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Feb 20 - Russia's Quota Incentive Program Does Not Spur Crab Producers to Place Domestic Shipbuilding Orders


Feb 17 - Bojangles' Features Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich for Lent


Feb 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 16, 2017


Feb 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 14, 2017


Feb 14 - Russian Fishery Co. Plans Major Pollock Expansion with Chinese Backing


Feb 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 10, 2017


Feb 10 - Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty


Feb 9 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 9, 2017


Feb 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 7, 2017


Feb 7 - German Zverev, Friendly to China, Will Head Russian Fish Industry Group to Push Gov't on Exports


Jan 31 - Alaska MCC says 'New England Style Fishery Collapse' not Useful Comparison for Gulf of Alaska


Jan 27 - NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin


Jan 26 - SMAST Researchers, Gulf of Maine Fishermen Hope Video Survey System Will Produce Better Cod Surveys


Jan 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday January 25, 2017


Jan 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday, January 20, 2017


Jan 20 - Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand


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


Jan 17 - AFDF Announces List of New Product Entries for Alaska Symphony of Seafood


Jan 11 - China Cuts Tariff Rates on Large Range of Imported Seafood


Jan 11 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday January 11, 2016


Jan 11 - NMFS Seeks Comments on Inseason Adjustments to BS/AI Pollock, Cod, Atka Mackerel


Jan 4 - Seafood.com News Summary January 4, 2017


Dec 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 30, 2016


Dec 30 - AFDF Calls for New Products in Alaska Symphony of Seafood Competition, Deadline January 6


Dec 28 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 28, 2016


Dec 27 - N. Pacific Council Threatens New England Style Fisheries Management Collapse in Gulf of Alaska


Dec 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 23, 2016


Dec 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 22, 2016


Dec 22 - Gidrostroy Could become Largest Russian Pollock Producer if PBTF Purchase Closes


Dec 20 - Massive Chinese Fish Processing Center in Border Region Threatens Russian Domestic Fish Processing


Dec 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 13, 2016


Dec 13 - EU Fish Processors Say Pollock Imports Continue to Decline but Russia Market Share Improves


Dec 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, December 12, 2016


Dec 12 - Pollock TAC Basically Unchanged in Bering Sea for 2017, Despite Huge increase in Biomass


Dec 7 - Smaller Fisheries Like Geoducks, Sea Cucumbers and Winter Kings Continue in Ak (Fish Radio)


Dec 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 6, 2016


Dec 5 - PODCAST: Oregon and Washington's Dungeness Season Delayed and Alaska's Pollock Biomass Reported


Nov 30 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday November 30, 2016


Nov 30 - Ecosystem Reports at Council Point to Possible Future Declines in Pollock, Cod after some Good Years


Nov 29 - Biggest Russian Quota Holder Karat Plans $250 Mln investment in Barents Sea and Distant Water Fleets


Nov 28 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 28, 2016


Nov 28 - Jump in Alaska Pollock Biomass Should Have Little Impact Say Sellers, Because of 2 Mln ton Cap


Nov 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday November 22, 2016


Nov 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 21, 2016


Nov 21 - South Korea Facing Pollock Shortage, Aims to Rebuild Imports and Trade Ties to Russia


Nov 14 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday November 14, 2016


Nov 14 - Major Japanese Companies Maruha and Nissui See Differing Results, with Nissui Dragged Down by Chile


Nov 14 - Russian Fishing Company May be Sold in Further Shakeup For Russian Pollock Industry


Nov 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday November 8, 2016


Nov 8 - Russia Plans to Increase Pollock Production and Restart Sardine Processing


Nov 7 - ASMI's Trailblazing New Products Project Seeks to Expand Sales to Additional Markets


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


Oct 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday October 26, 2016


Oct 26 - NOAA Says Seafood Consumption Heading in Right Direction in US, as 2015 Per Capita Number Jumps


Oct 26 - ASMI Annual Meeting Reviews Difficult 2016 and Looks at Challenges and Opportunities in 2017


Oct 21 - Bundrant says New Products and More Value Added Products Only Way to Boost Pollock Prices


Oct 18 - Baader Teams up with Leroy for 100,000 ton Salmon Factory Using New Gutting System


Oct 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday October 17, 2016


Oct 17 - TINRO Estimates Show Increases in Pollock, Crab Stocks in Russia Far East


Oct 13 - Marine Stewardship Council Annual Report Shows Near Record Revenue; Jump in Revenue per SKU


Oct 12 - Global Whitefish Supply Predicted to Decline Slightly in 2017; Led by Atlantic Cod


Oct 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, October 10, 2016


Oct 10 - Alaska's Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers Complete First Year of Marketing Campaign in Germany


Oct 10 - Westward Fishmeal Plant Explosion Likely Sparked by Burst Pipe; Plant Should Reopen by A season


Oct 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday October 6, 2016


Oct 6 - With Quota Renewals Coming in 2018, Russia Gets Serious Processing of Pollock in the Far East


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


Sep 21 - Russia to Boost Pollock Exports to EU, Domestic Demand low due to Poor Quality in Soviet Times


Sep 13 - Ocean Trawler Owner Orlov Commits to Build Series of Russian Onshore Processing Plants


