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Mar 22 - News Summary Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mar 22 - GAA, MultiExport Foods and Mitsui Sign Initiative to reduce SRS Salmon Disease in Chile

Mar 21 - News Summary Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mar 21 - Fishpeople Seafood and Open Blue Win Seafood Excellence Awards at Boston Show

Mar 21 - Mariner Seafood Prepared for Retail Distribution of GO WILD Brand That Extends Fresh Shelf Life

Mar 20 - News Summary Monday, March 20, 2017

Mar 20 - Anomalous 2015 Ocean Conditions May Bode Poorly for West Coast Juvenile Chinook Salmon Survival

Mar 17 - Japanese Fish Sellers Adapt to Changing Market with More Prepared Items, Different Species of Fish

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

Mar 16 - News Summary Thursday March 16, 2017

Mar 16 - Alaska's Salmon Hatchery Production Fell Far Short of Forecast in 2016 (Fish Radio)

Mar 16 - Fish 2.0 2017 Competition Opens West Coast Track with Investment Event in Seattle

Mar 15 - News Summary Wednesday March 15, 2017

Mar 15 - California, Oregon Salmon Season Options Range from Some to None

Mar 15 - Chinese Press Hints at More Crackdown on Lobster and Shrimp Smuggling Through Vietnam

Mar 15 - Alaska Salmon Fishery Recertified Under Responsible Fisheries Management Program

Mar 14 - News Summary Tuesday March 14, 2017

Mar 14 - Camanchaca Enters Shrimp Market in Joint Venture with Krustagroup to Sell Argentine Shrimp Products

Mar 13 - News Summary Monday March 13, 2017

Mar 13 - Fishermen Funded Bristol Bay Sockeye Promotion Boost Sales in Colorado Market (Fish Radio)

Mar 10 - News Summary Friday March 10, 2017

Mar 10 - FDA Now Using Whole Genome Sequencing During US Seafood Plant Inspections to Detect Listeria

Mar 10 - Norwegian Fish Oil and Byproducts Producer Biomega Acquired by New York's AMERRA Capital

Mar 10 - The Saucy Fish Co Lands Distribution Deals With US Grocers Mariano's and Hannaford

Mar 9 - News Summary Thursday March 9, 2017

Mar 6 - News Summary Monday March 6, 2017

Mar 6 - Young's Seafood Weathers Tough First Quarter to Post £3m Profit

Mar 6 - Report: Restoration Efforts in Columbia Basin Helping Salmon

Mar 6 - Mariner Seafood to Debut GO WILD Brand of Vacum Packed Line of Wild Caught Seafood at Boston

Mar 3 - News Summary Friday March 3, 2017

Mar 3 - Santa Monica Seafood Wins Food Safety Award

Mar 2 - John Sevier Named New President of International Seafoods - Alaska

Mar 2 - West Coast Trawlers Receive Permits to Target Rebuilt Rockfish Stocks

Mar 1 - News Summary Wednesday March 1, 2017

Mar 1 - NFI Salmon Council's Heart Healthy Social Media Campaign Generates Strong Online Traffic

Mar 1 - Patagonia SeaFarms Now Offering Four Star Certified BAP Salmon

Mar 1 - Grim Forecast for West Coast Chinook Seasons; Fishermen Aware of Option of Closure

Feb 28 - News Summary Tuesday February 28, 2017

Feb 28 - Marine Harvest's Polish Salmon Processor Morpol Gets BAP Certification

Feb 24 - News Summary Friday February 24, 2017

Feb 24 - Marine Harvest Canada Gets Approval to Buy Gray Aqua's Salmon Farming Assets in New Brunswick

Feb 24 - High Salmon Prices Offset Sea Lice Losses as Scottish Salmon Company Posts Sales Increase in 2016

Feb 24 - Driftnet Ban Fails to Save Ireland's Atlantic Wild Salmon

Feb 23 - Platina Seafood Names Damien Claire President; Starts Crystal Seafood to Focus on Fresh Salmon

Feb 23 - Russia's Federal Fishing Agency, Director Implicated in Corruption Ring for Upcoming Quota Auctions

