to bring Baja Shrimp back in four new LA-inspired dishes that represent the intersection of seafood and streetfood,” said Ed Valle, Chief Marketing Officer at El Pollo Loco. “Our delicious Baja Shrimp is marinated in chipotle chilies and garlic, offering the authentic, craveable flavor our fans expect from El Pollo Loco.”

The new Baja Shrimp menu includes the following...

Full Story »

FDA's Monthly Seafood Rejections Down 30% from Last January with Filth Still Leading Cause

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 6, 2017

The year’s first round of seafood refusal data from the FDA showed a decline in the volume of rejections while filth is still on the Administration’s radar.

FDA refusals in January reached 145 line items for the month. It’s a 30 percent decline in monthly rejections compared to last January.

Filth accounted for the bulk of the month’s rejection, responsible for 40 percent of January’s refusals. However, this figure was down compared to the 70 percent last January’s seafood rejections the FDA flagged on account of filth...

 

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 1, 2017

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

Full Story »

Commerce Upholds Duty Rates on Vietnamese Shrimp Exports in Second 5-Year Review

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 31, 2017

The Department of Commerce said that exported shrimp would continue to be dumped on the US market if it lifted duty rates on Vietnamese shippers.

That was Commerce’s conclusion in its second five-year sunset review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen shrimp exports from Vietnamese suppliers.

“As a result of our analysis, the Department finds that revocation of the AD order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping,” Commerce said in the January 30 edition of the Federal Register...

Full Story »

Halibut Quotas Mostly increased by IPHC for 2nd Year in Row 

The International Pacific Halibut Commission Friday approved a coast-wide catch limit of 31.4 million pounds of the valuable bottom fish. That’s an increase from just under 30 million pounds last year. “What we’re seeing this year is slightly flatter trends than we saw last year,” said fishery scientists Ian Stewart. “The stock assessment itself has come down just slightly in its estimate of overall spawning biomass. But the projections, the 1-3 year projections are still suggesting that removals of around 40 million pounds are pretty close to the overall surplus production that’s available from the stock.”

John Sackton writes of the grave risk that the US Fisheries sector is faced with over federal attempts to stifle scientific research. The commentary is a response to two stories today, one from Canada, and one from Seattle, about the impacts of government suppression of scientific research for political purposes. "Dismantling or crippling the science that undergirds our ability to have sustainable fisheries ends up limiting harvests, undermining consumer trust, increasing fish population volatility and boom and bust, and in short driving down the value of our entire wild capture industry," Sackton writes.

In other news, targeted and scientifically established Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in Pacific waters would have a better chance of attaining specific environmental goals according to Kitty Simonds, the Executive Director of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. Simonds comments explaining this position were published last week on Professor Ray Hilborn’s Cfood blog. They were in response to three specific questions Cfood posed to fishery scientists about the US government’s use of MPAs. The questions were: What is the utility of setting MPA targets? Do MPAs need to be No Take Zones (NTZs)? and What is the utility and wisdom of creating large ocean MPAs?

Meanwhile, Indian shrimp and seafood producer and exporter WestCoast Group says India needs to set up tax incentives to spur investment in its aquaculture and seafood supply chain industries. The operators said there is plenty of opportunity for India to expands its farmed shrimp and seafood output but investors need incentives to build out the industry.

Finally, we have a couple stories from Vietnam. First, is a report about the possibility that Vietnam might not meet the USDA's September 1 deadline to have all of its pangasius production standards compliant, which could lead to a country-wide ban on exports. The other story reports an expectation from Vietnam's Ministry of Trade that the number of anti-dumping lawsuits against its exports will increase dramatically once Vietnam becomes a World Trade Organisation member.

Full Story »

Klaas Puul Constructs New Shrimp Processing Factory in the Netherlands

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - January 27, 2017

The management of Klaas Puul B.V. has made plans for the construction of a brand new factory in Volendam, the Netherlands. The company committed to the new construction mainly due to the ever increasing hygienic requirements and the need to adhere to the highest BRC certification standards for tropical and coldwater shrimp processing.

The Klaas Puul plans call for the new factory to be 5,506 square meters. The packing lines will move from their current premises to the new building and the current thawing and cooking facilities will be moved to Edam, where another 2,000 square meters will be simultaneously added.

The idea for these construction plans where already present in 2012, however ...

