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Jun 21 - Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners


Jun 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 13, 2017


May 26 - Study Says US Investments on Aquaculture Research Pay Dividends


May 24 - WWF Study: Shrimp Can Be Traced Back to Their Country of Origin Through Elemental Profiling


May 18 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 18, 2017


May 18 - USDA Adopts FDA Definition of Processing for Domestic Catfish Operators and Limits Inspections


May 17 - Congressional Seafood Names Matthew Berrie as Food Safety Director


May 3 - Seafood.com News Summary May 3, 2017


Apr 24 - Vietnam Fails to Score Big in Egyptian Fish Market


Apr 12 - Tom Mazzetta Calls on Domestic and Imported Seafood Industries to Come Together to Promote US Sales


Mar 31 - With Surge in Pangasius Sales to China, Gov't Cracks Down on Smuggling, Will Require Traceability


Mar 28 - Lakes Farm Raised Catfish Issues Recall Notice to USDA for Fish that Contain Antibiotics


Mar 17 - Commentator Gives up In Confusion Over Sustainable Fish Guides; Just a Personal Choice, She Says


Mar 14 - Harvest Select Expands Beyond Catfish to Other Gulf Seafood with Purchase of Steel City Seafood


Feb 27 - Skyrocketing Pangasius (Basa) Prices in Vietnam May Mean an Increase in Chinese Tilapia Prices


Feb 15 - Samherji-Owned Íslandsbleikja Gets Arctic Char Processing Plant in Iceland BAP Certified


Feb 15 - China's Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Becomes First Crawfish Producer to Earn BAP Certification


Jan 31 - Carrefour Halts Pangasius Sales on Sustainability Grounds, Other European Retailers Disagree


Jan 30 - USDA Declines to Institute Grade A Catfish Program; Elects to Continue USDC Grading


Jan 24 - Lowest Gulf Landings in years along with High Prices Undercut Arguments on Maintaining Shrimp Duties


Jan 19 - FDA Says 90% of Fish Species are "Best Choice" for Pregnant Women in Confusing Final Guidance


Dec 20 - Letters: Southern Shrimp Alliance Responds to Criticism of Bloomberg 'Bad Shrimp' Article


Dec 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 16, 2016


Dec 16 - Massive Smear Article in Businessweek Aims to Push Shrimp Imports Under USDA Inspection


Dec 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday, December 9, 2016


Dec 9 - Kim Gorton Testifies on Absurdity of USDA Catfish Regulations at House Hearing


Dec 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 8, 2016


Dec 8 - As Global Production Surges, China Loses Market Share, Pricing Power on Tilapia


Dec 5 - China's CAPMA Establishes Catfish Institute to Support Expansion, Including in Domestic Market


Nov 28 - China Bigfoots Pangasius Market, Output, Prices Rise, China to be Vietnam's Top Buyer within a Year


Oct 27 - US Shrimp Consumption Unchanged in 2015 But Easily Maintains Number One Spot in NFI's Top Ten List


Oct 26 - Dominican Republic's Value Aquaculture Gets USDA Approval to Export Pangasius to US


Oct 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday October 19, 2016


Sep 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday September 30 , 2016


Sep 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday September 21, 2016


Sep 21 - Fresh Domestic Catfish Prices at Near-Record Highs With Supplies Tight From Poor Spring Production


Sep 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday September 16, 2016


Sep 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 15, 2016


Sep 15 - Over 200 House Members Support Repealing USDA Catfish Inspections if Bill Can Get to Floor


Aug 16 - Jeff Davis, Blue Harvest Come Full Circle with Purchase of High Liner Scallop Plant in New Bedford


Aug 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday August 8, 2016


Aug 8 - USDA Changes Catfish Inspection Rules to Allow for Case-by-Case Approvals for New Pangasius Shippers


Jul 28 - NFI Says USDA Catfish Grading Proposal is Another Example of Why Inspection Program is Unnecessary


Jul 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday July 20, 2016


Jul 18 - Seafood.com News Summary-BREAKING NEWS: US, Vietnam Reach Deal on US Imports of Vietnamese Shrimp


Jul 15 - Haring Catfish is First Domestic Producer to Recall Product Under USDA for Positive Antibiotics Test


Jul 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday July 13, 2016


Jul 13 - Pangasius Imports Set Monthly Record in May at 23 Million Pounds; Market Holding at 3-Year High


Jul 1 - VIDEO: Seafood News Weekly Story Recap July 1, 2016


Jun 29 - U.S Cado Holdings Expands its Sea Queen Pangasius Recall Under USDA Inspection Program


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Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - June 21, 2017

Just Shrimp is a new concept with just three units in Illinois.  But they are making a splash.   Their original location in Tinley Park recently added a few more non-fried items to their menu: Grilled shrimp skewers and fresh grilled salmon. 

