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


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


Feb 20 - Effective Management Can Navigate Climate Impacts on the Fisheries


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


Feb 17 - Feds to Analyze Environmental Impacts of Western Pacific Longline Fisheries for Bigeye and Tuna


Feb 17 - Bumble Bee Adds Flavors and Launches Snack Kit Packaging to Tuna Pouch Lineup


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


Feb 16 - IATTC Makes Progress on Decreasing Effort on Bigeye and Yellowfin Tunas


Feb 14 - World Bank Report Says Fisheries Reform with Catch Limits Shows Promising Results


Feb 10 - Hawaiian Seafood Council Refutes AP's Labor Abuse Claims in Commercial Longliner Fleet


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


Jan 30 - Western Pacific Council Director Says MPAs Must Be Targeted and Scientifically Supported


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


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


Jan 25 - New ISSF Report Points Out Few MSC Certified Tuna Fisheries Meet Harvest Control Standard


Jan 23 - Unfortunate Decision on Bairdi Suggests Alaska Failing its Fisheries Obligations in Age of Austerity


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


Jan 16 - Indonesian company PT Karyacipta Buanasentosa Obtains Friend of the Sea Certification for Tuna


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


Jan 10 - Chicken of the Sea Int'l Launches 10-Week Challenge to Get More Americans to Eat Seafood


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


Jan 6 - Starkist Enlists "Full House" Star Candace Cameron Bure as Newest Spokesperson


Jan 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 5, 2017


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


Jan 5 - PNA Expects to Double its MSC-Certified Tuna Harvest in 2017


Dec 29 - WESPAC Council Questions Impact of Marine Monuments


Dec 28 - Philippines' Century Pacific Buys Controlling Stake in Chinese Distributors from Thai Union


Dec 28 - NOAA releases Pacific Action Plan For Climate Science


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


Dec 22 - Second Bumble Bee Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy


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


Dec 19 - Zhangzidao and Sojitz Build Second Factory in Dalian to Expand Super Frozen Tuna, Salmon Business


Dec 16 - Western Pacific Council Hopes Obama Recognizes Monuments' Effects on Hawaii Swordfish, Tuna Fleets


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 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 9 - Thai Union, World Tuna Purse Seine Organization Sign Mou to Promote Fair Labor Practices


Dec 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 8, 2016


Dec 8 - Vice President of Sales at Bumble Bee Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy


Dec 8 - ISSF and 20 NGO Partners, Including WWF and MSC, Appeal to Pacific Tuna Comm. to Adopt Harvest Rules


Dec 8 - House Democrats Hold Forum on Combating Slavery At Sea; Focused on Hawaii


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


Dec 7 - In Blistering Critique, WWF Says MSC Financial Goals Weakened Its Standards for Indian Ocean Tuna


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


Dec 6 - EU and the Cook Islands: New Fisheries Partnership Starts


Dec 5 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday December 5, 2016


Dec 1 - ISSF Calls for Continued Cuts to Bigeye Landings, Reduction in FADs in Pacific


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


Nov 30 - Subway Joins International Pole & Line Foundation in Support of Responsibly Harvested Tuna


Nov 29 - Seafood Suppliers, Retailers ask WCPFC to Set Interim Harvest Reference Points for Tuna and By-catch


Nov 28 - 2016 ICCAT Meeting Combats IUU Fishing, but Fails to Protect Young Bigeye or Yellowfin Tuna


Nov 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday November 23, 2016


Nov 23 - Oregon, Washington Take Caution, Delay Commercial Dungeness Season for More Domoic Acid Testing


Nov 22 - Pew Mostly Disappointed with ICCAT Commission Outcomes But Does Support Science-Backed Decisions


Nov 22 - ICCAT Commission Sets Catch Limits for Mediterranean Swordfish and Other Billfish for First Time


Nov 21 - PSPA Hires Dr. Kris Lynch to Replace Retiring Dennis Phalen


Nov 17 - Clean Seas Gets $10,000 Grant to Improve Feed Ratios for its Farmed Yellowtail Kingfish


Nov 16 - Peru and Ecuador's Mahi Industries Update FIP Progress During WWF Workshop


Nov 16 - Nature Conservancy Challenges Data Scientists to Improve Electronic Monitoring Aboard Tuna Vessels


