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Feb 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 17, 2017


Feb 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday February 15, 2017


Feb 15 - Marine Harvest Doubles Earnings in 2016; Adding Processing, Farming Sites to Grow N. American Sales


Feb 15 - Second Alaska Buyback Program for Southeast Seine Permits Not Approved


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


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


Feb 14 - Rain Forest Aquaculture Gets Three-Star BAP Certification at Fresh Tilapia Facility in Costa Rica


Feb 13 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 13, 2017


Feb 13 - Chile Enacts Federal Algae Monitoring Procedures for Gulf of Penas Waters


Feb 13 - "Amazing Engineering Feat" Saves Millions of Fish at Feather River Fish Hatchery


Feb 13 - California Salmon Groups Join in Project to Release Salmon at Bodega Bay


Feb 13 - Task Force Eyes $1 billion Alaska Maraculture Industry


Feb 13 - Fish Factor: Salmon Fellows Program Spawned in Alaska


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


Feb 10 - VIDEO: Shrimp Imports Set an Annual Record and FDA is Still Targeting Filth


Feb 10 - Judge Orders Increased Klamath River Flows to Benefit of Salmon, Tribes, Fisheries


Feb 8 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday February 8, 2017


Feb 8 - Toxic Algae Detected in 149,000 Dead Salmon Smolt in Chile


Feb 8 - Squid processors in Hokkaido struggling for survival


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


Feb 7 - Market Share for Norwegian Salmon Grows in US, Shrinks in EU as Buyers Plug Chilean Production Gap


Feb 6 - Red Lobster Brings Back Lobsterfest With Four New Combo Entrees


Feb 6 - FDA's Monthly Seafood Rejections Down 30% from Last January with Filth Still Leading Cause


Feb 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 3, 2017


Feb 3 - VIDEO: Seafood Industry United in Support for Chris Oliver as Next NMFS Admin


Feb 1 - Chris Reuttgers Resigns as CEO of Icicle; Cooke's Pal Angell-Hansen Takes Over as Interim Chairman


Jan 31 - Salmon landings in Hokkaido in 2016 are the lowest in three decades


Jan 30 - Trident Hires Nick Ohmer to Manage Wrangell Facility for Summer Salmon Run


Jan 30 - Chilean Seafood Companies are Planning for Single Largest Showing at Boston Show


Jan 30 - US Fisheries at Grave Risk if Government Stifles Science Data (Editorial)


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


Jan 26 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 26, 2017


Jan 26 - Strong Fresh Salmon Prices, Alaska's Historically Poor Pink Run Send Frozen Market to Record Level


Jan 24 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday January 24, 2017


Jan 24 - IFFO Explains the Forage Fish Dependency Ratio and its Impact on Responsible Aquaculture


Jan 24 - Symphony of Seafood Showcases New Alaska Seafood Products


Jan 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 23, 2017


Jan 23 - Cooke Aquaculture's Maine Raised True North Salmon Featured on Presidential Inauguration Menus


Jan 23 - ISA Confirmed at One of Bakkafrost's Faroese Salmon Farming Sites


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


Jan 19 - Conservation Groups Sue to Protect Salmon and Defend Clean Water from Coal Industry Attacks


Jan 19 - Commerce Sec. Pritzker Declares Fisheries Disasters for Nine West Coast Species


Jan 18 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Jan 18 - ADF&G Says Following FDA's Food Safety Regs When Preparing Alaskan Salmon Will Prevent Illness


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


Jan 17 - Fernando Villarroel Leaves Cermaq Canada to Head Marine Harvest's Chile Operation


Jan 16 - Washington Adopts Columbia River Fishing Reforms; Oregon Will Discuss Friday


Jan 13 - Another Seafood Mislabeling Study Suggests Intentional Species Substitution Without Any Proof


Jan 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday January 12, 2017


Jan 12 - Signs point to Surging Market for High-End Imported Seafood in China This New Year


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


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


Jan 11 - Marine Harvest Will Resume Salmon Exports to China With Chinese, Norwegian Trade Relations Restored


