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Apr 17 - News Summary Monday April 17, 2017

Apr 17 - China’s Tilapia Industry Faces Moment of Truth at Volume Remains Flat and Prices Fall

Mar 30 - Regal Springs Meets Goal to Donate 5,000 Lbs of Tilapia to SeaShare

Mar 29 - AquaChile Joins NFI's Salmon Council

Mar 15 - Regal Springs' Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Magdalena Wallhoff Resigns

Mar 14 - Great American Seafoods Steps Up Supply Chain Traceability with New Tracking Software

Mar 6 - FDA Updates February Refusals; Shows Dip in Rejections from 2016 But Filth Still Targeted

Mar 6 - Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Trains 15,000 Shrimp and Tilapia Farmers Asia, South Pacific

Mar 3 - Santa Monica Seafood Wins Food Safety Award

Feb 27 - Skyrocketing Pangasius (Basa) Prices in Vietnam May Mean an Increase in Chinese Tilapia Prices

Feb 15 - 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 - Rain Forest Aquaculture Gets Three-Star BAP Certification at Fresh Tilapia Facility in Costa Rica

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

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

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

Jan 13 - Another Seafood Mislabeling Study Suggests Intentional Species Substitution Without Any Proof

Jan 4 - Tropical Aquaculture's Brazilian Partner GeneSeas Gets Two-Star BAP Certification

Dec 30 - News Summary Friday December 30, 2016

Dec 28 - Guangdong Processor Passes FDA Inspection

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

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

Dec 12 - News Summary Monday, December 12, 2016

Dec 12 - Weak Prices for Small Tilapias mean Farmers Reluctant to Feed Fish over Winter

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

Dec 8 - News Summary Thursday December 8, 2016

Dec 8 - As Global Production Surges, China Loses Market Share, Pricing Power on Tilapia

Dec 5 - China's CAPMA Establishes Catfish Institute to Support Expansion, Including in Domestic Market

Dec 1 - News Summary Thursday December 1, 2016

Dec 1 - Processors in China Cutting Prices on Tilapia Purchases as Farmers Clear Ponds Before Cold Weather

Dec 1 - Tropical Aquaculture's Colombian Tilapia Producer Piscícola El Rosario Gets Two-Star BAP Approval

Nov 23 - Tropical Aquaculture's Ecuadorian Partner Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila Gets BAP Certification

Nov 8 - AquaChile Wants to Expand Fresh Tilapia Production to Mexico

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

Oct 26 - Restructured Pescanova to Build $4.5 Million State-of-the-Art Aquaculture Research Center

Oct 26 - McCormick & Schmick's to Honor US Veterans, Gold Star Families With Free Meal on Veteran's Day

Oct 24 - Critics: Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Program Has No Enforcement

Oct 18 - US Soybean Export Council Helps Colombian Fish Farmers Earn BAP Certification

Oct 17 - Hainan Qinfu Foods Nears Export Goal of 10,000 tons of Tilapia

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

Oct 10 - Guolian To Expand Tilapia Exports as Well as Shrimp with Major Expansion of Gourmet Aquatic Company

Oct 6 - News Summary Thursday October 6, 2016

Oct 6 - China Turns to Domestic Tilapia Market as Export Markets in US and Mexico Cool

Sep 28 - The Saucy Fish Co. Debuts Frozen Seafood Line As Part of Launch Into Canadian Market

Sep 26 - Fresh Tilapia Farmer GeneSeas is Brazil's First Aquaculture Operator to Get BAP Certified

Sep 26 - GAA's GOAL Conference in Guangzhou was One of the Best in Years

Sep 20 - Robins McIntosh Says the Thai Shrimp Industry Has Learned to Live with EMS and Prosper

Sep 20 - 19th Global Aquaculture Alliance GOAL Conference Opens in Guangzhou

Sep 15 - Grobest Gets Three-Star BAP Certification for it Farmed Sea Bass Operations in China

Sep 13 - Tilapia Prices Showing Mixed Signals, as Packers Increase their Buying Price but Some Farm Prices De