Sep 8 - Sysco Commits to Sourcing Farmed Seafood Certified by the ASC


Sep 7 - Oceana Uses 'Study' on Seafood Fraud to Push for More Traceability Regulation


Sep 7 - Saildrones Helping F/V Oscar Dyson in Pollock Survey, Unmanned Craft Can Expand Survey Footprint


Sep 2 - Hanjin Disruption Will Have Little Impact on Seafood Shippers


Aug 31 - Russian Pollock Fillet Production is Up, Some US 'B' Season Surimi Prices Negotiated in Japan


Aug 24 - Mothership and Shoreside Whiting Sectors Struggling This Year as Catches Fall Behind


Aug 19 - Gloucester's Sustainable Groundfish Assoc. Gets Acadian redfish, haddock, Pollock MSC Certified


Aug 18 - NFI Says Greenpeace to Issue Rank and Spank US Foodservice Listings as Early as Monday


Aug 18 - Pollock Conservation Co-Op Now Taking Funding Proposals for Alaskan Fishery Improvement Projects


Aug 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday August 17, 2016


Aug 17 - Trident Seafoods Japan to Promote Pollock Fillet Products at Tokyo Seafood Show


Aug 16 - Rabobank Says Brazil's Aquaculture Sector May Reach 500,000 tons of Tilapia in 4 Years


Aug 16 - Long Johns' Launches Social Media Campaign Emphasizing Sustainability, Quality and Family


Aug 12 - Russian Opposition to Foreign Control Sinks Hung Vuong Bid for the Russian Fish Company


Aug 10 - Russian Fish Co. Gets Management Buyout as it is Separated from Russian Aquaculture Co.


Aug 10 - Lenders File in US Court to Sideline Ng Family in Sale of Pacific Andes Fishmeal Business


Jul 29 - Southstream Seafoods Hires Industry Veteran Jonathan Philbrick to Sales Team


Jul 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday July 25, 2016


Jul 25 - Captain D's Names Longtime Pollock, Flounder Supplier Southstream Seafoods Vendor of the Year


Jul 20 - Alaskan Pollock Surimi Production Down Over 3% in 2016


Jul 13 - ASMI's RFM Program First to Achieve GSSI Recognition in Milestone for Seafood Sustainability


Jul 11 - A 40-Year Perspective on Kodiak's Trawl Industry From Al Burch (Opinion)


Jul 1 - No Buyer for Kuskokwim Salmon, So No Commercial Salmon Fishing


Jun 29 - Alaska's "B" Season Pollock Surimi Production down 35%


Jun 24 - British Vote Sets Off Bomb in Global Economy; US and Canadian Seafood Industry to Suffer


Jun 16 - Gulf Reef Shareholders Oppose House Subcommittee Approval of State-Run Red Snapper Management Bill


Jun 16 - Russia Changes its Quota Laws to Require 70% Use on Own Vessels; Industry Expects Bankruptcies


Jun 10 - Gulf Rationalization: Two Different Points of View


Jun 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday June 8, 2016


Jun 8 - Russia's Anti-Foreign Ownership Drive Likely Cause of Magnus Roth Sale of 33% of Ocean Trawlers


Jun 8 - Pollock Roe Prices Surging in Japan Due to Shortfalls in Catch This Year


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License Agreement

Russia's Quota Incentive Program Does Not Spur Crab Producers to Place Domestic Shipbuilding Orders

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - February 20, 2017

Leading Russian crab producers have failed to reach an agreement with the domestic shipbuilders, regarding the placement of orders for new crab vessels, which is required by the recently amended Russian legislation in the field of fish and seafood production, according to recent statements of an official spokesman of Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

The recent decision of the Russian government to include crabs in the "under keel" quota program (which involves placement of orders for the building of fishing trawlers at domestic shipyards in exchange of quotas’ provision) became a big surprise for domestic crab producers, which have been forced to start talks with  domestic shipbuilders, regarding with the building of ships at their capacities, amid the prospects of inevitable tighthening of competition in the sector... 

Full Story »

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.

Full Story »

Russian Fishery Co. Plans Major Pollock Expansion with Chinese Backing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 14, 2017

The Russian Fishery Co. plans to significantly expand pollock production volumes, yet its plan, backed by China, may run into opposition from state agencies.

Russian Fishery Co., one of Russia’s leading fish producers and processors, (formerly Russkoe More – Dobycha"), plans to significantly increase the volume of fish production this year, and aims to further supplies both to domestic and foreign markets, according to Andrew Teterkin, CEO of the company.
 
Particular attention will be paid for the increase of pollock production. Last year the volume of the company’s total production amounted to 280,000 tons, of which 220,000 tons accounted for pollock, while the remaining 50,000 tons for Pacific herring. However, according to the company’s plans, these figures should be significantly increased already this year.
 
Implementation of these plans will take place through the renewal of the company’s fishing fleet.  This will involve the building of at least 6 

Full Story »

Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  Japan Reports  February 10, 2017

The A Season pollock roe auction in Seattle has been set for March 14-16th, around the same time as last year.
 
However, developments on the fishing grounds and in the market give buyers both cause for optimism, and some concern as well.
 
First, on the market side, cutbacks in roe production last year, especially due to small fish size on the US side, have...