Recently, Just Shrimp started smoking salmon in-house, and added two sandwiches their customers seem to enjoy. The smoked salmon fillet sandwich is servedcold, on a buttered and toasted soft bun  ...

Full Story »

AquaBounty to Produce GM Salmon in Indiana with $14 Million Purchase of Bell Fish Company's Assets

AquaBounty Technologies will soon be able to produce its genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon in the United States as the firm has struck a $14 million deal to buy some of the assets of Bell Fish Company in Albany Indiana. AquaBounty said the facility's first harvest could come as soon as the third quarter of 2019. Once fully operational, the facility will have an expected annual capacity of 1,200 metric tons. "This acquisition marks an important milestone and provides the Company with its first commercial-scale facility in the United States for growing eco-friendly AquAdvantage Salmon. This site will enable production of healthy Atlantic salmon, which will not require vaccines or antibiotics, in a sustainable and responsible manner close to domestic consumers,” said Ronald Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has recommended that the Joint Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission cut the 2018 Barents Sea cod quota 20 percent from last year citing poor recruitment in the fishery. The Council’s recommendation would set the total cod quota at 712,000 metric tons. This represents a 183,000 metric ton reduction from last year’s quota. The Commission will take up ICES advice when it makes its quota determination this fall.

In other news, a price war is breaking out over ecommerce lobster sales in the Chinese Province of Ningbo. Online retailers are offering live North American lobsters at deeply discounted prices in order to compete for sales and market share in both the online retail space and from traditional grocers.

Meanwhile, citing 20 years of success with groups such as Conservation International, the MSC, and others, the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) outlined its $37 million, five-year strategy for building sustainable seafood markets. The initiative is part of the foundation’s ocean strategy that takes a systems approach—working on both the supply and demand side—to promote sustainability in five core countries: Indonesia, Peru, Chile, Mexico and the United States. "The Walton Family Foundation has probably had more impact on the seafood sustainability movement than some of the more well-known consumer facing advocates," writes John Sackton in an analysis of the plan. "They have leveraged a market-based strategy in which they paid NGO's to lobby and convince the retail supply chain to adopt seafood sustainability standards."

Finally, the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to global markets is up this year but the increase is not because of more sales to the US market. So far Vietnam's seafood exports are up 7.5 percent worldwide but sales to the US market are down nearly 13 percent. The US is traditionally the top market for Vietnam's seafood exports like pangasius and shrimp. However, higher duty rates and the implementation of the catfish inspection program under the USDA have forced Vietnam's exporters to seek other markets like China.

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WWF Study: Shrimp Can Be Traced Back to Their Country of Origin Through Elemental Profiling

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - May 24, 2017

A new World Wildlife Fund report finds that farmed shrimp from Thailand, Vietnam and India could be traced back to their countries of origin through a process known as elemental profiling. With greater refinement, elemental profiling may help importers, customs officials, retailers and others trace globally traded seafood back to its source, which can shed light on production practices with critical environmental and social implications.

The report, conducted by WWF researchers and supported by Auburn University and Ocean University of China, looked at farmed Pacific ...

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USDA Adopts FDA Definition of Processing for Domestic Catfish Operators and Limits Inspections 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - May 18, 2017

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) proposed to change the inspection coverage for domestic catfish producers from all hours of operation to once per production shift. The decision was based on the FSIS finding that catfish processing operations are more similar to meat and poultry processing-only operations and not meat slaughter operations.

According to the Federal Register notice when Congress shifted catfish inspection responsibilities from the FDA to the USDA, the intent was so the FSIS could inspect fish establishments consistent with how FSIS inspects meat and poultry processing establishments, which is at least once per production shift...