Sep 9 - News Summary Friday September 9, 2016

Sep 9 - Facing High Costs in China, Tilapia Breeders Send First Broodstock Shipment to Myanmar

Sep 6 - Vietnam Rapidly Expanding its Tilapia Footprint; now 3rd Largest Supplier to the US

Sep 1 - Chicken of the Sea International Donates $80,000 Worth of Tuna Products to Louisiana's Flood Victims

Aug 23 - News Summary Tuesday August 23, 2016

Aug 23 - Indian Tilapia Farming Off to Good Start with High Survival Rates in Andhra Pradesh

Aug 18 - News Summary Thursday August 18, 2016

Aug 18 - Regal Springs Names Ex-Nomad Foods Director Achim Eichenlaub CEO to Replace Retiring Lamprecht

Aug 16 - News Summary Tuesday August 16, 2016

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

Aug 16 - GAA's iBAP Program Has Helped 50 Aquaculture Facilities Earn Full BAP Certification Since 2015

Aug 8 - Beaver Street and Marine Gold Sponsor Nine Thai Shrimp Farms to Enroll in GAA's iBAP Program

Aug 1 - Chinese Tilapia Processors Hike Prices Paid to Farmers in Hainan

Jul 25 - Chinese Tilapia Prices on the Rise in July as Wet Weather Slows Growth, Stalls Plantings

Jul 19 - India Expects to Improve Shrimp Broodstock Production Through Foreign Investments

Jul 13 - SIRF Funding Project That Will Try to Eliminate Antibiotics in Farmed Tilapia

Jul 12 - News Summary Tuesday July 12, 2016

Jul 12 - Tilapia Producers in Guandgong and Hainan Report Low Profitability from Poor Export Prices

Jul 11 - BAP Sets Monthly Record for Certifications in June; Nearly 1,300 Facilities Approved To Date

Jul 6 - How Guolian Went from Chinese Shrimp Producer to Multinational Seafood Exporter in 15 Years

Jun 23 - In China, Heat Leads to Tilapia Diseases, Prices Drop in Short Term

Jun 13 - Hainan Tilapia Stocking Down about 40% From Last Year, But Farmers Disease Management Improves

Jun 6 - News Summary Monday June 6, 2016

Jun 6 - Sunnyvale Seafood's Chinese Shrimp and Tilapia Supplier Goulian Aquatic Seeks Four-Star BAP Approval

Jun 3 - Netuno is First Brazilian Operator to Get ASC Certification; Just in Time for Rio Olympics

Jun 1 - Tropical Aquaculture's Mexican Tilapia Producer Acuicola Gemso Gets Two-Star BAP Approval

May 23 - Wild Seafood Benefitting from Consumers Demanding More Nutritional, Naturally Produced Food

May 19 - US Seafood Imports from Malaysia at Virtual Stand Still After FDA Warnings

May 19 - MPEDA sets Plan to Start Hatchery, Expand Tilapia Production in India

May 16 - Depressing Start to Shrimp Farming in Southern China, as Farmers Leave Ponds Empty, Report EMS

May 3 - News Summary Tuesday May 3, 2016

May 3 - The Fishin' Company Begins Retail Distribution of Four-Star BAP Tilapia to US Market

Apr 29 - China's Seafood Imports and Exports Struggle From High Input Costs, Overproduction, Weak Demand

Apr 27 - News Summary Wednesday April 27, 2016

Apr 27 - Tilapia Prices Expected to Rebound with Pond Stocking Rates in South China Down 30% in 2016

Apr 27 - Santa Monica Seafood Gets BAP Certification at Expanded Rancho Dominguez Facility

Apr 27 - Tropical Aquaculture Partners with GeneSeas and Netuno to Expand Tilapia Network

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EU Inspecting Mekong Shrimp Exporters for Possible Transshipment of Indian Shrimp Through Vietnam

Vietnam's Ministry of Trade confirmed that EU inspectors examined several shrimp exporters in the Mekong Delta under the suspicion that Indian shrimp is being transshipped to the EU market through Vietnam. Currently, EU import tariffs for Vietnam's shrimp are much lower than those for India. Particularly, the tariff for unprocessed shrimp imports from Vietnam is 4.2 percent, compared to 12 percent for India. For semi-processed shrimp, Vietnam's tariff is about 7 percent while India's is 20 percent. Officials with the EU said they will raise Vietnam's tariff rates for its shrimp shipments if transshipping is detected.