Feb 22 - News Summary Wednesday February 22, 2017

Feb 22 - Hello Fresh's Meal Kit Delivery Service Commits to Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch Program

Feb 21 - Leroy Seafoods: High Prices Generate Good Earnings

Feb 21 - Grieg Posts Record 4Q Earnings on Strong Salmon Prices, Higher Production

Feb 17 - News Summary Friday February 17, 2017

Feb 15 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - News Summary Thursday January 12, 2017

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

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News Summary March 22, 2017

Today's Main Story: Sakhalin Officials Arrested for Allowing IUU Russian Crab to Flow to China

Headlining the news today is a focus on how the Russian Sakhalin Island continues to be a battlefield between local officials and the Russian crab mafia, which is trying to restore its positions that have been significantly affected by the recently tightened fight with crab poaching in Russia. Alexander Khoroshavin, the former governor of the Sakhalin Island was arrested and the investigation of his case continues. Additionally, Alexander Taratenko, head of Rosrybolovstvo of Sakhalin, together with Mikhail Kuzmenko, the Minister of Agriculture of Sakhalin (and a person, who oversees the development of regional fish industry, and in particular its crab segment) were arrested on the suspicions of power abuse.

In other news, catches of Alaska halibut are starting to pick up after wild weather got the fishery off to a slow start after the March 11 opener. Less than half a million pounds have been landed through Tuesday by 82 deliveries, with Sitka leading all ports, followed by Seward and Kodiak. Just seven boats had delivered about 36-thousand pounds of halibut at Kodiak through Tuesday; 52-thousand pounds crossed the docks at Seward from eight landings, and nearly 65-thousand pounds at Sitka from 15 boats. Landings at other Alaska ports weren’t available because they were too few yet to record. The prized fish are getting big prices, up 30 cents a pound compared to the start of the season last year.

Full Story »

News Summary March 21, 2017

Today's Main Story: ADF&G Forecasts Alaska's Salmon Catch to Top 200 Million Fish this Summer

Alaska salmon fishermen could haul in a harvest nearly double last year's catch due to a projected uptick in the number of pinks. An Alaska Department of Fish and Game report on 2017 salmon run forecasts and harvest projections pegs the catch at 204 million fish. That compares to just over 112 million salmon taken by fishermen in 2016. The catch last season included 53 million sockeye salmon — the fifth-largest harvest since 1970 — but only 39 million pinks, the smallest since 1977. This year's forecast calls for an average catch of sockeye salmon at 41 million, 12 million fewer than last year. For those hard-to-predict pinks, the harvest projection of nearly 142 million is nearly 103 million more than last summer.

The Boston Seafood Show, now called Seafood Expo North America, has an upbeat feel this year. The Show owner, Diversified, says it is the biggest show ever in terms of booth space. In the past, the organizers had co-located the show with a regional New England Foodservice Show. This year that is not happening and the entire hall is seafood only. Despite high prices on a number of items, the overall feeling here is one of optimism.

In other news, food safety authorities have seized shrimps injected with gelatin from a wet market in southern China. Gelatin was found in three batches of frozen shrimps in a wet market in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, in recent days, according to Guangdong Satellite TV. The shrimps’ bodies and head were glued together by edible gelatin, which is often used to make jellies and other desserts. Experts were quoted in the report as saying the suppliers injected the gelatin to make the shrimps appear healthier or to cover up rotten meat.

The Sitka Sound herring sac roe fishery opened March 19 for a three-hour-and-twenty-minute first opener, after being on a two-hour notice since March 17. Preliminary hails from processors put the total harvest at 3,500 mt of a total GHL of 14,649 mt. The opening was based on three samples taken from the area with the following results: Mountain Point, 11.3% mature roe, 1.1% immature roe, 128 gram a

Full Story »

Mariner Seafood Prepared for Retail Distribution of GO WILD Brand That Extends Fresh Shelf Life

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 21, 2017

Mariner Seafood launched a line of wild caught seafood items at the Seafood Expo North America in Boston that uses a patented technology that gives retailers an option to feature the items in fresh seafood cases.