Full Story »

Seafood.com News Summary May 3, 2017

News Summary May 3, 2017

Today's Main Story: 5 Yr Sunset Review Fails to End Shrimp Duties

As expected, the International Trade Commission voted to retain anti-dumping shrimp duties on imports from China, India, Vietnam and Thailand. The unanimous vote came at the end of the five-year sunset review.  Few expected a different outcome, as the ITC continues duties about 70% to 80% of the time in similar reviews.  Brazil, which has abandoned the US shrimp market, was dropped from the list of countries subject to the anti-dumping order. 

In other news, part of the budget bill was a victory for Alaskan crabbers and marketers.  Congress directed the FDA to change the acceptable market name of Brown Crab to Golden King Crab.

Full Story »

Tom Mazzetta Calls on Domestic and Imported Seafood Industries to Come Together to Promote US Sales

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] Opinion by Tom Mazzetta - April 12, 2017

Tom Mazzetta is the founder and CEO of Mazzetta Company, LLC

We need to come together as an industry to support increased seafood consumption as an overall goal, not only for the benefit of our collective bottom-lines, but for the health benefits of eating more seafood, the environmental benefits of seafood production versus other proteins, and to address regulations that artificially inflate prices for American shoppers and diners. We are not talking about steel, auto parts, or sugar. We are talking about healthy food...

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Lakes Farm Raised Catfish Issues Recall Notice to USDA for Fish that Contain Antibiotics

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 28, 2017

Lakes Farm Raised Catfish Inc., a Dundee, Miss. establishment, issued a recall for approximately 1,695 pounds of domestic catfish products that may be adulterated with residues, specifically Malachite Green and Leucomalachite Green, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). 

The products were produced on March 14 through 17, 2017. The following products are subject to recall...

Full Story »

Harvest Select Expands Beyond Catfish to Other Gulf Seafood with Purchase of Steel City Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Seafoodnews]  March 14, 2017

Harvest Select has acquired a Birmingham, Alabama based seafood company, Steel City Seafood, which will allow them to broaden their product offerings.

Harvest Select said "Our anchor will always be U.S. farm-raised catfish, but the our Alabama presence will increase to include southern gulf seafood and other species which are a natural complement to our current line of products."

Through the use of current trucking and logistics

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Samherji-Owned Íslandsbleikja Gets Arctic Char Processing Plant in Iceland BAP Certified

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 15, 2017

Íslandsbleikja is Iceland’s first processing plant and the world’s first Arctic char facility to attain Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.

The processing plant — located in Grindavík, on the southwest coast of Iceland — processes 2,000 metric tons of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) annually, supplied by two land-based farms and three hatcheries throughout Iceland. Íslandsbleikja markets its fresh and frozen Arctic charr to retail and foodservice companies across Europe and North America.

Íslandsbleikja is owned by Samherji hf., a leading Iceland-based seafood company, with operations throughout Europe, Africa and North America...

Full Story »

Carrefour Halts Pangasius Sales on Sustainability Grounds, Other European Retailers Disagree

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  January 31, 2017

Carrefour, the largest retailer in Europe, has announced in the press that it will no longer be selling pangasius from Vietnam in Belgium, France, and Italy. 
 
However other large retailers, including Metro, Lidl, and Delhaize declined to follow suit.
 
Most of the other retailers pointed to pangasius ASC and BAP certifications as a reason to have confidence in the product...

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Lowest Gulf Landings in years along with High Prices Undercut Arguments on Maintaining Shrimp Duties

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton [News analysis] January 24, 2017

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.
 
In a rational world, this would remove any argument for the continuation of the shrimp anti-dumping ...

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Letters: Southern Shrimp Alliance Responds to Criticism of Bloomberg 'Bad Shrimp' Article

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Letters]  December 20, 2016

John Williams is the Executive Director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, and was one of the sources for the Bloomberg 'Bad Shrimp' cover story in Business Week.  John has written to take issue with some of our comments.
 
Dear John:
 
I have read your written reaction to this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story ( [Massive Smear Article in Businessweek Aims to Push Shrimp Imports Under USDA Inspection] Dec 16th)  and thought you might appreciate the opportunity to address some misstated facts in your analysis.
 
•       “The article then focuses on the transshipment of shrimp through Malaysia, and offers some evidence that some Chinese companies cheated to avoid duties.  This is well known, as people were arrested and put in jail for this.”
 
No one has been arrested or put in jail in the United States for transshipment of shrimp through Malaysia.  That may change in the future, but at present this is a false statement.
 
Although you say transshipment was well known, after we filed for trade relief in December 2003, we have imported over 500 million pounds of shrimp from Malaysia, .