Jan 10 - Chicken of the Sea Int'l Launches 10-Week Challenge to Get More Americans to Eat Seafood


Jan 9 - NFI Sues NOAA Over New Seafood Fraud Import Rules Claiming Regulatory Overreach


Jan 6 - Starkist Enlists "Full House" Star Candace Cameron Bure as Newest Spokesperson


Jan 5 - Dip in Chilean Salmon Exports Offset by Higher Prices


Jan 5 - NOAA Fisheries Issues Recovery Plan for Cook Inlet Beluga Whales


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


Jan 4 - PODCAST: West Coast's Dungeness Fishermen Go on Strike


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


Dec 30 - Marine Harvest to Install Algae Barriers in Chilean Pens; Forecasts 6% Bump to Global 2017 Output


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


Dec 29 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 29, 2016


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


Dec 28 - Russia's 2016 Salmon Production Volume is Best in 20 Years


Dec 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 27, 2016


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


Dec 27 - Online Retailer Gfresh Sells $1.5 Million Worth of Seafood Directly to Chinese Consumers in One Day


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


Dec 23 - AquaChile Successfully Refinances Debt in Deal Led by Rabobank


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


Dec 22 - $1 million Available from AYK SSI for Northwestern Alaska Chinook Salmon Research


Dec 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 21, 2016


Dec 21 - Marine Harvest Chile to Cut Antibiotic Use 70% in Salmon Pens in Favor of Vaccinations


Dec 20 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 20, 2016


Dec 20 - New Agreement to Normalize Relations between Norway and China could Revolutionize Salmon Market


Dec 19 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, December 19, 2016


Dec 19 - Zhangzidao and Sojitz Build Second Factory in Dalian to Expand Super Frozen Tuna, Salmon Business


Dec 19 - Beijing's Imports of Fresh Salmon Explode as Inspection System, Distribution Improves


Dec 19 - Marine Harvest To Purchase Farming Assets on the East Coast of Canada


Dec 19 - Weaker Euro, Local Currency Boosts Polish Salmon Exports


Dec 16 - Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's New Salmon Buyer's Guide Now Available


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 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 15, 2016


Dec 15 - NMFS Releases Voluntary Plan for Oregon Coast Coho Recovery; Aims for De-listing in 10 Years


Dec 14 - Sernapesca Confirms ISA found in Cermaq Farm in Aysen Region


Dec 14 - Over 1,500 Seafood Facilities Worldwide Now Certified Against BAP Standard


Dec 14 - Washington State Joins International Alliance Calling for Ocean Protection


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


Dec 12 - Push to Get More Chilled Sockeye in Bristol Bay as Packers Say They Won't Buy from Dry Boats in 2018


Dec 9 - Rabobank Commodity Outlook Sees Strong Salmon, Shrimp Markets; Lower Fishmeal Prices


Dec 7 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 7, 2016


Dec 7 - Cooke Aquaculture Wins Bid to Buy Marine Harvest Chile's Plant in Los Lagos


Dec 7 - Norwegian Seafood Exports On Pace to Set Record High Values in 2016 from Strong Salmon, Cod Prices


Dec 7 - ODFW Commission Extends Columbia River Reform Fisheries Transition Period


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


Dec 5 - Murray, Cantwell Push to Declare Six Fisheries Disasters in Washington State


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Red Chamber to Allow Federal Observers Aboard its Red Shrimp Boats in Argentina to Meet FIP Goal

Red Chamber said it will participate with Argentina’s national fisheries research institute INIDEP in a fishery observer program for the inshore Patagonian pink shrimp fishery. Argentina’s Patagonian pink shrimp are also known as red shrimp or Pleoticus muelleri. They are a wild-caught coldwater shrimp. Red Chamber Argentina (RCA) said it committed to the observer program for the Patagonian shrimp in order to fulfill goals listed in a Fishery Improvement Program for the fishery that the company is participating in. “We are looking forward to working with INIDEP to track juvenile hake bycatch in the red shrimp fishery and make progress towards management improvements,” said RCA President Marcelo Mou.

