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.
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