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Massive Smear Article in Businessweek Aims to Push Shrimp Imports Under USDA Inspection

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [News Analysis] by John Sackton  December 16, 2016

If you read the Bloomberg Businessweek Article ‘Bad Shrimp’ (Link), you might never eat shrimp again.  The authors take a series of health problems and weaponize them against shrimp whether they are factual, true, or even about shrimp in the first place.

The goal of the reporter and the backers of this article is to create political pressure to put shrimp inspections under the auspices of the USDA

The article also calls into question most of Asian aquaculture production, as the claims it makes apply not just to shrimp, but to any pond, cage raised or estuary cultivated seafood...

Full Story »

Kim Gorton Testifies on Absurdity of USDA Catfish Regulations at House Hearing

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  Dec 9, 2016

The Chairperson of NFI,  Kim Gorton, who is also CEO of Slade Gorton Co., testified on Capitol Hill this week as part of the ongoing effort to correct the problems caused by USDA regulation of catfish.  The hearing was before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.  Excerpts from her testimony are below:

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Green, and distinguished members of the Subcommittee, my name is Kim Gorton, and I am the President and Chief Executive Officer of Slade Gorton & Company, a seafood company based in Boston, Massachusetts. I also am the 2016 Chairperson of the National Fisheries Institute, the nation's largest trade association for the commercial seafood industry. I am pleased to have the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee today.

Slade Gorton & Company is a third generation family business. Our mission is to bring wholesome, nutritious seafood from around the world to America's table in support of well-being and overall quality of life. Our company is one of America's largest distributors and manufacturers of fresh, frozen and premium value-added seafood products, and we provide over 200 million seafood meals to Americans every year. We develop and manage fresh and frozen seafood programs for some of our nation's largest retailers, distributors and chain restaurants. We are proud of our record of supplying healthful and safe seafood to American families in all 50 states for nearly 90 years.
 
Regarding catfish: our company buys nearly an equal amount of domestic and imported catfish....

Full Story »

As Global Production Surges, China Loses Market Share, Pricing Power on Tilapia

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan news] Translated by Amy Zhong  December 8, 2016

China's tilapia production will be flat in 2016, at around 1.65 million tons, while global output will rise to 5.5 million tons.  China's tilapia industry has become too dependent on exports, especially to the US and Mexico, and would like to stimulate the internal market.  But strong competition from pangasius and also the ubiquitous grass carp, is making domestic sales difficult.  In this review of the tilapia industry, the authors point to more high quality, certifications, and breeding programs as necessary to move forward.
 
There have been many uncertainties in China’s tilapia industry development since 2015. The global economy is sluggish and China’s economic growth has slowed down. So it is key for the industry to improve its structure and have supply-side reform to deal with different challenges.
 
China’s tilapia production
 
Over the past 20 years, China’s tilapia output has skyrocketed by over four times....

 

Full Story »

China Bigfoots Pangasius Market, Output, Prices Rise, China to be Vietnam's Top Buyer within a Year

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [The Saigon Times Daily] by Ngoc Hung - Nov. 28, 2016


HCMC – China’s huge demand has driven up prices of unprocessed tra (Pangasius) fish in the Mekong Delta, putting domestic processors on edge.

The total acreage under Pangasius farming has reached 5,352 hectares this year, up 4% year-on-year, which has sent output soaring 9% to 996,000 tons, according to data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
 
Key farming areas in the Mekong Delta have reported a substantial increase in Pangasius fish production. For instance, Dong Thap Province has turned out 325,000 tons of tra fish, a 19% increase, Can Tho City 140,000 tons, up 24%, and Ben Tre Province 155,000 tons, up 11%.
 
However, prices of the fish have picked up to VND22,000-22,500 per kilo

Full Story »

Study Says US Investments on Aquaculture Research Pay Dividends

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] May 26, 2017

A study from Johns Hopkins University concluded that federal investments on aquaculture research in the United States produce a return on investment.

The study is the first of its kind to examine US federal grants awarded in the field of aquaculture, which includes aquatic organisms raised for food, feed, fuel, and recreation. To conduct this analysis, the researchers compiled a database of nearly 3,000 aquaculture grants awarded from 1990 to 2015. The study found that federal agencies awarded nearly $1 billion dollars in grants for aquaculture research in the past quarter century, and these grants had an estimated 37-fold return on investment since 2000...