Cod prices in UK markets are on the rise from the combination of the prolonged fishermen's strike in Iceland and because of high salmon prices. Analysts say high-priced salmon has UK motivated consumers to switch to lower-priced cod. However, UK cod supplies are starting to feel the pinch from Iceland's prolong fishermen's strike that started in November. In a related story, European fish market analysts at Marko Fish say Iceland's sharply higher capelin quota announced this week could motivate Iceland's fishermen to end their strike. “There are higher probabilities that the strike will be resolved in the next few days than before due to the issue of enlarged quota for capelin of 196 thousand that will be Iceland’s share of the quota. Due to the relatively short catch window for the capelin the pressure to end the strike is increased,” said Marko Fish.

In other news, Vietnam's largest pangasius exporter Vinh Hoan purchased all of the assets to pangasius processors Thanh Binh Dong Thap Seafood for an undisclosed amount. The move increases Vinh Hoan's processing capacity by 20 percent according to a local report.

Meanwhile, NMFS said it will prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on the U.S. Pacific Island deep-set tuna longline fisheries, which target bigeye tuna. The PEIS will analyze the environmental impacts of management of deep-set tuna longliners, which operate out of Hawaii, American Samoa, and the U.S. West Coast. "The PEIS is a proactive step in the management of deep-set tuna longline fisheries," said Western Pacific Fishery Management Council Executive Director Kitty M. Simonds. "It streamlines environmental review for future management decisions and facilitates the ability of fisheries to adaptively respond to changing conditions."

Finally, the United Fishermen of Alaska flagged concerns about House Bill 511, an income tax bill that begins hearings today in the House Finance Committee. UFA says many fishermen will have "major difficulties" complying with withholding requirements on payments to fishing crew.

Have a great weekend.

Full Story »

Marine Harvest Doubles Earnings in 2016; Adding Processing, Farming Sites to Grow N. American Sales

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 15, 2017

Marine Harvest doubled its earnings in 2016 as the operator benefitted from strong global demand for limited inventories of high-priced salmon. The world’s top salmon producer has plans to expand its market share in North America with a new processing facility and farming sites in Canada.

The Norwegian-based operator posted US$741 million in full year earnings in 2016. This figure is more than double its earnings in 2015 that amounted to $367 million.

“2016 was a great year for Marine ...

Full Story »

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 »

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 »

ASMI Pushes Back Against British Campaigners Who Object to Alaska Salmon Processed in China

A statement from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Insitute explained why Alaskan salmon sold at grocery stores in the UK is processed in China. This response was prompted after Tesco explained its supply chain practices to customers on social media who wanted to know why its wild Alaskan salmon fillet products carry a Country of Origin label that says China. The grocer's response triggered some blowback about the carbon footprint that is created to produce Alaskan salmon for the UK market. But ASMI defended the industry's practices. "'Salmon... are exported to China because it is the most efficient means of providing a quality product," an ASMI spokesperson said. They added that hand filleting provides a better yield than machine filleting, which "offsets the CO2 footprint and means more of the fish is consumed and utilized."

An updated set of fishing data sheets compiled by United Fishermen of Alaska emphasizes the importance of commercial fishing and seafood processing to many Alaska communities, including Cordova. “Alaska’s commercial fisheries bring millions in fishing and processing revenue and employ may thousands in the major fishing ports every year,” said Jerry McCune, president of UFA. “Alaska’s seafood industry is also a significant contributor for tax revenues and indirect jobs for virtually all Alaska communities." 