Full Story »

Surge in Indian Shrimp Shipments Drives US Imports to All-Time Record 1.33 Billion Lbs in 2016

Although December 2016 shrimp imports were down 3.4 percent, annual imports for 2016 were 3 percent higher than last year establishing a new annual record import volume of 1.33 billion lbs. of shrimp. The importance of Indian shrimp imports to the US market cannot be overemphasized. Indian shrimp exports to the US were up 40 million pounds for the year, a 13.5 percent increase. Monthly shipments were exceptionally strong in the 2nd half of the year, corresponding with India's seasonal harvesting schedule

The US market share for Norwegian salmon continues to grow even though output is down. Norwegian salmon exports to the US market in January were up 1,045 metric tons compared to last January. This is because US buyers turned to Norway to help plug production shortfalls from Chile. In December, US imports for fresh salmon fillets from Norway were up 6 percent. For the year, the US imported 44.5 million pounds of fresh salmon fillets from Norway, an increase of 21.6 percent. "Norwegian salmon is strengthening its position in the US and taking market share in a growing market. The market volume has increased from 12 percent in 2015 to 13 percent in 2016. In the United States new salmon products have been launched in cooperation with the major supermarket chains," said Egil Ove Sundheim with the Norwegian Seafood Council.

German Zverev, the head of the Russian Pollock Association, was named the head of major Russian fishing trade group the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (ARAFEEE). This group represents the industry in negotiating fish policy with the government. Zverev said he plans to focus on the development of the balanced and reasoned position of the Russian fishing business for the forthcoming talks with the government on the distribution of fishing quotas for 2018 by the Russian government. However, some in the industry take issue with Zverev's pro-Chinese position. Under Zverev, fish producers believe that Russia will continue to be mostly export-oriented.

In other news, Vietnam plans to expand the area it devotes to shrimp farming to push exports to $10 billion a year. An increase in salinity in the waters is bad for rice production but good for shrimp farming so the government is teaching rice farmers how to raise shrimp so they can break into the business. “Natural conditions in the Mekong Delta are very suitable for shrimp, and higher seawater level caused by the climate change will allow us to expand the shrimp farms,” said Minister of Agriculture Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Finally, the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) issued a statement that directly addresses the decision by European retailer Carrefour to stop the sale of farmed pangasius out of concern over how the fish are produced. “The ASC is sorry to see that a few retailers have decided to halt sales of pangasius. When farmed responsibly, and according to robust environmental and social criteria as defined in the ASC Pangasius Standard, buyers and consumers can have confidence in their selection of pangasius for their families,” the ASC said in a statement.

Full Story »

Alaska MCC says  'New England Style Fishery Collapse' not Useful Comparison for Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Letters]  By Shannon Carrol January 31, 2017

Shannon is Fisheries Policy Director, Alaska Marine Conservation Council (shannon@akmarine.org)

The premise of Mr. Sackton’s December 27, 2016 article, N. Pacific Council Threatens New England Style Fisheries Management Collapse in Gulf of Alaska, is misleading. He compares the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery to the groundfish fishery in New England, and claims that the Council decision will take the Gulf down the same downward path followed by New England. Yet, the case of the New England groundfish fishery is entirely inapposite to that of the Gulf of Alaska.
 
As Mr. Sackton points out, the New England fishery has long ...

Full Story »

SMAST Researchers, Gulf of Maine Fishermen Hope Video Survey System Will Produce Better Cod Surveys

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 26, 2017

Scientists from the University of Massachusett's Dartmouth School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) hope a new video monitoring system can provide fishery management officials with more accurate stock data of Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine. 

Last week SMAST researchers and fishermen deployed a new video survey system that they said could provide more accurate measurements of the Atlantic cod population.

The system, collaboratively developed by scientists and fishermen over the last four years, was tested on Stellwagen Bank, a fishing ground located in the Gulf of Maine about 15 miles southeast of Gloucester and six miles north of Provincetown...

Full Story »

News Summary January 20, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand

North American pollock surimi prices record their first drop in 3 years and 9 months in Japan thanks to robust landings in Alaska. Prices of pollock surimi--which serves as materials for fish paste products such as kamaboko and chikuwa in Japan--are turning lower. The downturn was triggered by a drastic increase in pollock catch in North America, which diluted the sense of short supply around the globe. Another cause was the decrease in the consumption of pollock fillets in Europe. While surimi product makers can expect the effects of cost reduction, it is uncertain whether the raw material price fall directly leads to retail price cuts as producers had suffered deteriorating profit due to high prices during the preceding years.

In other news, Northern Dynasty Minerals has more than tripled since the U.S. election to approach a four-year high this week amid speculation the incoming administration will allow the explorer’s long-stalled Pebble project in Alaska to move ahead. Last week, the Vancouver-based company drummed up C$43 million ($32.4 million) in a secondary share offering to investors eager for a stake in 

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 »

China Cuts Tariff Rates on Large Range of Imported Seafood

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM   by John Sackton and Amy Zhong  January 11, 2016

China's Ministry of Finance announced a significant range of tariff reductions on seafood products, to take effect January 1, 2017.
 
The move is part of a Chinese government policy to normalize seafood imports in recognition that imported seafood has become popular with domestic consumers.  More moves that normalize seafood imports are likely to follow.
 
