Canadian Exporters Chartering Planes to Expedite Live Lobster Shipments to China
Some Canadian seafood exporters are opting to charter direct flights from Halifax to China in order to expedite their live lobster shipments to the market ahead of the Chinese New Year. Meanwhile, the Halifax Stanfield International Airport has reported a boom in lobster shipments. The airport says lobster shipments are up because of a multi million dollar investment to add another pad for aircraft near the Gateway Facility; growing lobster demand from China's middle class and the low Canadian dollar fueling exports. Airport officials say cargo flights were more than triple in December, up to 15 flights from the usual five. “This has been the busiest season by far (and) the real benefit is to the Nova Scotia economy,” said Peter Spurway, the airport authority’s vice-president of corporate communications.
Crabbers from San Francisco to Washington remain tied up over a price dispute with processors, according to several news sources. The Humboldt Fishermen's Marketing Association confirmed this week that fishermen remain tied up and plan to have a coastwide conference call to discuss the re-establishment of $3 a pound ex-vessel price for Dungeness crab. As of Tuesday, no agreement has been reached.
In other news, India's Marine Products Export Development Authority wants to sell more seafood to Latin American markets, specifically to Argentina, Brazil and Chile. Authorities at MPEDA are now planning to take a trade delegation to Latin America this year to start discussions about increasing seafood sales and exports.
Meanwhile, the West Coast trawl industry is anxious to rebuild its lost rockfish market and a new exempted fishing permit (EFP) could make that happen in February writes Susan Chambers. The EFP would eliminate the selective flatfish trawl gear requirement and provide fishermen with more flexibility to design their gear for catching pelagic rockfish, a highly marketable and favored seafood on the West Coast. The EFP also could allow fishermen to use different kinds of bycatch excluders, the notice said. Fishermen also could experiment with different mesh sizes. "I think the industry -- fishermen, processors, EDF -- need look at innovative ways to get our fish back in the marketplace," Okonoiewski said, Pacific Seafood's Mike Okoniewski "and this EFP is actually a work-around on our part."
Finally, Red Lobster will feature its recently launched wild caught red shrimp from Argentina in a limited time shrimp promotion that the chain announced this week. The promotion allows guests to choose from among the chain's six new and classic shrimp dishes for $15.99. Red Lobster added wild caught red shrimp to its menu this past November. It was the first time in many years Red Lobster has featured wild shrimp. US import data shows peeled shrimp shipments from Argentina to the market have more than doubled in 2016 compared to year-ago levels.
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