Fishing Company of Alaska Vessels and Quotas Sold to Ocean Peace, O'Hara Corp.
The Fishing Company of Alaska, which is headquartered in Renton, Washington, is ending its operations and selling its assets. It was confirmed last Friday that the Fishing Company of Alaska has sold its three factory trawlers and catch quotas to Ocean Peace and O’Hara Corporation. A sale price was not disclosed. “We could not be any happier for our company, all the crew and our customers and vendors,” said Frank O’Hara Jr., executive vice president of O’Hara Corporation.
With December Gulf shrimp landings reported down again, it appears that this year will see the lowest level of domestic warm water shrimp landings since at least the year 2000. At the same time, since the imposition of antidumping duties in 2004, the value of the domestic Gulf shrimp industry has continually increased. John Sackton writes that these circumstances would remove any argument for the continuation of the shrimp anti-dumping duties against the major exporting countries of India, Thailand, Vietnam and China. "But we do not live in a rational seafood world. Instead, our government is whipsawed by political factions trying to use trade laws to enrich themselves and pass on costs to the American consumer," Sackton writes.
In other news, a Latvian Crab vessel and the 30 crew members on board were arrested last week as it was operating in the waters around Svalbard, the Norwegian Arctic archipelago. It is suspected of having engaged in illegal catch of snow crab on the Norwegian shelf in the Svalbard fishery protection zone, said the Norwegian Navy. Reports say the Latvian vessel The Senator had put out 2,600 snow crab traps in the area.
Meanwhile, an industry letter signed by more than 50 companies and fisheries groups to Vice President Pence and Secretary of Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross, urges the appointment of Chris Oliver to the post of Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. Oliver is the executive director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, a position he has held for 16 years. Prior to that, he worked as staff for the council for another ten years. "We need a leader of NOAA Fisheries who is committed to the economic productivity of American waters, and we are confident that Mr. Oliver is the right choice," the letter says.
Finally, McDowell Group's Senior Seafood Analyst Andy Wink says a downturn in farmed salmon production from suppliers in Chile and Norway is going to pinch supplies and make it difficult for buyers to fill orders. “So we’re looking at several years of either lower or constrained supply growth for farmed salmon. And that is pretty important because typically farmed salmon production has grown around 5 percent a year over the last 20 years," said Wink. This lack of supply will clash with higher demand for salmon in many major markets, including in the US.
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