Fortune International has acquired the assets to online seafood distributor Lobster Gram in a deal that expands Fortune's market reach to consumers across the country. “I have always admired Lobster Gram and how [Lobster Gram founder Dan Zawacki] successfully started a live Maine lobster home delivery company from his parents’ garage, now that is entrepreneurship,” said Sean J. O’Scannlain, Fortune International’s President and CEO. “We have always considered entering the e-commerce business given the growth potential and what better way than with an icon like Lobster Gram that shares our commitment to quality service and products.” This is Fortune’s first acquisition of 2017 but just the latest deal that the Bensenville, Illinois-based seafood distributor has made since 2012. Fortune purchased JDY Gourmet in 2012, Chef Martin Old World Butcher Shop Sausage in 2014 and Coastal Seafoods of MN in July of 2016.

The retail market for Bristol Bay sockeye is looking good again this year because of a large push to chill majority of the fish and sell it as a premium product. Last year harvesters set a record volume for the amount of raw material they chilled. "This is huge for the retail potential of Bristol Bay," said Rebecca Martello, the association's executive director. "The fleet is making great strides to ensure Bristol Bay is a quality product and this definitely ties into all aspects of marketing and making Bristol Bay the premium brand we know it to be."

In other news, Chinese tilapia production was flat and the value of its exports fell last year. The industry says its needs to do a better job of developing more international markets to boost sales. In order to do this, producers and processors are being encouraged to increase overseas marketing efforts, develop more competitive brands and increase the quality of the fish.

Finally, the eight percent tariff on Canadian live lobster shipped to Europe will immediately disappear when the free trade deal known as CETA is signed, which could happen as soon as May 1. This coincides with the spring lobster season opener in P.E.I. "For the lobster sector it will mean tariff free access to 27 countries in Europe over the next number of years," said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. "[That] will give us, hopefully, an advantage in that market as we compete against other seafood products and other proteins in a market that has 500 million people."

Full Story »

China’s Tilapia Industry Faces Moment of Truth at Volume Remains Flat and Prices Fall

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS  [] Translated by Amy Zhong  April 16, 2017

China’s tilapia industry needs to increase competitiveness to develop foreign markets further.

Tilapia are one of the farmed aquatic products popular worldwide. There are 80-odd aquaculture countries and regions whose output reached about 5.6 million tons last year. China’s tilapia export has risen substantially during the past few years with increasing tilapia output and demand. Last year alone it has cultivated around 1.7 million tons of tilapias, about 30% of the global production...

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AquaChile Joins NFI's Salmon Council

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 29, 2017

AquaChile has joined the NFI Salmon Council as its newest member making it the 13th full-time member of the group.

Aquachile is among Chile's top farmed producers and exporters. The operator produces Atlantic and Pacific salmon, Sea Trout and Tilapia, and distributors its products to more than 30 countries across 5 continents. AquaChile has operations in Chile, Costa Rica and the United States.

Their facilities hold a raft of certifications including BAP, IFS, HACCP and Global G.A.P, employing 5,000 workers company-wide...

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Great American Seafoods Steps Supply Chain Traceability with New Tracking Software

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 14, 2017

Great American Seafood Imports Company has adopted supply chain tracking software from Frequentz to improve the traceability of its seafood distribution network.

Great American said Frequentz’s supply chain software will improve its technical abilities to combat the effects of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and associate third party certification as well as fair labor recording.

Great American Seafood and Frequentz have begun deploying a three-stage traceability rollout in Southeast Asia to include suppliers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India and China...

