News Summary March 20, 2017
Today's Main Story: Mike Tourkistas Steps Down from CEO Role as East Coast Seafoods Hires New CEO
Leading the headlines today is word that Michael Tourkistas, who together with his wife Heidi built East Coast Seafoods from a two person operation into the largest distributor of live and frozen North American Lobster, is realizing a transition plan that allows him to step back somewhat from the company, but propels the $400 million operation on a robust growth path.
In other news, a new trade deal looming between Canada and the European Union is setting off alarm bells in the Maine lobster industry. The deal between Canada and the EU – the largest seafood consumer market in the world – would eliminate tariffs on Canadian lobster exports into Europe and give the Maritimes a competitive advantage over their American counterparts, who would be stuck selling lobsters with tariffs ranging from 8 percent for a live lobster to 20 percent on processed or cooked lobster.
Meanwhile, the expanding market for lobsters in China is continuing to grow, with the country setting a new record for the value of its imports of the crustaceans from the United States. Last year, China imported more than $108 million in lobsters from America, surpassing the previous high of about $90.2 million in 2014. Chinese importers took in more than 14 million pounds of U.S. lobsters last year, which was also a record. The
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