The principal beneficiaries of the tariff reduction will be companies in Russia, Canada, the US and Norway.
 
The major reductions include H&G frozen cod and pollock.  For cod, the tariff will fall from 10% to 2%.
 
For Pollock, from 10% to 5%....

Full Story »

NMFS Seeks Comments on Inseason Adjustments to BS/AI Pollock, Cod, Atka Mackerel

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - January 11, 2017

The Adak cod processing plant and the Atka Pride plant in Atka notified National Marine Fisheries Service that they will not be processing Pacific cod this season, so the agency is making adjustments to the Pacific cod TAC in that area, and updating the pollock and Atka mackerel total allowable catch  limits (TACs) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands as a result of the final TAC setting in December.

BS/AI catch totals for 2017 pollock remain as we reported in December.

The new Table 9 TACs, found here, will be in effect for 2017, once the rule is made final.  Comments will be accepted up to 4:30 p.m. AST January 25, 2017.

In addition to the notification of the plants not operating...

Full Story »

The Fishin' Company is Leading Effort to Clean Up China's Farmed Tilapia and Seafood Sector 

Major tilapia distributor The Fishin' Company is leading efforts in China to make sure all of the tilapia imported to the US market is raised by farmers practicing responsible methods in their seafood supply chains. The company is in year two of a project that is helping more farmers get international sustainable farming certification by third parties, like the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices certification. The Fishin' Company is sponsoring training and offering financial incentives to a few model farms that invest in improvements. The Fishin' Company said it hopes that other farmed tilapia and seafood producers in China will follow suit once they see the financial benefit of responsible farming and supply seafood chain practices. "I challenge the rest of the industry to do it. And then the people who don't do it will be the ones on the hot seat," said Manish Kumar, founder and president of The Fishin' Company.

Bristol Seafood’s President and CEO Peter Handy will join the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Board of Directors in 2017. "We are pleased Peter can invest the time in moving the seafood industry forward," said John Connelly, President of NFI. "He brings a fresh perspective to our Board discussions, one that will help improve the performance and perception of our efforts to help Americans enjoy a healthy seafood meal."

In other news, the 24th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood is now asking for entries to compete for the most innovative seafood products of 2016. This year the category “Beyond the Egg” will again highlight any product made with different species of roe such as salmon, pollock, cod, herring, or urchin. Deadline to enter new products is January 6th, 2017.

Meanwhile, Marine Harvest Chile has invested in technologies that will mitigate the risk of algae blooms at its farmed salmon operations. The company also forecast its total salmon production to rise 6 percent in 2017.

Finally, we’ve put together a list of some of the most impactful stories reported out of the seafood industry in 2016. This year’s list is made up of the top two most read stories from each month in 2016. We understand that some of these stories are superseded by later events.

Seafood News and Urner Barry will be closed on January 2 in observance of the New Year. We look forward to another year of reporting all of the most pertinent news to come out of our industry in 2017.

We wish all you and your families a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Full Story »

Gulf Shrimp Market at Annual High Price in December With Landings Lowest Since 2010 

Shrimp landings out of the Gulf of Mexico remain at a five low in 2016 as the harvest in November posted a decline from October and compared to November 2015. This ongoing decline in domestic production continues to support 52-week high prices in wholesale markets this December. Average Urner Barry prices for domestic white shrimp are up as much as 28 percent in wholesale markets.

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council put on hold indefinitely any movement toward an IFQ program for the Gulf of Alaska trawl fishery for cod and pollock. At issue is generally the smaller trawl vessels in communities like Kodiak, Sand Point and King Cove, versus the huge vessels based in Seattle. For the moment, the trawl fleet is operating under a voluntary catch share plan which they manage themselves, which covers some fishing times, some quotas and fisheries, where they agree to limit themselves to their vessel capacity and bycatch limits.

In other news, we post a year in review of some of the major fishery stories reported out of Alaska this year. The story recaps the personnel shakeups at the state's Board of Fisheries; the court victory by Cook Inlet's salmon difters over the NPFMC; the summer salmon season and Alaska's crab cutbacks.

Meanwhile, Hummingbird Cove Lifestyles, a subsidiary of Linghai Shenziting Sea Cucumber Hatchery in China, announced a plan to built a 34,000-square-metre, land-based shellfish hatchery near Saltery Bay in British Columbia. Hummingbird Cove is licensed to produce 23 species of seafood, including urchins, geoduck, sea cucumbers, scallops, oysters, clams and mussels, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The firm intends to harvest wild scallops to use as brood stock to produce scallop spat for their own use and for sale to other local aquaculture operations.

Finally, SeaPak has launched Shrimp & Crab Rangoons and Shrimp & Rice Roll appetizers at select retail cases nationwide for a limited time. The appetizers will be featured at participating Kroger and Gian Eagle locations through the end of December.

Urner Barry and Seafood News will be closed on Monday December 26 in observance of the Christmas holiday, we will be back on Tuesday, December 27. We wish all of our readers and their families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.

Full Story »

Gidrostroy Could become Largest Russian Pollock Producer if PBTF Purchase Closes

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by Eugene Gerden  December 22, 2016

A deal that could shake up the Russian pollock industry was announced today.  Gidrostroy, one of Russia’s largest fish producers, owned by a senator of the Sakhalin area Alexander Verkhovsky, is considering acquiring Preobrazhensky Base of Trawling Fleet (PBTF). The company is located in Primorye and controlled, according to market participants, the family of the governor of the Sakhalin region.
 