In other news, federal fishery officials in Chile enacted algae monitoring protocols in the Gulf of Penas after a toxic strain was detected last week in 149,000 dead salmon smolt. Surveillance is now underway for waters in the Gulf of Penas, which is a major shipping lane that salmon producers use to transport fish by boat. The salmon were infected with the Karenia mikimotoi strain of algae during transport since the boats recirculate the Gulf waters into the salmon holding tanks during the relocation process.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard is still searching for a Seattle-based crab boat with six crew members aboard that apparently sank in rough seas about two miles northwest of St. George Island, Alaska. The 98-foot crab boat the F/V Destination sent out an emergency beacon Saturday morning from an area where 30 mph winds, below-freezing temperatures and snow had whipped up 5- to 8-foot seas. The boat is based in Seattle and two Seattle residents are listed among its ownership group. The Coast Guard said the boat operates out of Sand Point, Alaska.

Finally, Maine-based Bristol Seafood was named the "2016 Vendor of the Year" by major West Coast seafood distributor Santa Monica Seafood. "They have a very high fulfillment rate, little to no quality issues, and they are great at not only providing us market data, but also presenting us several options before we make a strategic purchase," said Roger O’Brien, CEO of Santa Monica Seafood. Bristol also named Ted McDermott as the Regional Sales Manager for its new branch on the West Coast.

Full Story »

"Amazing Engineering Feat" Saves Millions of Fish at Feather River Fish Hatchery

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Chico Enterprise-Record] by Heather Hacking - Ffebruary 13, 2017

Oroville, Calif. -- It’s not that often you can add saving and protecting 9 million fish to your list of lifetime achievements. For the crew of more than 66 who pitched in at the Feather River Fish Hatchery, the hope is this will never need to be done again.

Earlier this week, plans were being made to evacuate the fish hatchery along the river. At that time, high water was expected. Later, the problem turned to water so dirty it could harm the young and vulnerable fish.

The first step was to move about 5 million tiny fish to a hatchery at Thermalito. This involved scooping up the fish with nets and transportation by truck. Help came from hatcheries throughout the state and the work lasted “morning till night” explained Andrew Hughan, public information officer for California Fish and Wildlife.

Among those moved were millions of spring-run Chinook salmon ...

Full Story »

Task Force Eyes $1 billion Alaska Maraculture Industry

 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Alaska Dispatch news] by Laine Welch - February 13, 2017
 
A task force created by Gov. Bill Walker is working on ways to boost the harvest of shellfish, sea cucumbers, geoduck clams and seaweed. Some say a billion-dollar industry is possible within 30 years.
 
Shellfish, sea cucumbers, geoduck clams, seaweeds and biofuels are crops envisioned by a group of Alaskans crafting a framework for a statewide mariculture industry expansion.
 
An 11-member task force created last February by Gov. Bill Walker is working towards putting a comprehensive report on...

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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.

Full Story »

Judge Orders Increased Klamath River Flows to Benefit of Salmon, Tribes, Fisheries

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - February 10, 2017

Klamath River tribes and fishermen who depend on salmon claimed victory after U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick mandated increased water flows on the Klamath River Wednesday.

The ruling says the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation must let more water downstream on the Klamath in the winter to flush out Ceratanova shasta, or C. shasta, a parasite that affects juvenile salmon. In turn, the success of those juveniles affect the numbers of returning adult salmon on which tribes and fishermen depend.

Orrick found the Bureau’s operation of the Klamath Project is causing irreparable harm to the salmon and the Yurok Tribe and fishing families, and that the water levels also appear favorable this year for the mitigation flows needed to reduce that harm. He found that, based on the best available science, “Plaintiffs have demonstrated that flushing flows and emergency dilution flows would reduce C. shasta rates among coho salmon. There is no meaningful dispute among the parties on this point.” 

He rejected pleas for delay to consider more evidence, stating, “Where plaintiffs have shown a threat of imminent harm to coho salmon, waiting for perfect science is not appropriate.” ...

Full Story »

Toxic Algae Detected in 149,000 Dead Salmon Smolt in Chile

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 8, 2017

Chilean salmon producer Nova Austral said toxic algae killed 149,000 smolts as they were being shipped to grow out centers in the Magallanes region from Los Lagos.

According to Nova Austral’s general manager Nico Nicolaides, the toxic algae strain Karenia mikomotoi was detected in a shipment of 105,000 dead fish that were being transported on the ship Don Pedro.