Nov 16 - Pope Francis Weighs in On Fisheries Issues, Including Trafficking, for World Fisheries Day Nov. 21


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


Nov 15 - MSC Calls for 2nd Round of Projects to Apply for its Global Fisheries Sustainability Fund


Nov 10 - ISSF Praises Progress at ICCAT Prior to 2016 Meeting; Calls for More Monitoring of FADs


Nov 10 - Trouble at Tsukiji: World's Biggest Fish Market Caught in Controversy


Nov 9 - California's Dungeness Fishery to Start as Scheduled on November 15; OR and WA Optimistic


Nov 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 7, 2016


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


Nov 7 - Sea Delight's Traceability Policy to Improve Data Collection for Mahi, Tuna, Snapper, Swordfish


Nov 4 - FDA Seafood Refusals Climb 20% in October


Nov 4 - Future of Fish Hails the Maldives' New Fisheries Information System a Big Step Forward for Tuna Mana


Nov 4 - Atlantic Cod: the Good, the Bad, and the Rebuilding


Nov 2 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday November 2, 2016


Nov 2 - ISSF Strengthens Tuna Sustainability Standards


Nov 1 - Albertsons Expands Commitment to Responsible Seafood Sourcing Under Seafood Watch


Oct 31 - John West New Zealand Meets Goal to Use Only MSC-Certified Pacific Tuna in Canned Products


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


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


Oct 26 - Ahold USA Gets MSC Certification for Nature's Promise Canned Tuna


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


Oct 26 - Ningbo Province Sees Big Jump in Canned Seafood Exports to US


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


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


Oct 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday October 20, 2016


Oct 20 - Parties to Naru Agreement and ISSF Move for Closer Cooperation with Tuna Board Appt.


Oct 17 - WPRFMC to Amend Pacific Fishing Regs to Accommodate Hawaii's Expanded MPA; No Changes Made to Bigeye


Oct 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday October 14, 2016


Oct 14 - Chicken of the Sea Int'l Puts EZ-Open Pull Tab Lids on its Canned Tuna Line


Oct 14 - Tri Marine Indefinitely Suspends Tuna Canning in American Samoa; Binotto Out as The Tuna Store CEO


Oct 13 - Pew Blasts US for Reneging on Pacific Bluefin Tuna Protection Plan; Reiterates Call for Fishing Ban


Oct 12 - IKEA Spain to Serve Pacifical's MSC Certified Skipjack and Yellowfin PNA Tuna


Oct 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday October 7, 2016


Oct 7 - Hawaii Longliners Return to Fishing for Bigeye Tuna


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


Oct 5 - Canada's Canned Seafood Distributor Clover Leaf Launches In-House Traceability Program


Oct 4 - Taiwan's Commercial Fishing Sector Prepares to Operate Under Stricter Labor Laws in 2017


Sep 29 - IUCN Call that 30% of all Marine Areas be Closed Sparks Outrage from Scientists, Fisheries Officials


Sep 22 - ISSF: Most Tuna Catch Comes from Abundant Stocks, But Overfishing of Some Stocks Continues


Sep 21 - SFP Celebrates Ten Years in its First Annual Report


Sep 20 - Letters: MPA Proposal Off California Is Yet Another End-Around US Commercial Fishery Management


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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 »

Effective Management Can Navigate Climate Impacts on the Fisheries

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 20, 2017

BOSTON – Fisheries around the world are likely to come under increasing pressure from climate change. But effective, cooperative management approaches can blunt the projected impacts on both fish stocks and on the billions of people who depend on them – and in some cases even improve the health of key fisheries.

“The future is potentially prosperous, but only if we take action now to adapt to the kinds of changes that we now anticipate,” said Christopher Costello, professor of environmental resource economics...

Full Story »

Feds to Analyze Environmental Impacts of Western Pacific Longline Fisheries for  Bigeye and Tuna 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 17, 2017

HONOLULU -- The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced on Monday that 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 need for the proposed action is to manage deep-set tuna longline fisheries under an adaptive management framework that allows for timely management responses to changing environmental conditions, consistent with domestic and international conservation and management measures.

The PEIS will be developed in coordination with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council based in Honolulu.