Full Story »

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

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 17, 2017

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

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

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

Full Story »

Samherji-Owned Íslandsbleikja Gets Arctic Char Processing Plant in Iceland BAP Certified

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 15, 2017

Íslandsbleikja is Iceland’s first processing plant and the world’s first Arctic char facility to attain Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.

The processing plant — located in Grindavík, on the southwest coast of Iceland — processes 2,000 metric tons of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) annually, supplied by two land-based farms and three hatcheries throughout Iceland. Íslandsbleikja markets its fresh and frozen Arctic charr to retail and foodservice companies across Europe and North America.

Íslandsbleikja is owned by Samherji hf., a leading Iceland-based seafood company, with operations throughout Europe, Africa and North America...

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China Update:  Tilapia Processors Restart with Stable Prices; Shrimp Production Above Expectations

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Amy Zhong and John Sackton - February 15, 2017

Tilapia processing plants have started back to work after the Chinese New Year. But output is still low.  The market situation in 2016 has taken a toll on farmers feeding and stocking of tilapia, which has meant stable prices amid small supplies.

In Hainan processing plants restarted their operation earlier than those in Guangdong and Guangxi. According to insiders, more processing plants will go back to work after the Lantern ...

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Krystal and King & Prince Seafood Partner Up to Bring Back Shrimp Po' Boys for Lent

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 14, 2017

Krystal is bringing back Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches for the Lenten season in partnership with King & Prince Seafood.

"Shrimp is one of those tastes you just can't get enough of," said Heather Schlesinger, Director of Calendar Programs & Promotions for Krystal. "It only makes sense to bring back the coastal flavors all of our guests love."

The sandwiches are included in Krystal’s Mix for $5 value meal deal. The sandwiches consist of a crispy butterfly shrimp with a tangy sauce served a soft roll.  The fried shrimp is also available by the basket and is paired with a choice of sauces such as buffalo, BBQ or Texas petal...

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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Guolian Triples its Profitability in 2016 based on increases in both export and domestic Markets

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [yuanchang news]  Translated by Amy Zhong   February 7, 2017

Guolian's profit is expected to increase about 300% over the previous year, to around US $15 million, compared to approximately $4.5 million in 2015.   According to Guolian’s performance review, its net profit attributable to shareholders is about 90 million to 105 million yuan in 2016.  This is very likely to raise its share prices. And the net profit of the aquaculture industry sector has also increased in China by 3.6 times on average.

Guolian has attributed the increase to the following factors. 
 
First is its improvement of product structure. The company has imported high-quality seafood and also further developed value-added food. It has sold more high-gross-profit...

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Ken Coons, Seafood Industry Advocate and Long Time Associate Editor of Seafood News, Passes Away 

We are sad to report that Kenelm W. Coons passed away on February Friday, 3, 2017 after a three-month illness. Ken was a well known advocate for the US seafood. His long career in the industry started at Doxsee, marketing clam products. He later helped found and was named the Executive Director of the New England Fisheries Development Foundation, which was eventually renamed the New England Fisheries Development Association (NEFDA). He held this position in Boston for two decades. While at NEFDA Ken partnered with the Canadian Consulate in Boston to found the Boston Seafood Show. Later on, Ken worked with John Sackton as an Associate Editor for Seafood News. “It was truly a gift that in the last 13 years Ken was able to contribute to SeafoodNews. His broad experience, commitment to the industry, and wide range of seafood interests was a perfect fit," said John Sackton. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Ken's memory may contribute to the Kenelm W. Coons Marine Affairs Scholarship at the University of Rhode Island.

The year’s first round of seafood refusal data from the FDA showed a decline in the volume of rejections but that filth is still on the Administration’s radar. A decline in snapper rejections is mostly why January refusals were down overall and specifically for filth. Still, filth accounted for the bulk of the month’s rejection, responsible for 40 percent of January’s refusals. Mahi, which was last year’s most rejected seafood item of the year, was the fifth most refused item in January all because of filth.

In other news Trident and Alaska Airlines are actively planning to build an airport terminal on Akun Island to increase the number of charter flights available for its employees. Many seafood workers change planes in Anchorage, after flying in from the south 48 states and other countries, going from big jets to the smaller planes that fly to rural Alaska. The Unalaska airport saw fewer Trident Seafoods workers this year as the company chartered flights directly to their Akutan plant, with the planes landing at the 5-year-old state airport on Akun Island and then taking a short hop in a helicopter across the bay. Akutan is about 40 miles east of Unalaska.