These fish were en route to Nova Austral’s “Aracena 5” grow out center in the Magallanes Region, which is located in the Chilean Antarctic...

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 »

Red Lobster Brings Back Lobsterfest With Four New Combo Entrees

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 6, 2017

Red Lobster announced the return of its annual Lobsterfest promotion with several new menu options that pair lobster with other seafood items.

This year’s promotion is featuring a Lobster Mix and Match selection that lets customers choose any two lobster tails from four choices to create their own entrée – Creamy Shrimp-Topped Lobster Tail, Seafood-Stuffed Lobster Tail, Steamed Maine Lobster Tail, or Grilled Maine Lobster Tail.

The Mix and Match offer is just one of four entrées Red Lobster has rolled out for its annual Losterfest promotion. This year the national chain is pairing its lobster with other seafood and protein options. The entrée include: Wood-Grilled Lobster and Red Shrimp; Stuffed Tilapia with Langostino Lobster and its Lobsterfest® Surf & Turf...

Full Story »

Oregon Closes 65-mile Stretch of Coast to Commercial Dungeness Crabbing 

Oregon health and fishery managers took the rare step late Thursday of closing the commercial Dungeness crab fishery in a roughly 65-mile area after the season was already open, due to one crab with viscera that had an elevated level of domoic acid. The state closed recreational crabbing in the area from the North Jetty at Coos Bay north to Heceta Head, north of Florence, on Wednesday. The temporary rule issued Thursday for the commercial industry includes a closure and also evisceration orders, documenting procedures and other instructions for fishermen and processors. "The closure is limited to that portion of the Central Coast," ODFW managers said in a statement. "Areas south of Coos Bay and north of Heceta Head remain open to commercial crabbing."

One cod importer in Boston says the prolonged fishermen's strike in Iceland has forced many US buyers to use suppliers and it could take years for Iceland's cod exporters to regain their market share. “The problem here in the US is that most customers order the same amount on a regular basis. For those customers, the quality of the product matters much, and that’s where Iceland excels beyond all others, but stability is also important," said Eric Kaiser, CEO Aquanor Marketing in Boston. "Since we started importing fish from Iceland in 1992, the supply has always been steady. Now, for the first time, there is a long-term lack of products, and most of the customers have found new suppliers. They import fish from Alaska, the Pacific Ocean, Norway and Canada.”

In other news, the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to China could reach $1 billion in 2017. This would be a record-setting figure for Vietnamese exporters. VASEP says the forecast is based on high demand in China for seafood given the expansion of the middle class. “As Chinese consumption rises, Vietnamese seafood exports are expected to top $1 billion in 2017,” said Truong Dinh Hoe, the chairman of VASEP.

Meanwhile, discussions continue in Alaska on how to patch up the state’s $3 billion budget hole, and again fishermen will feel the cuts from one realm or another. The ADF&G's budget has been slashed 30 percent since 2014. Among the concerns is if enough money will be available to conduct crucial salmon assessments like funding for salmon weirs. “These salmon fishermen can’t survive without the information of these weir counters that the department has seen to eliminate. I almost have to question if this is an attention-getting measure…. a message to the Legislature that you can’t cut our budget because we’re going to cut weirs," said Kodiak Rep. Louise Stutes.

Finally, Louisiana's newly elected Gov. John Bel Edwards told a group of recreational anglers Thursday that he was open to state regulation of red snapper fishing off Louisiana’s shore. “We ought to be able to regulate ourselves when it comes to fishing,” Edwards told the Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana. The Governor's position runs counter to the state's Wildlife Department that said Louisiana could not afford a state-sponsored snapper management program. However, that was the position under Department head Charlie Melancon, who has since resigned from the position.

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Chris Reuttgers Resigns as CEO of Icicle; Cooke's Pal Angell-Hansen Takes Over as Interim Chairman

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 1, 2017

Cooke Aquaculture confirmed that Chris Reuttgers will step down as CEO of the company. Pal Angell-Hansen, will take over as interim Chairman of Icicle on February 13.