The amount of the deal may reach RUB 26,5 billion (US$430 million). The deal could make Gidrostroy the biggest pollock producer in Russia, surpassing the volumes produced by The Russian Fish Company. It is expected that the deal will be finally closed in January 2017...

Full Story »

Bojangles' Features Alaska Pollock Fish Sandwich for Lent

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

Charlotte, NC -- The BojAngler is back and ready to make a splash! Following a popular debut last year, Bojangles’ has brought back the delicious BojAngler fish sandwich, which is now available at participating restaurants for a limited time.

There’s nothing flaky about this fish sandwich. Unless, of course, you’re referring to the actual filet, a delightfully light, wild-caught Alaskan Pollock filet with a generous dash of Bojangles’ popular fry seasoning. The filet is paired with a slice of all-natural cheddar cheese and zesty tartar sauce, all between a golden-brown toasted, buttered bun. Perfect for lunch or dinner, the BojAngler proves that a brand famous for its flavorful chicken and made-from-scratch ...

Full Story »

Banks Closer to Forcing Pacific Andes Liquidation with Court Win in British Virgin Islands

Banks who are major creditors of Pacific Andes are one step closer to winning liquidation of the company, after a judge ruled in their favor in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The BVI Commercial Court ordered the appointment of liquidators over Pacific Andes Enterprises Limited, Parkmond Group Limited, and PARD Trade Limited, three BVI incorporated companies that form a key part of the China Fishery Group. The applications were unsuccessfully contested on the principal ground that the appointment of liquidators would irretrievably damage the prospects of a wider, global restructuring of the Pacific Andes Group.

An investment group concluded that Northern Dynasty's Pebble mining deposit in Alaska is not commercially viable. "Mining it would require so much upfront investment that it would actually destroy value," said Kerrisdale Capital in its analysis of Northern Dynasty's assets. The analysis goes a step further and says Northern Dynasty attempted to hide the real value of the assets from the public. "Kerrisdale believes Northern Dynasty’s former partners concluded that the Pebble project had a negative present value – an assessment that Northern Dynasty has spent years trying to conceal from public," the firm said.

In other news, the Russian Fishery Co. plans to significantly expand pollock production volumes, yet its plan, backed by China, may run into opposition from state agencies. Russian Fishery's expansion plan includes a $50-$60 million proposal to expand its fishing fleet with the construction of six factory trawlers. Russian Fishery would rely on a loan from Chinese investors and overseas shipyards to build the boats. But this runs counter to a federal plan that awards catch quotas to operators that commit to using domestic resources to expand the Russian fishing industry.

Meanwhile, we run an Editorial published by the Daily Astorian in Oregon that slams state Governor Kate Brown's intention to squash an agreement that allows for the use of gillnets to commercially harvest some salmon on the Columbia River. "Yes, all Oregonians want recreational fishing to prosper. But by rejecting any compromise on behalf of hardworking commercial fishermen, Brown places herself solidly against jobs for struggling rural voters," the Astorian said.

Finally, Krystal is bringing back Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwiches for the Lenten season in partnership with King & Prince Seafood. The burger chain will feature the fried shrimp sandwiches on its menu in a $5 meal deal. The shrimp can also be ordered by the basket. "Krystal and Shrimp ring nicely together," said Mike Tigani, Director of Marketing for King & Prince Seafood. "We are humbled to be working with a company that prides themselves on the same Southern culture and great food we at King & Prince do."

Full Story »

Pollock Roe Season May be Positive, but Traders Face a Lot of Uncertainty

The A Season pollock roe auction in Seattle has been set for March 14-16th and developments on the fishing grounds and in the market are giving buyers both cause for optimism, and some concern as well. On the market side, cutbacks in roe production last year, especially due to small fish size on the US side, have led to lower supplies in the market, and roe manufacturers are generally low on inventory and eager to buy. Japanese buyers think that the slight increase in TAC for the pollock A season will help increase the supply of roe. They are also encouraged by increased Russian quotas, stable stocks in Russia, and some indications of larger fish size in the Sea of Okhotsk. However, on the US side, fish sizes trended smaller. At the same time, the pollock fleet is constrained by chinook bycatch concerns. Additionally, there does appear to be a very mixed picture among roe processors in Japan, which means some companies could put in strong bids with others holding back at auction.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she plans to reverse a compromise that allowed for the limited use of commercial gillnets on the Columbia River in favor of an outright ban on the use of the gear. In a letter to Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Chair Michael Finley, Brown asked the commission to comply with state policy and with an agreement with Washington, which voted in January to end gillnetting in the main channel in two years and increase recreational fishers' portion of Chinook. This order overrides an alternative plan approved by the commission that opted to split the Columbia River chinook harvest between the recreational and commercial sectors 80/20, respectively,

In other news, China is changing from the largest global seafood exporter to the largest global seafood importer with full government support. This has significant implication for both fishing policy, where the government plans to restrict harvests, and for tariff policy, where the government has already reduced some seafood import tariffs and is likely to take further action in this area.