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Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Trains 15,000 Shrimp and Tilapia Farmers Asia, South Pacific

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 6, 2017

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership wrapped up a major aquaculture training program in in Indonesia, Thailand, and China that instructed thousands of shrimp and tilapia farmers with modern training designed to improve the industry in these regions.

Organizers initially expected the project to attract 12,500 farmers. But by the December 31, 2016 finishing date, more than 15,000 farmers in all three countries had participated in the training.

“This project has exceeded expectations because of the hard work of many committed partners to deliver improvements based on a detailed, local understanding of what farmers want,” said Anton Immink, SFP’s Aquaculture Director...

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Skyrocketing Pangasius (Basa) Prices in Vietnam May Mean an Increase in Chinese Tilapia Prices

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Amy Zhong - February 27, 2017

The EU reduced catfish imports from Vietnam in 2016 and the U.S. issued policies to also restrict their imports. As a result, China has become Vietnam’s most important buyer. Many insiders assumed that the basa (catfish) prices would decline after the Chinese New Year, but prices skyrocketed by around 20%.

The farm gate price of Vietnam’s basa catfish has increased by US$0.2 per kilo, said Leon, general manager for Shanghai Sintun Industrial. Sourcing basa has become difficult. The fish produces processed fillets that can reach 300-400g each.

Costs increase by about 15 yuan for a carton of basa fillets after Chinese customs clearance in Shanghai. The CIF Shanghai was US$1.9 for basa fillets with 10% ice this January which rose to around US$2.15 to US$2.2 earlier this month, after the holiday...

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 19, 2017

The FDA issued final guidance for fish consumption for pregnant women, which said 90 percent of the seafood items consumed in the US are safe to eat for expecting mothers.

According to a reference chart published alongside the final guidance, 62 types of fish are sorted into three categories: “Best choices” (eat two to three servings a week); “Good choices” (eat one serving a week) and “Fish to avoid.”

Fish in the “best choices” category make up nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the US market the FDA said...

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Tropical Aquaculture's Brazilian Partner GeneSeas Gets Two-Star BAP Certification

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 4, 2017

Tropical Aquaculture’s Brazilian partner GeneSeas Aquacultura has earned two-star certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program.

GeneSeas was the first tilapia farming operation in Brazil to earn certification against the BAP program back in September.

As of December 23, GeneSeas is now a two start certified operation after its plant in Aparecida do Taboado passed an audit against the BAP standard...

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Guangdong Processor Passes FDA Inspection

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] Translated by Amy Zhong - December 28, 2016

Guangdong Yujia Seafood has passed FDA’s field inspection with excellent performance in all testing levels. The processor now has a solid foundation for further export development into the American market.

Yujia Seafood, a subsidiary of Baiyang Group, specializes in processing and export of aquatic products. Most of its products are sold to America. In 2015 alone, it exported 1,700-ton aquatic products worth US$6.2 million to America. Baiyang Group was established in 2000 and it is located in Guangxi. It ranks first in China for tilapia processing and export volumes.

The FDA conducts field inspections of Chinese exporters every year in accordance with...

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] December 14, 2016

The number of Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities has surpassed the 1,500 mark, with the addition of 67 new facilities to the third-party aquaculture certification program last month.

At the end of November, there were a total of 1,527 BAP-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills worldwide, the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) said in a press release. 

The BAP program has more than doubled in size in the past two years. The number of certified facilities is up from 701 the end of 2014 to over 1,500 facilities as of today the GAA said...

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Weak Prices for Small Tilapias mean Farmers Reluctant to Feed Fish over Winter

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong December 12, 2016

There are only 30% tilapias left in the ponds of western Guangdong and processing plants are raising their purchase prices. 

China’s tilapia price index is 3% to 10% higher than at this time last year, with the larger increase for fish of .5 kg or larger.   

According to insiders, this upward change results from limited tilapia deposit and insufficient supply to processing plants. The price rise of feed has had no..