According to a statement from Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke, Reuttgers elected to resign from the top executive spot at Icicle.

“After leading Icicle through the subsequent transition period, Chris made the personal decision to pursue other career opportunities,” Cooke said in a statement. “We are grateful to Chris for his professional leadership and support to us over the past year and for his years of service to the company since he joined seven years ago.”

Full Story »

Trident Hires Nick Ohmer to Manage Wrangell Facility for Summer Salmon Run

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - January 30, 2017

Trident has hired Nick Ohmer to manage its fish processing plant in Wrangell according to the Petersburg Pilot.

Ohmer will take over duties at the Wrangell facility for the plant’s summer production run. A media brief from Trident confirmed Ohmer’s appointment to the role the Pilot said in a story last week.

The Pilot said Ohmer is a Petersburg native and lifelong resident of Southeast Alaska...

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How Alaskans Forced Snow Crab Prices Above $8.00; This Price Likely to Carry Through to Boston

Reports from Japan say “Bering Sea Opilio Prices are escalating wildly above $8.00” due to the production cutback in Alaska. As a result, wholesale snow crab prices in Japan have smashed all records, and are up about 50 percent over last year. Traders think the $8.00 per pound prices will also be on offer at the Boston Seafood Show. However, they hold out hope for an early opening of the Canadian Gulf season, especially if ice conditions are not severe this year. As far as snow crab buyers go, all eyes are on the opening of the Gulf and Newfoundland seasons writes John Sackton.

Marine Harvest doubled its earnings in 2016 as the operator benefitted from strong global demand for limited inventories of high-priced salmon. “2016 was a great year for Marine Harvest, with both record earnings and cash flow generation. I am very proud of the work all our colleagues have put in to achieve these results,” said Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog.  The world’s top salmon producer also announced plans to expand its market share in North America with a new processing facility and farming sites in Canada. 

In other news, tilapia processing plants have started back to work after the Chinese New Year. But output is still low. The market situation in 2016 has taken a toll on farmers feeding and stocking of tilapia, which has meant stable prices amid small supplies. Meanwhile, white shrimp production in sheds, or roof covered ponds, exceeded expectations in South China, with the result that for the first time in several years there was no major price increase on shrimp during the New Year festival.

Iceland’s Ministry of Fisheries raised its commercial capelin quota to 299,000 metric tons, which is a sharply higher quota compared to last year. Major Iceland fishing company HB Grandi is among the key capelin harvesting companies in the country and said the higher quota should benefit Japan's roe market. "There is strong demand for roe-bearing capelin on the Japanese market and as stocks are low, roe prices are high," said Garðar Svavarsson, head of HB Grandi's pelagics division.

Finally, the votes fell short for a second round of Southeast Alaska salmon seine permits to be retired, or bought back, by a federal loan. The referendum failed by 26 votes among 315 eligible to participate

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Second Alaska Buyback Program for Southeast Seine Permits Not Approved

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 15, 2017

The votes fell short for a second round of Southeast Alaska salmon seine permits to be retired, or bought back, by a federal loan. The referendum failed by 26 votes among 315 eligible to participate.

In a Federal Register announcement yesterday, the National Marine Fisheries Service released the results of a referendum among 315 permits in the fishery designated as S01A by the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission (CFEC). NMFS received a total of 180 ballots of the 315 eligible to vote, but only 132 were in favor...

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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.

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Rain Forest Aquaculture Gets Three-Star BAP Certification at Fresh Tilapia Facility in Costa Rica

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 14, 2017

Rain Forest Aquaculture received three-star certification from the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices program for its fresh tilapia operation in Costa Rica.

Rain Forest is owned by major farmed salmon producer and exporter AquaChile and supplies 90 percent of the US market fresh tilapia fillets. Rain Forest represents about 25 percent of the entire North American for fresh tilapia.

Three-star certification is the second highest level of certification offered by the BAP program. Rain Forest says it is close to full four-star approval...