Meanwhile, a Reuters report confirmed that the toxic algae detected in 140,000 dead salmon smolt earlier this week is not located near salmon farms in Southern Chile where the salmon originated from. Rather, this particular strain has infested portions of shipping lanes used by producers. The salmon were infected during transport since boats recirculate ocean water into the tanks where the fish are stored during transport.

Finally, the Associated Press published a follow-up report to its September investigation that identified labor abuse commercial longliners in Hawaii. This time, the AP report says Hawaii appears to be violating its own rules that require commercial fishermen to obtain a state-issued fishing license. The AP said that the state is using voided landing permits to get workers a commercial fishing permit even though they have not lawfully entered the country.

Have a great weekend.

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Oregon's Domoic Acid Scare Eases as Coos Bay Reopens Under Evisceration Order 

Oregon agencies reopened a Dungeness crab harvesting area in Coos Bay that was closed last week after a single crab tested for elevated levels of toxic domoic acid. Fishermen and processors said the decision to completely close the area resulted in chaos, especially for those dependent on live buyers. However, a round of tests confirmed domoic that acid levels were below the minimum threshold that would trigger a closure. The closure order was lifted but an evisceration order remains in place. "Considerations for the removal of the evisceration requirement on crab harvested from the biotoxin management area will occur when there are two successive rounds of domoic acid test results all below 30 ppm in viscera," Oregon officials said in a statement.

Four McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco will test a crab sandwich item beginning today. The sandwich is made with snow crab that is blended with seasoned mayonnaise and diced celery. “We wanted to test our own take on the beloved crab sandwich,” Nick Vergis, McDonald’s Co-op President for the Greater Bay Area, said in a statement. “We’re excited for our customers to try it and share their feedback.” The Co-Op said if the product performs will they will launch the item to 250 McDonald's stores in the Bay Area.

In other news, the head of Samherji, Iceland’s largest fishing and fish processing company, has warned that the fishermen’s strike could lead to certain fish products disappearing from the shelves of major UK retailers such as Marks & Spencer. Both M&S and Waitrose are major buyers of Icelandic cod and haddock, much of it flown to the UK within a day or two of being caught. The length of the strike, now at three months and counting, is what is causing major concerns for buyers not just in the UK but also in the East Coast of the US.

Meanwhile, at their Seattle meeting Feb. 1-6, the North Pacific Fishery Management council focused on some of the structures at the core of fisheries management, reviewed catch share programs and looked for areas to tune up in both the halibut IFQ fishery and the Bering Sea pollock fishery. Today's story recaps some of the major themes from the meetings.

Finally, Maine's Department of Natural Resources will propose a lottery system to issue new fishing permits for the valuable elver fishery. Right now, entry into the fishery is closed, but current permit holders are getting older with about a dozen fishermen having exited the fishery in the last two years. “We’re all getting older and eventually we’re going to pass away,” Darrell Young, head of the Maine Elver Fishermen Association. “As people die off or give up or whatever, there will be a drawing.”

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German Zverev, Friendly to China, Will Head Russian Fish Industry Group to Push Gov't  on Exports

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  February 7, 2017

The struggle between those in the Russian government who want to limit exports and sell more Russian fish domestically and those who want to keep their position on the world market selling to China for reprocessing is heating up.

Some fish producers who favor the domestic option, are concerned that German Zverev, the head of the Russian Pollock Association, will now lead the major Russian fishing trade group called the All-Russian Association of Fishery Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, and Exporters (ARAFEEE).   
 
Alexander Fomin, the current head of the national group, is leaving prior to the end of his normal term.
 
According to Zverev, being on a new post, he plans to focus on the development of the balanced and reasoned position of the Russian fishing business for the forthcoming talks with the Russian government on the distribution of quotas for 2018 by the Russian government...

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NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 27, 2017

In a nearly unprecedented display of unanimity, members of the fishing industry representing New England, Pacific, North Pacific, MidAtlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaiian and Southeastern fisheries, as well as the National Fisheries Institute based in Washington, D.C. have rallied to support the appointment of North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) Director Chris Oliver as the next Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The push comes at a time when more 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported from overseas, resulting in an astonishing $13 billion seafood trade deficit...

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Federal Rule Freeze Could Stall Alaska's Halibut Season; Use of Pot Gear for Sablefish

A memo issued by President Donald Trump that freezes all new or pending regulations at executive departments and agencies could delay the start to Alaska's halibut fishery and the use of pot gear for sablefish. The memo delays regulations for 60 days with potential for even longer notices and reviews. That would push the soonest fishery start date to March 27. The halibut fishery traditionally opens in early March. Also potentially stalled due to Trump’s regulation freeze is the use of pots to catch sablefish in the Gulf of Alaska. That gear was approved by federal advisors to start this March as a way to prevent sperm whales from snatching the fish from longlines. NOAA Fisheries in Alaska is aware of the potential impacts posed by the Trump freeze said Tom Gemmell, director of the Halibut Coalition. He said fishery managers are working to ensure that the 2017 halibut and sablefish regulations are published in the rule books on time.