The GO WILD seafood brand uses patented, breathable film that allows oxygen to flow through the products. This super chill pack technology extends the shelf life of the portioned out seafood products...

Full Story »

Anomalous 2015 Ocean Conditions May Bode Poorly for West Coast Juvenile Chinook Salmon Survival

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - March 20, 2017

NEWPORT, Ore. – Fisheries managers have been predicting a slightly below-average run of spring Chinook salmon on the Columbia River this year but a newly published suggests it may be worse.

According to researchers from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ocean conditions were historically bad in the spring of 2015, when migrating yearling fish that will comprise the bulk of this spring’s adult Chinook salmon run first went out to sea. In fact, Pacific Decadal Oscillation values, which reflect warm and cold sea surface temperatures, suggest it was one of the warmest ...

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

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

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

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


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Alaska's Salmon Hatchery Production Fell Far Short of Forecast in 2016 (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] March 16, 2017

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Alaska’s hatcheries also had a salmon slump. More after this –

Last year’s Alaska salmon catches fell short for all but sockeyes and the slump hit state hatcheries hard.

Typically, more than one-third of Alaska’s total salmon harvest and value include fish that start out as eggs from wild stocks reared in hatcheries - mostly pinks and chums -and released as fingerlings to the sea.

About 27 million adult salmon returned to Alaska’s 28 hatcheries last summer dotted throughout Prince William Sound...

Full Story »

Russia Plans to Seize Fishing Quotas from Producers Who Build Trawlers With Foreign Capital

Russia's federal fisheries agency plans to start more active seizures of fishing quotas from harvesters who rely on foreign capital to build vessels. The seizures are part of a plan is to encourage fishermen to build fishing trawlers at local shipyards, according to a spokesman at Rosrybolovstvo. Initially, the goal will be to distribute about 20% of the total volume of fishing quotas to local producers that use domestic shipyards. Ultimately, Russia wants as much as 35 percent of quotas distributed to producers that use domestic shipbuilders. In more Russian fishery news, Japan's Hokkaido Federation of Fishermen say Russia's catch of pollock with roe from the Sea of Okhotsk is down about 7 percent during the A season. The federation says that the pace of production slowed from last year around late February, and showed no signs of recovery in the first week of March.

Reports in China suggest customs officials are cracking down on illegal shrimp and lobster shipments imported through Vietnam. Reports suggest buyers in China are pushing for illegal seafood smuggling to avoid high tariffs. It is beleived that the illegal trade will continue for a couple more years until a free trade agreement between China and Australia goes into effect in 2019. That agreement will eliminate rates on Australian seafood shipped to the Chinese market over the course of four years.

In other news, Maine seafood distributor Bristol Seafood has earned Fair Trade Certification for its line of North Atlantic Sea Scallops. This is the first domestically harvested seafood item in the US market to earn recognition from the Fair Trade program. “We are very proud to be the first to introduce Fair Trade Certified seafood harvested in the United States,” said Peter Handy, Presi­dent and CEO of Bristol Seafood. “All of our products are based on integrity and sustainable practices, and Fair Trade certification gives our customers third-party valida­tion that we operate in a socially responsible manner as well.”

Meanwhile, commercial salmon fishermen in Oregon and California are once again looking at no significant summer season this year -- a repeat of similar conditions in the late 2000s. The Pacific Fishery Management Council this week announced sport and commercial salmon fishing seasons that would go out for public review between now and its April 6-11 meeting. The Council will choose the final fishing seasons in April for submittal to the National Marine Fisheries Service's approval and implementation by May 1.

Finally, a new bill is being proposed by Alaska lawmakers that would require captains collect an as yet undefined amount of each crew’s wages and remit it to the state Department of Revenue. The United Fishermen of Alaska (UFA) opposes the proposal. “We don’t want to be tax collectors, we just want to be able to send a 1099 to the state and then they collect from the crews. We have no idea what their taxes are and I think they are going to make more work for themselves," said UFA's president Jerry McCune.