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Chile Enacts Federal Algae Monitoring Procedures for Gulf of Penas Waters

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 13, 2017

Federal fishery officials in Chile have enacted algae monitoring protocols in the Gulf of Penas after a toxic strain was detected last week in 149,000 dead salmon smolt.

These measures are part of Chile’s Emergency Resolution of Pests. Under the order, surveillance is now underway for waters in the Gulf of Penas, which is a major shipping lane that salmon producers use to transport fish by boat.

"The damages have basically occurred in the transport of fish from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt and in the transfer of juvenile fish that are fattening in the area of Punta Arenas...

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California Salmon Groups Join in Project to Release Salmon at Bodega Bay 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Santa Rosa Press Democrat] by Mary Callahan - February 13, 2017

A quarter-million tiny, young salmon, each just a few inches long, are scheduled to be released into Bodega Bay this spring, providing a potential bright spot amid ongoing hardship for the North Coast fishing fleet.

The hatchery-reared fish will be trucked directly to Sonoma County from the state-run Mokelumne River hatchery near Lodi as part of a continuing effort to augment California’s declining Chinook salmon stocks, which took an especially hard hit during the prolonged drought.

Modeled after similar programs elsewhere on the California coast, the operation involves the use of a custom-made net pen to be positioned in the water, dockside, at Spud Point Marina in order to receive the smolts. The pen will provide a place for the young fish to adjust after their tanker ride and to acclimate to salt water before they head toward open water with the outgoing tide a few hours after their arrival.

The key advantage of such an effort is it allows the young fish to bypass the obstacles they would otherwise face getting downstream to the ocean, past unscreened water pumps and other dangers in the Sacramento River/San Joaquin River system, enhancing their chance of surviving to adulthood.

“The delta pumps just eat all those fish coming down, ...

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Fish Factor: Salmon Fellows Program Spawned in Alaska
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fishfactor] by Laine Welch - February 13, 2017
 
Salmon is the heart of Alaska's fisheries — it almost singlehandedly spawned the push for statehood nearly 60 years ago. A new Alaska Salmon Fellows program wants to make sure Alaskans are poised to "shape the future" of the cultural fish and it is investing in the people to do so.
 
In its call for applications, the fellows program is described as a means to "facilitate demanding conversations about salmon issues among leaders from a cross section of salmon policy, management, industry, activism, research and cultural sectors."
 
"The goal is to bring people with different perspectives together from all across Alaska, people who care about the future and want to...

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VIDEO: Shrimp Imports Set an Annual Record and FDA is Still Targeting Filth 






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Ocean Beauty Will Not Can Alaskan Salmon This Summer at Petersburg Facility

Ocean Beauty Seafoods will not be canning fish at the company’s plant in Petersburg this summer. Tom Sunderland, vice president of marketing, says current market conditions favor selling frozen salmon over canned. “We’re gonna make a lot more money selling frozen salmon than canned salmon this year and the Petersburg plant is essentially a cannery,” Sunderland explained. We reported how wholesale prices for imported frozen salmon from Chile reached an all-time record high at the end of January. 

Alaska's State Senate Finance Committee asked Alex Tonkovich, the executive director of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, if the group could tap into its reserve funding rather than take $2 million in state funding. Tonkovich said she would bring the state's request back to the ASMI board, but noted that ASMI’s reserves were earmarked to deal with unexpected events in the global seafood industry. “We need flexibility to react to changing market conditions,” she said “We have had to react very quickly in the past,” she said. 

In other news, Japanese squid processors in Hokkaido are struggling for survival by diversifying their product lineups in face of a serious raw material supply shortage. For some processors, squid accounts for as much as 70 percent of their processing capacity. Operators are now seeking alternative items in and out of seafood including octopus, salmon and even potatoes.