The ISSF has released a report showing that one of the critical elements in the Marine Stewardship Council’s 2.0 standard, the presence of harvest control rules, is almost entirely missing in the tuna sector. According to an analysis by John Sackton, out of 19 distinct tuna stocks in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, North and South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean, only 3 have harvest control rules that meet the minimum MSC passing score of 80. All the others cannot yet meet that standard. "In effect, the ISSF is saying that 16 out of 19 global tuna fisheries are not up to the MSC standard in this area," Sackton writes. "This includes 15 of 17 MSC tuna fisheries that are already certified or currently in assessment."

In other news, Alaska seafood exporters are disappointed by President Trump's executive order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The deal would have cut tariffs on Alaska's seafood exports. For instance, the deal would have helped Alaska's pollock industry by cutting import taxes of 4.2 percent to zero in Japan, the largest consumer of pollock surimi and roe. "We're disappointed that the reduction in tariffs did not take place," said Ron Rogness, a spokesperson for American Seafoods, an Alaska pollock processor based in Seattle.

Meanwhile, Costco Wholesale Corp won dismissal of a lawsuit claiming it didn’t disclose to customers that it was selling farmed shrimp from Thailand that might have been fed with fishmeal produced by abused workers. A San Francisco federal judge threw out the case Tuesday, finding that the consumers who filed it failed to allege the company had a duty to disclose the information about labor abuses in its supply chain.

Finally, fishermen in Maine want to develop a distinct brand for the state's small, day boat scallop fishery and market them as a "super premium" item. By differentiating Maine’s scallops from the rest of the catch, the fishermen hope to build a market that can sustain Maine’s fishery. “I think that if you want to get the most out of the Maine fishery, you’ve got to separate it from the rest of the fisheries out there. You’ve got to market it from a standpoint of what it is: a dayboat fishery that is traceability to the source,” said Dana Temple, who owns Crescent Bay, a wholesale seafood company.

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Pollock Surimi Prices Drop for First Time in 4 Years on Increased Quota, Slow Fillet Demand

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Japan Reports]  January 20, 2017

North American pollock surimi prices record their first drop in 3 years and 9 months in Japan thanks to robust landings in Alaska.

Prices of pollock surimi--which serves as materials for fish paste products such as kamaboko and chikuwa in Japan--is turning lower for the first time in three years and nine months.
 
The downturn was triggered by a drastic increase in pollock...

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AFDF Announces List of New Product Entries for Alaska Symphony of Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - January 17, 2017

WRANGELL, AK — Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) announces the entries for the 24th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood in 2017. This year, products entered are grouped into four categories.

“In the 24th year of this annual competition, we are still seeing high quality and innovative new products made out of Alaska seafood,” said Julie Decker, Executive Director of AFDF. “This year, the competition will be high in the Retail category, with seven new products competing for the winner in that category. We also have some exciting new Beyond the Plate products made with chitosan, oil, and leather, as well as Beyond the Egg products made with pollock and salmon roe. I wish the best of luck to all of the entrants.”...

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Marine Harvest Will Resume Salmon Exports to China With Chinese, Norwegian Trade Relations Restored 

Marine Harvest said it will resume shipping salmon to the Chinese market this year now that political tensions between Norway and China have eased. Marine Harvest’s Chief Executive Alf Helge Aarskog said he expects shipments to resume to the Chinese market sometime in the first or second quarter this year. In mid-December, diplomatic relations between Norway and China were normalized when the two countries signed a joint statement in Beijing. This eased tensions between the countries that dated back to 2010 when Norway gave a Nobel Prize to a Chinese dissident. Given the agreement signed in December and Marine Harvest’s decision to resume shipments, it’s possible for China’s market share for Norwegian salmon increase in 2017.

The first chartered flight carrying live North American lobsters from Halifax to China landed at the Zhengzhou Xinzheng Int'l Airport in Zhengzhou, the capital of the central province of Henan. It took the plane 19 hours to fly its cargo of about 74 metric tons of live lobster to China. Two more chartered flights with lobsters are expected to land in China before the Chinese New Year on January 27.

Meanwhile, China's Ministry of Finance announced a significant range of tariff reductions on seafood products, to take effect January 1, 2017. The principal beneficiaries of the tariff reduction will be companies in Russia, Canada, the US and Norway. The major reductions include H&G frozen cod and pollock. Our story includes a full table of the tariff reductions.

In other news, A group of US senators led by Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski reintroduced the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, a bill that if passed will require increased local input and state approval before national monuments can be designated on federal lands and waters. The law will require one of three points of criteria be met before any national monument can be declared on public land or within waters of the exclusive economic zone. "At this point, we have no choice but to reform the Antiquities Act to ensure that the people being impacted by these designations are heard and respected," Murkowski said.

Finally, a report says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency expedited its approval of Aquabounty's genetically modified salmon eggs for export. Emails obtained by the CBC News said Aquabounty wanted inspectors to complete their testing since the eggs could start hatching and would be useless to customers. CFIA's chief regional inspector in Atlantic Canada, David Cameron said it is not unusual for companies to ask inspectors to reprioritize their testing schedules for export permits so they can meet deadlines.
 

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Norway's Seafood Exports Surged 23 Percent to Record High in 2016 

The value of Norway's seafood exports set an all-time record in 2016, eclipsing $10 billion for the year. Norway's Seafood Export Council said the record was driven by lower salmon supply, rising demand and a weak currency. Additionally, the average price Norwegian salmon was up 40 percent in 2016 compared to year ago levels, which made up the bulk of the overall annual increase to Norway's seafood export values.