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Vice President of Sales at Bumble Bee Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy 

Bumble Bee’s Walter Scott Cameron, a senior vice president of sales for the company, pleaded guilty in federal court this week for participating in a conspiracy to fix canned tuna prices in the US market. Cameron said he and unnamed co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 until about 2013. The defendant and his co-conspirators negotiated prices and issued price announcements for packaged seafood in accordance with the agreements they reached. This is the first charge to result from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into the “big three” canned tuna brands in the US, which includes Chicken of the Sea and Starkist along with Bumble Bee. “Bumble Bee continues to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice in regards to its ongoing investigation into the packaged seafood industry. Scott has also cooperated with the Company and with the Department of Justice in the investigation. The Company is hopeful that it can reach a resolution with DOJ on this matter, as it relates to the Company, in early 2017," said Jill Irvin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Bumble Bee.

Fresh mahi prices in the US market are trending at an all-time record high level for the fourth quarter. Supplies are more limited than normal since landings from major Latin American suppliers have not picked up since the season started in October. Both of these factors could also push frozen mahi prices to record levels into 2017.

China's tilapia production will be flat in 2016, while global output will rise to 5.5 million tons. China's tilapia industry has become too dependent on exports, especially to the US and Mexico, and would like to stimulate the internal market. But strong competition from pangasius and other species is making domestic sales difficult. We run a review of China's tilapia industry, where the authors point to more high quality, certifications, and breeding programs as necessary to move forward.

In other news, the ISSF has identified science-based harvest limits and control rules as the single most important measure to ensure the health of tuna stocks. WWF has fully endorsed this, as has the MSC in its standards. Now the ISSF and 20 other organizations and companies have sent a letter to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission asking them to take these necessary steps at their upcoming meeting.

Finally, Congress' decision to take catfish inspection away from the FDA and give it to USDA was sharply criticized as a waste of money and resources at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing this week. “Explicitly creating a program exclusively for catfish is unnecessary and directs resources away from high-risk foods to focus on a food that is one of the safest," said Pennsylvania Republican Joseph Pitts, chairman of the Health Subcommittee, in his opening remarks at the hearing titled Waste and Duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program.

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China's CAPMA Establishes Catfish Institute to Support Expansion, Including in Domestic Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong

CAPMA, (China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance) has established a China Catfish Institute.
The institute is part of the China Ministry of Agriculture.
Although Chinese catfish aquaculture has been growing significantly, there were some quality and food safety problems that did great damage to the market.
With the industry now worth 50 billion Yuan, the institute will strengthen supervision of catfish industry and communication between companies. It also works hard to put into use scientific research findings..

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Regal Springs Meets Goal to Donate 5,000 Lbs of Tilapia to SeaShare

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 30, 2017

Regal Springs Tilapia has reached its goal to donate 5,000 pounds of tilapia to SeaShare.  

The company served 1,000 Tilapia Power Bowls during the Seafood Expo North America last week in Boston, which helped the company meet the 5,000 pound goal. For every Tilapia Power Bowl sampled, Regal Springs pledged to donate five pounds of its responsibly raised tilapia to SeaShare,   

The Tilapia Power Bowls featured fresh pan-seared Regal Springs Tilapia Loins, quinoa, corn salsa and Queso Blanco cheese...

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Regal Springs' Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Magdalena Wallhoff Resigns 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 15, 2017

Regal Springs Group confirmed that the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Officer Magdalena Wallhoff has tendered her resignation and will leave the company.

Wallhoof was a longtime employee of Regal Springs, which farms, processes and exports fresh lake-grown tilapia globally, with a focus on the North American market. The company has state of the art facilities in Indonesia, Honduras and Mexico. Regal produces a total of 110,000 metric tons of fish per year...

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FDA Updates February Refusals; Shows Dip in Rejections from 2016 But Filth Still Targeted

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - March 6, 2017

The FDA issued more seafood refusal data for the month of February over the weekend, which showed by line item refusals more in line with historical averages but on the decline compared to 2016.  