Meanwhile, Alaska's Board of Fish is meeting this month and will consider 174 fishery management proposals for the Upper Cook Inlet commercial, sport, person use and subsistence fisheries. “What we do is we’ll walk a group through the Board of Fish process – go through the term s, the meeting lay out, how it moves from staff reports to public testimony, to committee and deliberations and just tell them where they want to fit in and get their input in and how to provide more effective testimony, how to speak to board members and make a strong impact ,and just make them more familiar with it," said Board director, Glenn Haight. The Board will meet February 23 through March 8 in Anchorage.

Finally, Chilean salmon producer Nova Austral said toxic algae killed 149,000 smolts as they were being shipped to grow out centers in the Magallanes region from Los Lagos. The toxic algae strain Karenia mikomotoi was detected in the smolt when they arrived dead. Nova Austral has suspended all salmon planting at its centers until they can confirm the algae is not spreading. So far there is no indication where the algae originated from.

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Squid processors in Hokkaido struggling for survival

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Japan Reports]  February 8, 2017

Squid processors in Hokkaido are struggling for survival by diversifying their product lineups in face of a serious raw material supply shortage.

Squid processors in southern Hokkaido centering around Hakodate are now mired in serious supply shortage and soaring prices for raw materials triggered by unprecedented slumping harvests of flying squid last year.

They are now struggling for survival by attempting to diversify their business into new areas and to improve the added values in the manufacturing process.

  Tonami Foods Co., located in Hokuto City, for one, built a new vegetable processing plant in Mori Town last October.

  The company, known for squid processed foods, developed a product item using potatoes

The potatoes are peeled and processed in high-temperature steam and then frozen...

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Market Share for Norwegian Salmon Grows in US, Shrinks in EU as Buyers Plug Chilean Production Gap

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 7, 2017

The US market share for Norwegian salmon continues to grow even though output is down. These factors, with support from favorable exchange rates, have caused Norway’s salmon exports to European markets to shrink.

According to the Norwegian Seafood Export Council the total value of Norwegian salmon sales to overseas markets in January was US$640 million, a 25 percent increase over last year.

At the same time, Norway’s exported salmon volume was down to just over 70,000 metric tons. The decline in salmon shipments dragged Norway’s total seafood export volume down by 11 percent...

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FDA's Monthly Seafood Rejections Down 30% from Last January with Filth Still Leading Cause

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 6, 2017

The year’s first round of seafood refusal data from the FDA showed a decline in the volume of rejections while filth is still on the Administration’s radar.

FDA refusals in January reached 145 line items for the month. It’s a 30 percent decline in monthly rejections compared to last January.

Filth accounted for the bulk of the month’s rejection, responsible for 40 percent of January’s refusals. However, this figure was down compared to the 70 percent last January’s seafood rejections the FDA flagged on account of filth...

 

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VIDEO: Seafood Industry United in Support for Chris Oliver as Next NMFS Admin

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Salmon landings in Hokkaido in 2016 are the lowest in three decades

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Hokkaido Shimbun] Japan Reports  January 31, 2017

The number of salmon caught in Hokkaido in 2016 plunged 29.4% from the previous year to 23.4 million fish, according to the survey by the Hokkaido District Fisheries Coordination Committee. The figure represented the lowest level in 28 years.
 
The lackluster performance has been blamed on the poor migration of four-year-old fish as well as the impact of the typhoons last summer.
 
Local fishermen have been increasingly concerned over the fact that the trend of meager catch that continued in recent years has not been held in check.
 
Salmon season in Hokkaido ordinarily begins in autumn.
 
Last season opened at a slow tone. In addition the time of setting nets largely delayed mainly on the Pacific side...

 

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Chilean Seafood Companies are Planning for Single Largest Showing at Boston Show

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Techo Press] - January 30, 2017

Buyers attending this year’s Seafood Expo North America in Boston are likely to see a strong showing of Chilean seafood products in 2017.

This is because 26 Chilean seafood producers have committed to exhibit at this year’s Boston show, which is scheduled for March 19-21 at the Boston Convention Center.

That’s the largest number of Chilean seafood companies to ever commit to North America’s single largest seafood event. Normally, no more than 20 Chilean seafood companies have ever attended the Expo...

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