Today's Main Story: EU Ends 19 Year Ban on Imported Chinese Scallops
Chinese scallop producer Zhangzidao Group received approval to shipits yesso scallop species to the EU market. The approval ends a ban on Chinese scallops from entering the EU market originally enacted in 1997 after vibrio was found in shipments of frozen scallop meat. Zhangzidao is the only Chinese scallop producer with clearance to ship scallops to the EU at this time and said the EU will be one of their main markets. The EU is one of the largest scallop buyers in the world, with a market that commands significantly higher average prices compared to markets in America and Australia.
A fire at Kwik'pak Fisheries' facilities in Emmonak, Alaska destroyed three of the company's facilities but not its secondary processing building. Kwik'pak's egg operation facility and two bunk houses were lost, in addition to two Yukon Marine Manufacturing buildings. "Our secondary processing building where we filet, freeze and pack was not affected at all, even though it was right in proximity to the fire," said Ragnar Alstrom, Executive Director of the Yukon Fisheries Development Association. "We are going to operate as normal this summer, buying fish and processing fish."
In other news lobstermen fishing in Nova Scotia's LFA 34 say a proposed 10 percent trap reduction for the 2017-18 season to conserve cusk is based on incorrect data. The fishermen say there doesn't seem to be a problem with the cusk population and that the measures DFO is considering are unnecessary. "This is the whole thing, to get the facts out there," said Ashton Spinney, co-chair of the LFA 34 committee. "If there's something that needs to be done, fishermen will do it, but they don't see where there's a need for it."
Meanwhile, Pacific Seafood will rebuild the Pacific Coast Seafood plant and dock in Warrenton City after the facility burned down in 2013. Construction on the estimated $20 million project could begin as soon as this spring. "Days after the plant burned down, Frank Dulcich made a commitment that he wanted to rebuild in Warrenton, and he stuck with it that whole time," said Warrenton Mayor Mark. "It was amazing what it took to get it put together."
Finally, Vietnam's shrimp processors say a domestic shortage of raw materials will last for several more months because of the damage done to Mekong production from drought and high salinity. Government officials say drier and saltier conditions are likely to persist in the Mekong and producers should adjust their operations appropriately.
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