Full Story »

Chinese Press Hints at More Crackdown on Lobster and Shrimp Smuggling Through Vietnam

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  []  Translated by Amy Zhong  March 15, 2017

On March 7, Shenzhen customs seized another load of illegal seafood in a smuggling case. In total, there were around 34 cartons of lobsters weighing 1.07 tons. The smugglers planned to illegally bring in these lobsters through Wenjindu port of Shenzhen respectively at 14:05 and 14:10 that day. And they used two trucks which were documented as empty.

Similar seafood smuggling has been uncovered in China from time to time, despite relevant departments’ criminal take-down operations and documents released to cut tariff rates.

For example, one year after the implementation of the FTA between China and Australia, the tariff rates have declined or even been eliminated for Australian seafood. However, over half of Australian seafood still illegally entered China through Vietnam or Hong Kong in 2016...

Full Story »

Camanchaca Enters Shrimp Market in Joint Venture with Krustagroup to Sell Argentine Shrimp Products

The aquaculture and fishing company Camanchaca has signed a joint venture with the Spanish company Krustagroup, which is the processing and marketing arm of the Amasua Group. The group owns a fleet of fishing vessels in Argentina that are mainly engaged in catching Argentine red shrimp. The deal will have Camanchaca debut three products next week during Seafood Expo North America in Boston under its Pier 33 brand. Among the products will be an Argentine red shrimp product. Demand for Argentina's wild caught red shrimp in the US market has been especially high in the last year both in the retail and foodservice sectors.

Vietnam's pangasius industry is under attack in the EU since Carrefour’s ban on sales in Belgium in late January has since gained quick NGO support. A wave of negative media attention directed at the farmed pangasius industry following the ban has hurt sales across the EU market, despite the fact that pangasius is farmed both to ASC and BAP standards. This media frenzy has caused immediate changes in consumer habits which have already been felt by exporters. However, traders, industry groups, members of the scientific community and even retailers have come to the defense of Vietnamese pangasius.

In other news, Peggy Parker writes of Urchinomics, a company founded by Brian Tsuyoshi Takeda. Takeda's company uses a revolutionary process to farm sea urchins from the barrens, which feeds them a kelp-based food product that triggers production of uni (roe) in weeks rather than months. The company was founded since sea urchin populations have rebounded by clearcutting kelp forests, which means they stop producing roe that sells for $200 per pound. The process is in trial stages in Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes, British Columbia, Australia, and Japan.

Meanwhile, the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) said the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) seafood certification standards align with all of the Essential Components of the GSSI’s Global Benchmark Tool. This makes the MSC the third seafood certification standard to be successfully benchmarked by the GSSI. This process reaffirms our commitment to maintain world-leading science-based standards which are widely applicable and help to drive real change on the water. Anyone committing to purchase MSC certified seafood can be confident that it reflects global best practice in fisheries management,” said Dr David Agnew, Director of Science and Standards at the MSC.

Finally, Marine Harvest is experimenting with farming salmon using an advanced marine egg co

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As Season Wraps, Bering Sea Crabbers Focus on New Rules, Harvest Policy

As the Bering Sea crab fleet pulls the last of their snow crab pots, attention is quickly pivoting to the Board of Fish meeting being held next week. The season will likely wrap up with landings very close to the season's allocated quota. The supplemental March 20-24 Board of Fish meeting is drawing the interest of all crabbers, as the seven-member board will deal with king and tanner crab issues from Prince William Sound west to Kodiak, the Aleutians, and the Bering Sea. Submitting seven proposals for Bering Sea bairdi, the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers (ABSC) is focused on crab bycatch, gear efficiencies, and fishing dates. “But even more important, and what’s not on the agenda,” says Tyson Fick, executive director of ABSC, “are the ongoing conversations with Fish and Game about the stock harvest strategy for bairdi.”

Canada announced a $325 million budget for the Atlantic Fisheries Fund. The fund was announced last summer but federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc only made the budget public Friday. Representatives from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I., were on hand at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport to offer their support to the initiative, despite the fact no province has yet formally signed onto the agreement to make the money available to their province. "I am confident that this new $325-million federal investment will solidify the importance of seafood and fish to the economy of Atlantic Canada," LeBlanc said.

