USDA Temporarily Suspends New Vietnamese Pangasius Exporters from Applying for Market Approval
Vietnamese pangasius exporters that have never sent product to the US market have been asked to stop applying for permission to ship product through the USDA's Catfish Inspection program. The USDA initiated the suspension so the Food Safety and Inspection Service can complete an evaluation of Vietnam's food safety system. About 60 pangasius exporters are currently permitted to ship product to the US market, which includes the US's top suppliers.
First Catch Fisheries, which is a subsidiary of China's Dalian Fishing Forever Company is planning to build a lobster processing plant in Nova Scotia. First Catch purchased property in Shelburne Marine Industry Park to build a processing plant that will cook, freeze and ship lobsters to China. Construction of the plant is expected to start this autumn with completion next year.
In other news, for the sixth year in a row, there will be no red king crab harvest off Southeast Alaska for the 2016/2017 season. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced yesterday that survey results show some increase in biomass from last year, but it “is still at historically low levels.” Five of the seven areas surveyed reported had increases in legal biomass and five had increases in mature biomass. Others decreased or remained constant since last season.
Meanwhile, President's Obama creation of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Georges Bank likely spells the end to New England's small commercial red crab fishery. The Marine Protected Area spans three major submarine canyons, the Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia, which are used by the lobster fishery, and the deep-sea red crab fishery. The MPA designation bans commercial fishing activity in these waters. “The red crab industry is primarily fished in these canyons,” said Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. “I don’t see them going anywhere else. That’s where it is.”
Finally, Gorton's Seafood won a sustainability award from The Associated Industries of Massachusetts for changing the temperature of their truckloads. Gorton's determined they could set their truckloads at minus one degree Fahrenheit instead of the traditional minus ten degrees Fahrenheit without reducing the quality or integrity of their product. Gorton's said it has seen an immediate impact: The nine degree change is saving approximately 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year. This is equivalent to removing 85 cars from the road or planting 696 trees per year. "We are constantly analyzing ways in which we can raise our standards and do better for the oceans and environment while maintaining the highest quality of seafood delivered to our customers. Making the change to our truckloads' temperatures will, over time, make a huge positive impact," said Lisa Webb, Vice President of Supply Chain at Gorton's.
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