Tuna longline fisheries use two distinct gear types: shallow-set vessels target swordfish near the surface and deep-set vessels target tunas deeper than 100 meters...

Full Story »

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Story »

World Bank Report Says Fisheries Reform with Catch Limits Shows Promising Results

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  February 14, 2017

The World Bank has released an updated economic report that says poor fisheries management costs more than $80 billion per year in global fishery losses.
 
The new report, called The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries, confirms what many intuitively know: overexploitation is not a good strategy to manage a renewable natural resource like fish stocks, for steady profits, reliable jobs and long-term growth. For global fisheries as a whole, about $83 billion were foregone in 2012, compared to a more optimal scenario, largely because of overfishing.
 
The report uses a bio-economic model developed by Professor Ragnar Arnason of the University of Iceland that is an update of a 2009 study published by the World Bank and the FAO, called The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform. By explicitly quantifying the potential economic benefit forgone in global marine fisheries, The Sunken Billions underscored the urgency of improving marine fisheries governance and generated additional momentum toward restoring overexploited fish stocks.
 
Since then, the World Bank and partners have worked ...
 

Full Story »

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

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

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

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 27, 2017

In a nearly unprecedented display of unanimity, members of the fishing industry representing New England, Pacific, North Pacific, MidAtlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaiian and Southeastern fisheries, as well as the National Fisheries Institute based in Washington, D.C. have rallied to support the appointment of North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Director Chris Oliver as the next Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The push comes at a time when more 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported from overseas, resulting in an astonishing $13 billion seafood trade deficit...

Full Story »

New ISSF Report Points Few of MSC Certified Tuna Fisheries Meet Harvest Control Standard

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  January 25, 2017

The ISSF (International Seafood Sustainability Foundation) is a supporter of the MSC, and is working to get tuna fisheries certified by the MSC.  But the organization is also committed to real scientific standards, and to working with the RFMO’s to upgrade tuna fisheries management.
 
The ISSF has released a report showing that one of the critical elements in the Marine Stewardship Council’s 2.0 standard, the presence of harvest control rules, is almost entirely missing...

Full Story »

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...

Full Story »

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...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - January 9, 2017

The National Fisheries Institute, six major seafood companies, and two West Coast Associations sued the Obama Administration over the final US Rule regarding seafood import regulations in federal district court on Friday, Jan 6th.
 
The six company plaintiffs are Alfa International, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Handy Seafood, Pacific Seafood Group, Trident Seafoods, and Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants.  Also the Pacific Seafood Processors Association and the...

Full Story »

Oregon Dungeness Crabbers, Processors Return to Price Negotiations 

Fishermen and processors in Oregon have returned to the state-supervised negotiating table in Newport, Ore., in an effort to end a strike by fishermen over Dungeness crab ex-vessel prices. "Buyers and sellers each have to decide what they think the market will support," said Occhipinti. "It can be challenging to find the right balance, but we're confident that at the end of the day, consumers will get wholesome, sustainably harvested Dungeness crab at a price they can afford," said Dan Occhipinti, Pacific Seafood's General Counsel in a statement.

The FDA’s overall seafood rejection rates in 2016 finished the year up 10 percent compared to the 2015 total. Mahi emerged as the most rejected seafood item in 2016 with rejections 3.5 times higher from 2015 levels, and more than double the five-year-average of mahi refusals according to the FDA’s data. Filth accounted for over 80 percent of the FDA's mahi refusals while about 65 percent of all seafood refusals were because of filth.

In other news, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement expect to double their Marine Stewardship Council-caught tuna in the Pacific fishing zones of its member nations in 2017. “We expect the volume to double to about 100,000 metric tons in 2017 based upon existing orders,” said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoruin a press release. Still, at 100,000 mt, the MSC-certified catch remains a fraction of the overall PNA tuna harvests, which have been on a downward trend.

Meanwhile, the 2016/2017 commercial Tanner crab fishery in Southeast Alaska will open concurrently with the commercial golden king crab fishery noon on Friday, February 17, 2017. The five-year average catch in Southeast Alaska for tanner crab is 1.2 million pounds or just under half a million individual crab.