Dungeness crabbers on the West Coast are still tied up over a fight for higher dock prices with the region's processors. However, some commercial crabbers are getting anxious since tribal fleets in Westport, WA are still fishing and selling crabs to private and tribal processors. “I’d hate to be a Westport fisherman — watching, watching, see if someone’s going to be a scab or not, if someone’s going to get one over on you,” said Bernie Lindley, a Brookings fisherman.

In other news, Alaska's pollock trawlers will start the season on January 20th in the Bering Sea. Alaska pollock is the nation’s largest fishery with nearly three billion pounds coming out of the Bering Sea and more than 420 million pounds from the Gulf of Alaska.

Meanwhile, officials with India's seafood export association MPEDA are trying to hold a meeting with South African agricultural representatives to discuss recent rejections of Indian shrimp shipments after they allegedly tested positive for containing cholera-causing bacteria. MPEDA is concerned that a delay in securing a meeting with South African officials to review their seafood testing procedures is damaging India's ability to carve out a market for its farmed shrimp in South Africa, which is viewed as an emerging market for the product.

Finally, Russia says it should be able to reduce its fish exports by 20 percent this year once it opens up a large scale fish processing plant in the Crimea region. The new complex will have the capacity to process up to 75,000 metric tons of fish and seafood per year and will be built by the Lazurny Okean Group of Companies. The complex is expected to handle fish harvested from the Russian Black Sea

We've published our first Podcast of the New Year. Our latest show discusses the Dungeness crab fishing strike and also reports Russia's highest salmon harvest in two decades; Canada's lobster exports ahead of the Chinese New Year and Red Lobster featuring Wild Caught Red Shrimp in its Big Shrimp Festival Promotion. You can downloaded or stream our podcasts to your iPhone or Andriod mobile devices through iTunesGoogle Play or SoundCloud

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AFDF Calls for New Products in Alaska Symphony of Seafood Competition, Deadline January 6

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - December 30, 2016

“If your company currently has a product in the market made from Alaska seafood, your innovative product is requested for a command performance in the 24th annual Alaska Symphony of Seafood!” So begins a letter to the industry from Julie Decker, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which sponsors the annual event.

Since 1994, AFDF celebrates the creative products made from Alaska seafood through a series of competitive events that culminate in the winners in each category being displayed at Seafood Expo North America in Boston in March, 2017.

The purpose of Alaska Symphony of Seafood is to encourage and promote the development of value-added products made from fisheries...

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N. Pacific Council Threatens New England Style Fisheries Management Collapse in Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [News Analysis and Opinion] by John Sackton - December 27, 2016

Before the holidays we missed a major story about a North Pacific Council Action that threatens the economic health of the Gulf of Alaska.
 
As practically the last agenda item on a day when many people had left town, the council tabled without further action all options for the Gulf of Alaska groundfish rationalization at their December meeting.
 
In doing so, they violated a promise made to the Gulf of Alaska Trawl Fleet, and in my view, have emulated one of the fateful decisions that doomed fisheries management in New England...

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Second Bumble Bee Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy 

Kenneth Worsham is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty for participating in a scheme to fix prices of canned tuna in the US market. According to the charge, Worsham and unnamed co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products. Worhsam is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty to a price fixing conspiracy. Earlier this month, Walter Scott Cameron plead to the same conspiracy charge. Both of the executives agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the division’s ongoing investigation. So far, Worsham and Cameron are the only named co-conspirators in the case.

A deal that could shake up the Russian pollock industry was announced today. Gidrostroy, one of Russia’s largest fish producers, owned by a senator of the Sakhalin area Alexander Verkhovsky, is considering acquiring Preobrazhensky Base of Trawling Fleet (PBTF). The amount of the deal may reach US$430 million. The deal could make Gidrostroy the biggest pollock producer in Russia, surpassing the volumes produced by The Russian Fish Company. It is expected that the deal will be finally closed in January 2017.

In other news, fishery managers in Oregon and Washington will open more waters to commercial Dungeness fishing on January 1. This ends a one-month delay to the start of the season. Officials delayed fishing to conduct more domoic acid testing out of precaution, not because the acid levels were over the legal limit.

Meanwhile, shrimpers in Mississippi are concerned that new federal rules to expand the use of turtle excluder devices (TED) will increase their costs and limit their catches. The proposed rules requires skimmer nets to use TEDs over tow-time restrictions. The industry says about half of the state's shrimp fleet would be impacted.

Finally, we run a story on how the use of Sustainable Development Goals in global fisheries can help the seafood industry address issues including IUU practices, antibiotic usage and sustainable fishery management. The report says that the seafood industry is in a unique position since the private sector has the influence and resources to make such improvements.

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Massive Chinese Fish Processing Center in Border Region Threatens Russian Domestic Fish Processing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - December 20, 2016

Exports of Russian fish and seafood to China are steadily growing, amid ever-risingsing demand of Chinese fish processors, according to experts of Russian Rosrybolovstvo.

According to sources in Rosrybolovstvo, a large fish processing cluster is currently established in the Chinese province of Jilin, which is located close to the Russian Primorye region..

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