Meanwhile, proposed legislation wants to allow non-Texas shrimpers to sell their catch in the state. State Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, recently filed House Bill 1260 that would allow non-Texas commercial shrimpers to obtain an occupational license in order to unload their catches in Texas. If passed, out-of-state shrimpers who trawl federal waters would be able to pass through, come to port and unload at Texas docks thus giving Texas the economic value. The bill would not allow the fishermen to harvest in state waters.

Finally, the Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch program downgraded Washington state's geoduck fishery in Puget Sound from "best choice" to "good alternative" because of the industry's use of plastic gear. “Any sort of plastic in the environment is not the best choice,” said Ryan Bigelow, a Seafood Watch program manager. “Plastics tend to break down, and that works its way into fish and shellfish. Eventually, all that ends up back in us.”

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Red Lobster Brings Back Lobsterfest With Four New Combo Entrees

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 6, 2017

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

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

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

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Krystal Featuring Shrimp in $9.99 Valentine's Day Meal Combo 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 3, 2017

Hamburger chain Krystal is hosting one-day deal Valentine's Day meal deal featuring shrimp.

For only $9.99, customers can purchase eight classic Krystals, a dozen golden-fried shrimp, a Chili-Cheese or Junkyard fry and either two cherry ICEE beverages or two chocolate chip cookies. 
 
"On Valentine's Day, we celebrate perfect pairings - and there's no better pairing than classic Krystals and delicious fried shrimp," said Heather Schlesinger, Director of Calendar, Programs & Promotions for The Krystal Company. "No matter who you're sharing Valentine's with, you'll both leave the table happy!" 

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

Performance Food Group (PGF) has purchased the assets to major Florida-based seafood distributor Bar Harbor Seafood. According to the deal, Bar Harbor’s current president and founder Jeff Hazell will retain his title. The company will also keep its name and will be roped into PFG’s Specialty Company cluster. Bar Harbor is a $73 million seafood distributor with headquarters in Orlando. The company operates out of a 41,000 square foot facility and employs 150. “Bar Seafood is a highly regarded organization dedicated to delivering a full range of live, fresh and frozen seafood items with a reputation for high-quality products and great service,” said Jim Hope, PFG’s Executive Vice President of Operations. “This acquisition will enable Performance Foodservice to expand its seafood offerings and strengthen its focus on independent street business and especially customers in the Florida market.”

A new study says marine “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for causing price spikes for large-sized, wild caught Gulf brown shrimp. According to Martin D. Smith, a professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, this study provides the first, long-sought evidence linking Gulf hypoxia to economic impacts. “Many studies have documented the ecological impacts of hypoxia, but establishing a clear causal link to economic losses in affected fisheries has been elusive. Our study does this by showing how seasonal hypoxia off the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts drives monthly fluctuations in market prices in the Gulf brown shrimp fishery,” Smith said.

In other news, the longstanding tension between Canada and the US regarding best ways to manage a shared resource was brought into sharper relief this year at the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) in Victoria, B.C, writes Peggy Parker. In the end, catch limits were agreed to, Canada again received 58 percent more than the Blueline and 41 percent higher than the Spawning Potential Ratio since the stock assessment numbers are good in Canada. But it’s not the assessment in area 2B that the IPHC’s science team and the U.S. Commissioners worry about. It’s what the increased intensity of fishing in 2B could be doing to the rest of the coastwide stock.

Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce said that exported shrimp would continue to be dumped on the US market if it lifted duty rates on Vietnamese shippers. That was Commerce’s conclusion in its second five-year sunset review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen shrimp exports from Vietnamese suppliers. “As a result of our analysis, the Department finds that revocation of the AD order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping,” Commerce said in the January 30 edition of the Federal Register.

Finally, we run a letter to the editor from Shannon Carrol, Fisheries Policy Director for the Alaska Marine Conservation Council that is critical of John Sackton's column about the NPFMC's decision to table without further action all options for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish rationalization during their December meeting. "[John Sackton] 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," Carrol says in the letter.

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Study Says Gulf of Mexico Dead Zones are Responsible for High Priced Brown Shrimp

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 31, 2017

A new study says marine “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico are responsible for causing price spikes for large-sized, wild caught Gulf brown shrimp.

The study was led by researchers at Duke University. It was published this week in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

According to Martin D. Smith, George M. Woodwell Distinguished Professor of Environmental Economics at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, this study provides the first, long-sought evidence linking Gulf hypoxia to economic impacts...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend.

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Tumultuous Dungeness Crab Season Leads to Abundant Supply 

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

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

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

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

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

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