Last week we reported that the FDA refused just 22 by line items of seafood in the month of February. That figure was far lower from historical averages for the month.

But the FDA does not have a concrete deadline for its monthly refusal data submissions...

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Santa Monica Seafood Wins Food Safety Award

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - March 3, 2017

Santa Monica Seafood came home a real winner from Las Vegas last week. 
The Rancho Dominguez, Calif.-headquartered seafood company announced it was awarded the Food Safety Achiever of the Year award at the annual SafeFood 360° Food Safety Conference that was held in Nevada.
SafeFood 360° is an all-encompassing software program that organizes all aspects of a company’s’ food safety policies, procedures, testing reports, results and data to ensure that they meet Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, international and customer food safety standards. SafeFood 360° has several hundred food manufacturer and retailer customers throughout the U.S. and ...

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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

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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.

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Rain Forest Aquaculture Gets Three-Star BAP Certification at Fresh Tilapia Facility in Costa Rica

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 14, 2017

Rain Forest Aquaculture received three-star certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program for its fresh tilapia operation in Costa Rica.

Rain Forest is owned by major farmed salmon producer and exporter AquaChile and supplies 90 percent of the US market fresh tilapia fillets. Rain Forest represents about 25 percent of the entire North American for fresh tilapia.

Three-star certification is the second highest level of certification offered by the BAP program. Rain Forest says it is close to full four-star approval...

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong January 26, 2017

Two aquatic companies in Beihai of Guangxi have passed the examination of the FDA.

Beihai Wanjing Marine Products and Beihai Evergreen Aquatic Product Science and Technology have passed the official examination of Food and Drug Administration on Jan 9 and Jan 13 respectively. They are the first food companies in Beihai of Guangxi which have been approved by the FDA after the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) went into effect.
These two are leading private enterprises in Beihai....

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Another Seafood Mislabeling Study Suggests Intentional Species Substitution Without Any Proof

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 13, 2017

Another study was published this week that once again suggests intentional fish fraud in the US's seafood supply chain but without any clear evidence to back up the claim.

Researchers at UCLA and Loyola Marymount University are behind the latest study that was published this week in the scientific journal Conservation Biology.

This study used DNA sampling to test the fish at 26 sushi restaurants in Los Angeles between 2012 and 2015. Sure enough, the results showed that of the samples tested, 47 percent of the fish were mislabeled...

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The Fishin' Company is Leading Effort to Clean Up China's Farmed Tilapia and Seafood Sector 

Major tilapia distributor The Fishin' Company is leading efforts in China to make sure all of the tilapia imported to the US market is raised by farmers practicing responsible methods in their seafood supply chains. The company is in year two of a project that is helping more farmers get international sustainable farming certification by third parties, like the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices certification. The Fishin' Company is sponsoring training and offering financial incentives to a few model farms that invest in improvements. The Fishin' Company said it hopes that other farmed tilapia and seafood producers in China will follow suit once they see the financial benefit of responsible farming and supply seafood chain practices. "I challenge the rest of the industry to do it. And then the people who don't do it will be the ones on the hot seat," said Manish Kumar, founder and president of The Fishin' Company.

Bristol Seafood’s President and CEO Peter Handy will join the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Board of Directors in 2017. "We are pleased Peter can invest the time in moving the seafood industry forward," said John Connelly, President of NFI. "He brings a fresh perspective to our Board discussions, one that will help improve the performance and perception of our efforts to help Americans enjoy a healthy seafood meal."

In other news, the 24th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood is now asking for entries to compete for the most innovative seafood products of 2016. This year the category “Beyond the Egg” will again highlight any product made with different species of roe such as salmon, pollock, cod, herring, or urchin. Deadline to enter new products is January 6th, 2017.

Meanwhile, Marine Harvest Chile has invested in technologies that will mitigate the risk of algae blooms at its farmed salmon operations. The company also forecast its total salmon production to rise 6 percent in 2017.