Full Story »

NE Fisheries Scientists Expect Drastic Changes as Gulf of Maine and Georges warm 7 to 9 degrees

A new paper by a number of scientists formerly with NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center suggests that there will be drastic changes in fisheries and the ports that depend on them during the next 60 to 80 years. Among the predictions for specific species, lobster and dogfish are likely to thrive. Also mid-Atlantic Fish like croaker and striped bass will find more suitable habitat in New England. The “changes will result in ecological, economic, social, and natural resource management challenges throughout the region,” said Kristin Kleisner, the lead author of the study. “It is important to understand large-scale patterns in these changes so that we can plan for and mitigate adverse effects as much as possible.”

The USDA said domestic catfish processors operate similarly to meat and poultry processing-only operations and can be subject to inspections just once per production shift. When the USDA adopted catfish inspections last March, inspectors practiced continuous inspection procedures so the agency could understand the fish slaughtering and production process. But the USDA said it is adopting the FDA’s definition of fish processing, which combines the slaughter and processing steps. This will exempt domestic catfish operators from continuous inspections once the program takes full effect this September.

In other news, Russia plans to significantly increase exports of cod and pollock to the Latin American market in coming years. Russia's Federal Fishery Agency said demand for white fish in the domestic market is relatively low. Meanwhile, demand for white fish is up significantly in such countries as Brazil, Argentina and other Latin America states. To date, there are already several agreements to supply Russian cod and pollock to Brazil.

The season’s first catch of Copper River salmon will arrive in Seattle straight from Alaska this Friday. As per tradition, the Alaska Airlines Boeing "salmon 30 salmon" will deliver the fish to the Sea-Tac Airport. The seasoned opened this morning. 

Finally, The Ecology Action Centre (EAC) said the suspension of the offshore Marine Stewardship Council certificate for the Newfoundland cod fishery in the 3Ps region confirmed its initial concern and objection to the designation. The EAC was among a group that objected to the 3Ps certification last year. "While we fully support efforts to both achieve and celebrate improvements in sustainable fisheries, we had deep concerns about this cod stock throughout the certification process. Suffice it to say we are not at all surprised that the issues we raised last year, including low bar for recovery, evidence of poor stock health and a high rate of mortality," said Susanna Fuller, Senior Marine Conservation Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre.

Full Story »

Congressional Seafood Names Matthew Berrie as Food Safety Director

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - May 17, 2017

Alexandria, Va. — Congressional Seafood Company has named Matthew Berrie as director of food safety at the company’s new state-of-the-art plant in Jessup, Md.

In his new role, Berrie will be responsible for ensuring strict compliance with Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP), Safe Quality Food (SQF) guidelines, and other safety and quality standards. Berrie oversees all of the company’s safety and quality control efforts, which include monthly audits of its warehouse and processing facility, including its ...

Full Story »

Vietnam Fails to Score Big in Egyptian Fish Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Viet Nam News] - April 24, 2017

Consumption of fish is a traditional and vital component of the Egyptian diet, and a primary source of inexpensive animal protein for the growing population, said Vietnam Trade Counsellor Pham The Cuong recently.

Fish and fisheries in Egypt are expected to produce 1.4 million metric tons of product in 2017, principally seabass, tilapia and catfish, said Mr Cuong, adding that 40% of it is allocated for domestic consumption and 60% for export to EU countries and Gulf states.

Mr Cuong noted fish and fishery imports of Egypt for the year...

Full Story »

With Surge in Pangasius Sales to China, Gov't Cracks Down on Smuggling, Will Require Traceability

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fishfirst] Translated by Amy Zhong  March 31, 2017

Various problems haunt China’s rising basa fish market. And the government plans to take action against them. With the popularity of basa fish in China, smuggling has become an increasingly serious problem within the past few years. And the government is going to issue relevant policies and regulations against it.

For example, it has released a list of basa fish producers which meet relative standards. So the fish with quality problems will be banned from China’s market.

Meanwhile, it also intends to strengthen its traceability system...

Full Story »

Commentator Gives up In Confusion Over Sustainable Fish Guides; Just a Personal Choice, She Says

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NPR] by Natalie Jacewicz - March 16, 2017

 This month, I ventured to ask the man behind the counter at a Whole Foods Market what kind of shrimp he was selling. "I don't know," he replied. "I think they're just normal shrimp." I glanced at the sustainable seafood guide on my phone. There were 80 entries for shrimp, none of them listed "normal."