Finally, Florida's stone crab harvesters hope to improve their landings now that a lingering wave of red tide has dissipated from the Collier County coastline. Crabbers have been hammered by the red tide that followed Hurricane Matthew in October. Stone crab counts are down throughout the state at monitoring sites checked by state wildlife officials when compared with this time last year. In Collier County alone, the crab count has been cut nearly in half according to state officials.

Full Story »

PNA Expects to Double its MSC-Certified Tuna Harvest in 2017

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 5, 2017 

Majuro, Marshall Islands -- The Parties to the Nauru Agreement expect to double their Marine Stewardship Council-caught tuna in the Pacific fishing zones of its member nations in 2017, to meet growing global market demand for sustainable fish.

The PNA operates a MSC-certified free school-caught skipjack and yellowfin tuna fishery in the western and central Pacific.

In 2016, tuna fishing fleets complying with strict chain of custody rules that met MSC certification requirements delivered more than 55,000 metric tons of sustainably caught free school tuna to market, said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru...

Full Story »

Philippines' Century Pacific Buys Controlling Stake in Chinese Distributors from Thai Union

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] December 28, 2016

The Philippines’ largest canned food company Century Pacific Food purchased the controlling stake in several distribution companies in China from its parent company and from a Thai Union subsidiary in China.

Century Pacific Food signed the purchase agreements to buy the distribution companies for US$2.65 million in cash.  The distributors were owned 50 percent each by Thai Union Manufacturing Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thai-listed Thai Union Public Group, and Century Pacific Group, Inc., which is the parent company of Century Pacific Foods...

Full Story »

Second Bumble Bee Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy 

Kenneth Worsham is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty for participating in a scheme to fix prices of canned tuna in the US market. According to the charge, Worsham and unnamed co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products. Worhsam is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty to a price fixing conspiracy. Earlier this month, Walter Scott Cameron plead to the same conspiracy charge. Both of the executives agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the division’s ongoing investigation. So far, Worsham and Cameron are the only named co-conspirators in the case.

A deal that could shake up the Russian pollock industry was announced today. Gidrostroy, one of Russia’s largest fish producers, owned by a senator of the Sakhalin area Alexander Verkhovsky, is considering acquiring Preobrazhensky Base of Trawling Fleet (PBTF). The amount of the deal may reach US$430 million. The deal could make Gidrostroy the biggest pollock producer in Russia, surpassing the volumes produced by The Russian Fish Company. It is expected that the deal will be finally closed in January 2017.

In other news, fishery managers in Oregon and Washington will open more waters to commercial Dungeness fishing on January 1. This ends a one-month delay to the start of the season. Officials delayed fishing to conduct more domoic acid testing out of precaution, not because the acid levels were over the legal limit.

Meanwhile, shrimpers in Mississippi are concerned that new federal rules to expand the use of turtle excluder devices (TED) will increase their costs and limit their catches. The proposed rules requires skimmer nets to use TEDs over tow-time restrictions. The industry says about half of the state's shrimp fleet would be impacted.

Finally, we run a story on how the use of Sustainable Development Goals in global fisheries can help the seafood industry address issues including IUU practices, antibiotic usage and sustainable fishery management. The report says that the seafood industry is in a unique position since the private sector has the influence and resources to make such improvements.

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - February 20, 2017

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

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

Full Story »

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 »

Bumble Bee Adds Flavors and Launches Snack Kit Packaging to Tuna Pouch Lineup

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

Bumble Bee Seafoods has introduced several new flavors to its Prime Fillet line, Seasoned Tuna Pouches and Snack on the Run! kits. 
 
“Consumers are looking for nutritious, affordable meal solutions to fill their pantries,” said Dave Melbourne, Bumble Bee senior vice president, consumer marketing and corporate social responsibility, in the statement. “Bumble Bee’s new flavor varieties offer simple, delicious ways to incorporate more seafood into you and your family’s diet.”

Full Story »

IATTC Makes Progress on Decreasing Effort on Bigeye and Yellowfin Tunas

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - February 16, 2017

Eastern Pacific fisheries managers finally reached an agreement last week on fishing for bigeye and yellowfin tunas. It took more than seven months and the measures are not without criticism, but the measures align with other international management and acknowledge excessive fishing effort may harm the tuna resources.
 