Finally, we’ve put together a list of some of the most impactful stories reported out of the seafood industry in 2016. This year’s list is made up of the top two most read stories from each month in 2016. We understand that some of these stories are superseded by later events.

Seafood News and Urner Barry will be closed on January 2 in observance of the New Year. We look forward to another year of reporting all of the most pertinent news to come out of our industry in 2017.

We wish all you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [News Analysis] by John Sackton  December 16, 2016

If you read the Bloomberg Businessweek Article ‘Bad Shrimp’ (Link), you might never eat shrimp again.  The authors take a series of health problems and weaponize them against shrimp whether they are factual, true, or even about shrimp in the first place.

The goal of the reporter and the backers of this article is to create political pressure to put shrimp inspections under the auspices of the USDA

The article also calls into question most of Asian aquaculture production, as the claims it makes apply not just to shrimp, but to any pond, cage raised or estuary cultivated seafood...

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News Summary December 12, 2016 

Today's Main Story: Pollock TAC Basically Unchanged in Bering Sea for 2017, Despite Huge increase in Biomass

The news opens reporting that despite the big increase in Alaska pollock biomass and allowable catch, the industry negotiations and the North Pacific Council Recommendations this year were for an insignificant 5000 metric ton increase in BSAI pollock. At the December meeting that ends tomorrow, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council added 5,000 mt to the pollock total allowable catch (TAC) for 2017 and 2018. With a total catch limit in the entire Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands of 2 million metric tons, the pollock TAC was far below an Allowable Biological Catch of 2.8 million in 2017 and nearly 3 million projected for 2018. Besides pollock, there are 21 other species or species complex harvested from the area.

In other news, federal fishing regulators say they are looking to change the way they manage Atlantic halibut in the wake of a surge in catch of the fish. The government lists Atlantic halibut as “overfished” and conservationists want to protect it. But many fishermen say the catch is up because the stock has been rebuilt over recent years. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council decided last month to review management of halibut, which is popular with diners and chefs for its thick, meaty steaks. Exactly what form regulation changes could take isn

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


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  Dec 9, 2016

The Chairperson of NFI,  Kim Gorton, who is also CEO of Slade Gorton Co., testified on Capitol Hill this week as part of the ongoing effort to correct the problems caused by USDA regulation of catfish.  The hearing was before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.  Excerpts from her testimony are below:

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Green, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee, my name is Kim Gorton, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Slade Gorton & Company, a seafood company based in Boston, Massachusetts. I also am the 2016 Chairperson of the National Fisheries Institute, the nation's largest trade association for the commercial seafood industry. I am pleased to have the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee today.

Slade Gorton & Company is a third generation family business. Our mission is to bring wholesome, nutritious seafood from around the world to America's table in support of well-being and overall quality of life. Our company is one of America's largest distributors and manufacturers of fresh, frozen and premium value-added seafood products, and we provide over 200 million seafood meals to Americans every year. We develop and manage fresh and frozen seafood programs for some of our nation's largest retailers, distributors and chain restaurants. We are proud of our record of supplying healthful and safe seafood to American families in all 50 states for nearly 90 years.
Regarding catfish: our company buys nearly an equal amount of domestic and imported catfish....

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As Global Production Surges, China Loses Market Share, Pricing Power on Tilapia

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan news] Translated by Amy Zhong  December 8, 2016

China's tilapia production will be flat in 2016, at around 1.65 million tons, while global output will rise to 5.5 million tons.  China's tilapia industry has become too dependent on exports, especially to the US and Mexico, and would like to stimulate the internal market.  But strong competition from pangasius and also the ubiquitous grass carp, is making domestic sales difficult.  In this review of the tilapia industry, the authors point to more high quality, certifications, and breeding programs as necessary to move forward.
There have been many uncertainties in China’s tilapia industry development since 2015. The global economy is sluggish and China’s economic growth has slowed down. So it is key for the industry to improve its structure and have supply-side reform to deal with different challenges.
China’s tilapia production
Over the past 20 years, China’s tilapia output has skyrocketed by over four times....


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