What about the cod?Was it Atlantic or Pacific? Atlantic. How was it caught?...

 

Full Story »

Skyrocketing Pangasius (Basa) Prices in Vietnam May Mean an Increase in Chinese Tilapia Prices

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Amy Zhong - February 27, 2017

The EU reduced catfish imports from Vietnam in 2016 and the U.S. issued policies to also restrict their imports. As a result, China has become Vietnam’s most important buyer. Many insiders assumed that the basa (catfish) prices would decline after the Chinese New Year, but prices skyrocketed by around 20%.

The farm gate price of Vietnam’s basa catfish has increased by US$0.2 per kilo, said Leon, general manager for Shanghai Sintun Industrial. Sourcing basa has become difficult. The fish produces processed fillets that can reach 300-400g each.

Costs increase by about 15 yuan for a carton of basa fillets after Chinese customs clearance in Shanghai. The CIF Shanghai was US$1.9 for basa fillets with 10% ice this January which rose to around US$2.15 to US$2.2 earlier this month, after the holiday...

Full Story »

China’s Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Becomes First Crawfish Producer to Earn BAP Certification 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 15, 2017

The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices has certified the world’s first crawfish facility against its Best Aquaculture Practices program the organization announced in mid-February.

China’s Xuzhou Jinjiangfoodstuffs Co. Ltd. processing plant attained BAP at its facility located in Pizhou City, Jiangsu, China. The facility has been in operation since 2004 and processes cooked crawfish tail meat and freezes it for export mainly to the United States. The crawfish is imported to the United States by Bernard’s Seafood Co. Ltd. of Mansura, Louisiana.

“The GAA is thrilled to partner with Bernard’s Seafood to help bring BAP certification to crawfish and to help the company source farmed seafood responsibly,” said Chris Keller, BAP director of market development in the Americas.

Full Story »
USDA Declines to Institute Grade A Catfish Program; Elects to Continue USDC Grading
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  January 30, 2017
 
The USDA published a federal register notice today that it will not go forward with a Grade A catfish inspection program. Instead it urges users to continue to use the USDC Grade A catfish inspection program run by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
 
The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill) and the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) directed the Secretary of Agriculture to establish within USDA a voluntary, fee-based grading program for catfish. Since passage of the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bills, and particularly since the publication of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) final rule, "Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived From Such Fish," which defined catfish (80 FR 75589), AMS has engaged the U.S. catfish industry and other stakeholders to seek input on requirements for voluntary U.S. standards for grades of catfish. 
 
During the 60-day comment period, four responses were submitted...

 

Full Story »

FDA Says 90% of Fish Species are "Best Choice" for Pregnant Women in Confusing Final Guidance

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 19, 2017

The FDA issued final guidance for fish consumption for pregnant women, which said 90 percent of the seafood items consumed in the US are safe to eat for expecting mothers.

According to a reference chart published alongside the final guidance, 62 types of fish are sorted into three categories: “Best choices” (eat two to three servings a week); “Good choices” (eat one serving a week) and “Fish to avoid.”

Fish in the “best choices” category make up nearly 90 percent of fish eaten in the US market the FDA said...

Full Story »

Massive Smear Article in Businessweek Aims to Push Shrimp Imports Under USDA Inspection 

John Sackton comments on an exposè published by Bloomberg that smears the imported shrimp industry and pushes for the USDA to take over inspection duties for shrimp similiar to the catfish program. The authors of the article take a series of health problems and weaponize them against shrimp whether they are factual, true, or even about shrimp in the first place. The article also calls into question most of Asian aquaculture production, as the claims it makes apply not just to shrimp, but to any pond, cage raised or estuary cultivated seafood. "Articles like this imply aquaculture seafood is far more dangerous and tainted than any other part of our food supply. They have created a headwind for consumer acceptance of farmed seafood that turns safety on its head; worsens environmental pressures of food production, and fundamentally harms public health," writes Sackton.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council has approved the implmentation of a recreational quota entity (RQE) plan to manage recreational and commercial halibut quotas in Alaska. The plan involves allowing guided recreational halibut fishermen to buy up commercial quota. This differs from an existing program that allows sport guides to lease, but not buy, commercial quota. Alaska's commercial fishermen think the RQE will usher in the absolute death of Southeast Alaska coastal village fleets in a matter of five years

In other news, Nova Scotia's fishing industry hopes the federal government upholds a policy that enforces owner-operator and fleet separation policies that insulates Atlantic Canada’s inshore fishery from corporate interests.