The 21 members of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Association agreed to align the total purse seine catch limits for yellowfin and bigeye tuna by set type and that there are no national allocations.
 
The purse seine vessels of capacity classes 4 to 6 (more than 182 metric tons carrying capacity) and longline vessels more than 24 meters of all members and cooperating non-members of the IATTC must stop fishing in the Convention Area for 62 days in 2017, according to the IATTC resolution. The closures must be in one of two periods: between July 29 and Sept. 28 or between Nov. 18, 2017 and Jan. 18, 2018.
 
The members did not agree to limit ...

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Hawaiian Seafood Council Refutes AP's Labor Abuse Claims in Commercial Longliner Fleet

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 10, 2017

The Hawaiian Seafood Council issued a fact sheet to clarify details from an investigation by the Associated Press that found foreign fishermen aboard Hawaiian vessels may be subject to labor abuse and now appear to be fishing with illegal permits.

According to the most recent Associated Press story, which was published on February 10, Hawaii appears to be violating its own rules that require commercial fishermen to obtain a state-issued fishing license.

In order for any fishermen to get such a permit the workers need to be “lawfully admitted” to the US the AP investigation says...

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Western Pacific Council Director Says MPAs Must Be Targeted and Scientifically Supported 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 30, 2017

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...

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Federal Rule Freeze Could Stall Alaska's Halibut Season; Use of Pot Gear for Sablefish

A memo issued by President Donald Trump that freezes all new or pending regulations at executive departments and agencies could delay the start to Alaska's halibut fishery and the use of pot gear for sablefish. The memo delays regulations for 60 days with potential for even longer notices and reviews. That would push the soonest fishery start date to March 27. The halibut fishery traditionally opens in early March. Also potentially stalled due to Trump’s regulation freeze is the use of pots to catch sablefish in the Gulf of Alaska. That gear was approved by federal advisors to start this March as a way to prevent sperm whales from snatching the fish from longlines. NOAA Fisheries in Alaska is aware of the potential impacts posed by the Trump freeze said Tom Gemmell, director of the Halibut Coalition. He said fishery managers are working to ensure that the 2017 halibut and sablefish regulations are published in the rule books on time.

The ISSF has released a report showing that one of the critical elements in the Marine Stewardship Council’s 2.0 standard, the presence of harvest control rules, is almost entirely missing in the tuna sector. According to an analysis by John Sackton, out of 19 distinct tuna stocks in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, North and South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, only 3 have harvest control rules that meet the minimum MSC passing score of 80. All the others cannot yet meet that standard. "In effect, the ISSF is saying that 16 out of 19 global tuna fisheries are not up to the MSC standard in this area," Sackton writes. "This includes 15 of 17 MSC tuna fisheries that are already certified or currently in assessment."

In other news, Alaska seafood exporters are disappointed by President Trump's executive order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would have cut tariffs on Alaska's seafood exports. For instance, the deal would have helped Alaska's pollock industry by cutting import taxes of 4.2 percent to zero in Japan, the largest consumer of pollock surimi and roe. "We're disappointed that the reduction in tariffs did not take place," said Ron Rogness, a spokesperson for American Seafoods, an Alaska pollock processor based in Seattle.

Meanwhile, Costco Wholesale Corp won dismissal of a lawsuit claiming it didn’t disclose to customers that it was selling farmed shrimp from Thailand that might have been fed with fishmeal produced by abused workers. A San Francisco federal judge threw out the case Tuesday, finding that the consumers who filed it failed to allege the company had a duty to disclose the information about labor abuses in its supply chain.

Finally, fishermen in Maine want to develop a distinct brand for the state's small, day boat scallop fishery and market them as a "super premium" item. By differentiating Maine’s scallops from the rest of the catch, the fishermen hope to build a market that can sustain Maine’s fishery. “I think that if you want to get the most out of the Maine fishery, you’ve got to separate it from the rest of the fisheries out there. You’ve got to market it from a standpoint of what it is: a dayboat fishery that is traceability to the source,” said Dana Temple, who owns Crescent Bay, a wholesale seafood company.