Meanwhile, as of the end of the year, the International Fishmeal and Fish oil Organization’s (IFFO) RS Standard will have certified 45 percent of the world’s total fishmeal and fish oil output. IFFO now has plans in 2017 to carry out a full review of the standard. "The purpose of this review is to agree a strategy for the Standard going forward to 2025," IFFO said in a press release.

Finally, ASMI has released an updated edition of its Alaska Salmon Buyer's Guide. The 20 page, full-color publication is a resource is made up of contributtions from members of ASMI’s technical and salmon committees. It includes sections on harvest areas and times, species profiles, fishing techniques, and sustainability.

Have a good weekend.

Full Story »

News Summary December 9, 2016 

Today's Main Story: Lobster Market at Inflection Point as Many Canadian Processors Halt Production This Weekend

Opening the news today is a focus on how this year's Southwest Nova Scotia lobster season is very different than last year. However, the ultimate direction of the lobster market for all products, live, meat, whole cooks, and tails, is still very uncertain. This year's fishery was delayed by a day, due to bad weather, and in the past week more gales have curtailed or slowed fishing. Last year was the best fishing weather in many years. So, the overall expectation is now that the total landing volume for LFA 34 is likely to be less than in 2015-2016.

In other news, Kim Gorton, CEO of Slade Gorton and Chairperson of NFI this year, testified this week on the absurdity of the USDA catfish program. Her testimony is as good a summary of the catfish issue as we have seen. It is truly a burden on most seafood businesses.

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Vice President of Sales at Bumble Bee Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy 

Bumble Bee’s Walter Scott Cameron, a senior vice president of sales for the company, pleaded guilty in federal court this week for participating in a conspiracy to fix canned tuna prices in the US market. Cameron said he and unnamed co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 until about 2013. The defendant and his co-conspirators negotiated prices and issued price announcements for packaged seafood in accordance with the agreements they reached. This is the first charge to result from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into the “big three” canned tuna brands in the US, which includes Chicken of the Sea and Starkist along with Bumble Bee. “Bumble Bee continues to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice in regards to its ongoing investigation into the packaged seafood industry. Scott has also cooperated with the Company and with the Department of Justice in the investigation. The Company is hopeful that it can reach a resolution with DOJ on this matter, as it relates to the Company, in early 2017," said Jill Irvin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Bumble Bee.

Fresh mahi prices in the US market are trending at an all-time record high level for the fourth quarter. Supplies are more limited than normal since landings from major Latin American suppliers have not picked up since the season started in October. Both of these factors could also push frozen mahi prices to record levels into 2017.

China's tilapia production will be flat in 2016, while global output will rise to 5.5 million tons. China's tilapia industry has become too dependent on exports, especially to the US and Mexico, and would like to stimulate the internal market. But strong competition from pangasius and other species is making domestic sales difficult. We run a review of China's tilapia industry, where the authors point to more high quality, certifications, and breeding programs as necessary to move forward.

In other news, the ISSF has identified science-based harvest limits and control rules as the single most important measure to ensure the health of tuna stocks. WWF has fully endorsed this, as has the MSC in its standards. Now the ISSF and 20 other organizations and companies have sent a letter to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission asking them to take these necessary steps at their upcoming meeting.

Finally, Congress' decision to take catfish inspection away from the FDA and give it to USDA was sharply criticized as a waste of money and resources at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing this week. “Explicitly creating a program exclusively for catfish is unnecessary and directs resources away from high-risk foods to focus on a food that is one of the safest," said Pennsylvania Republican Joseph Pitts, chairman of the Health Subcommittee, in his opening remarks at the hearing titled Waste and Duplication in the USDA Catfish Inspection Program.

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China's CAPMA Establishes Catfish Institute to Support Expansion, Including in Domestic Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong

CAPMA, (China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance) has established a China Catfish Institute.
 
The institute is part of the China Ministry of Agriculture.
 
Although Chinese catfish aquaculture has been growing significantly, there were some quality and food safety problems that did great damage to the market.
 
With the industry now worth 50 billion Yuan, the institute will strengthen supervision of catfish industry and communication between companies. It also works hard to put into use scientific research findings..

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