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Unfortunate Decision on Bairdi Suggests Alaska Failing its Fisheries Obligations in Age of Austerity

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  January 23, 2017

Alaska’s fiscal crisis is continuing, as low oil prices have decimated the state budget.  One of the important foundations of the state’s economy going forward is its fishing industry.  Yet at their January meeting, the Alaska Board of Fisheries rejected a request to open a small Bairdi fishery under unique circumstances this year that would have been worth $25 million.
 
The difficulty of the fisheries situation in Alaska is partly due to the fact that at the same time the state is becoming more dependent on fisheries resources, the impact of global warming and possible spatial changes in stocks is creating new uncertainty in traditional survey estimates.
 
The ADF&G mission statement says “The primary goals are to ensure that Alaska's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their habitats are conserved and managed on the sustained yield principle, and the use and development of these resources are in the best interest of the economy and well-being of the people of the state.”
 
Unfortunately, the Board of Fisheries Decision to deny a well-researched plan for a small Bairdi fishery this year put out of date science over the interests of the “economy and well-being” of the people of the state.
 
Bairdi crab has been an Alaska success story.  Once a highly sought after crab that was larger and more valuable than Opilio,...
 

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Indonesian company PT Karyacipta Buanasentosa Obtains Friend of the Sea Certification for Tuna

PT Karyacipta Buanasentosa (PT KCBS), an Indonesian tuna catch and processing company, wholly owned by Yamako Pacific Pte Ltd - has recently obtained the Friend of the Sea certification for skipjack and yellowfin tuna. The company complies with all Friend of the Sea requirements and can now display the official seal of approval on its products.

All tuna species are fished using the pole and line method, ...

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Chicken of the Sea Int'l Launches 10-Week Challenge to Get More Americans to Eat Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 10, 2017

Chicken of the Sea International (COSI) has launched a campaign that challenges Americans to eat more seafood per the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020.

The  #EatMoreSeafood Go Fish! Challenge will encourage Americans to use seafood instead of proteins in at least two meals per week. The program continues through March 15, 2017.

“These latest guidelines confirm what Chicken of the Sea has known for years: Americans just aren’t getting enough seafood,” said  Maureen McDonnell, director of marketing for Chicken of the Sea.

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Starkist Enlists "Full House" Star Candace Cameron Bure as Newest Spokesperson

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - January 6, 2017

StarKist has enlisted actress Candace Cameron Bure as its newest spokesperson.

Bure will be featured in promotional campaigns for Starkist’s Tuna and Salmon Creations, the company’s line of single-service pouches. The multimedia advertising campaigns will see Bure star in 15-second on-the-go television commercials showcasing how she eats, snacks and keeps healthy with her busy schedule. Each television spot will focus on how StarKist Creations can be enjoyed straight from the pouch...

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 5, 2017

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

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

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

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WESPAC Council Questions Impact of Marine Monuments

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - December 29, 2016

In a strongly-worded press release, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (WESPAC) calls on President Obama to phase in the ban on commercial fishing in Papahanuamokueakea Marine National Monument, citing an annual loss of more than $20 million from commercial fishing alone. They argue that creating the monuments was the driven by the Pew Environment Group, not popular demand, and includes promises to local governments that have not been kept.

A Pew study predicted $15 million a year and 400 jobs would follow the Marianna's Trench monuments' creation, helping to boost sagging economies in the Marianna Islands and Guam. Neither country has seen any benefits...

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NOAA releases Pacific Action Plan For Climate Science 
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - December 28, 2016

Would you like to track climate-related changes or see better environmental forecasts? NOAA Fisheries is proud to share its Regional Action Plan for climate science. This plan identifies effective management strategies in the face of changing climate and ocean conditions, and it provides decision makers with the information they need to make climate-ready decisions.

The goal of the plan is to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to help reduce impacts to, and increase resilience of, the region’s living marine resources and resource-dependent communities.

NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center is collaborating with others around the region to acquire the necessary scientific data...

 

 

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Second Bumble Bee Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - December 22, 2016

A second Bumble Bee sales executive has pleaded guilty for participating in a scheme to fix prices of canned tuna in the US market.

Kenneth Worsham, a senior vice president of trade marketing for Bumble Bee entered a guilty in federal court this week for his role in conspiring to fix the prices of packaged seafood between 2011 and 2013.

According to the charge, Worsham and his co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products... 

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