In other news, major Seattle-based crab and seafood distributor Keyport LLC is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month just one year after the company posted record sales. The company was founded by industry veteran Darryl K. Pedersen, with day-to-day operations handled by his sons Mark and Kurt. Last year, the company posted record sales. Keyport said it will release several new products this year to continue its growth. "“Kurt and I are excited to see the growth we are experiencing due to our continued development of fisheries, innovative products, unique partnerships and we’re particularly optimistic with our new product line up in 2017," said Mark Pedersen, President & CEO at Keyport.

Meanwhile, a three-month project that promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon in Boulder, Colorado boosted sales and is already expanding. The $700,000 Wild Taste, Amazing Place campaign was spawned by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and funded by 1,800 driftnet fishermen who pay a one percent tax on the value of their catches. "We worked with retail staff help and educated them about Bristol Bay and the run, about the unique habitat and the sheer size and that each one of our fishermen is a small independent business," said Becky Martello director of the Bristol Bay Association.

Finally, Anova Food, which is a subsidiary of Bumble Bee Foods, has earned SA8000 social certification for its tuna processing and distribution facility in Vietnam, which confirms that the company's labor practices meet acceptable human rights standards. The scheme is based on the principles of international human rights norms Anova said.

Full Story »

High Global Demand for Argentine Red Shrimp Pinched Supplies, Raised Prices in 2016

High demand for Argentine red shrimp in global markets last year pinched available inventories for buyers compared to the previous year and raised the cost to replace product in the US market in 2016. Traders say global interest from the US, EU, Japan and Chinese markets for Argentina’s red shrimp last year wiped out carryover inventories from the previous year. Usually, these frozen inventories are able to fill orders between fishing seasons. Another wrinkle in production was delayed production from the inshore fishing season, which usually starts in October and runs through March. But indications are that Argentina’s inshore fishing in January and February in 2017 was a bit better compared to last year. So while there is ample evidence that 2016 was a banner year for Argentine red shrimp demand and sales in global markets; close attention will be paid to production levels going forward to see if the pace set last year can be repeated in 2017.

The EU is investigating if shrimp from India is being transshipped through Vietnam to avoid high duty rates. German Customs officials are leading the investigation after a surge of unprocessed shrimp to Vietnam from India was reported. If Vietnam is found to use India-sourced shrimp for processing and export to the EU, the bloc will raise import tariff for Vietnamese shrimp. Currently, EU duties on Vietnamese shrimp are far lower compared to duties on Indian shipments to the EU market.

In other news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is refocusing its efforts to detect listeria at seafood processing, importing and distribution facilities in the US and is using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology to do so. The FDA issued a seafood warning letter to a smoked salmon producer at the end of the February that used the technology to detect listeria at its facility. “WGS is going to be an important tool moving forward in FDAs efforts to isolate and study pathogenic bacteria and consequent outbreaks. WGS refines the process of tying facilities to contaminated products and outbreaks. The FDA has refocused its attention on RTE processors, as listeria has continued to pose a serious public safety concern," said seafood facility auditor Scott Zimmerman, who is also the founder and CEO of Safe Quality Seafood Associates in Miami.

Meanwhile, Clearwater Seafoods says its clam production is 50 percent since it invested $135 million to build two new clam trawlers. The company’s inventories of clams, which account for about 15 percent of Clearwater's total revenues, grew by about $23.9 million last year, far in excess of the company’s usual level of $15 million worth of this product in inventory. “The Belle Carnell has excellent results on our fishing grounds and resulted in a 50-per-cent increase in our total clams,” Ian Smith, Clearwater Seafoods’ CEO.

Finally, SeaWatch International and some affiliates, filed a lawsuit to end laws that restrict non-New York fishing boats, and those more than 70 feet long, from New York's surf clam fishery. The suit also seeks to nullify the expiration of a 2012 law that allowed surf-clam interests to harvest the quota of more than one permit on a single boat.

Have a great weekend.

Full Story »

Norwegian Fish Oil and Byproducts Producer Biomega Acquired by New York's AMERRA Capital 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 10, 2017

Agribusiness asset manager, AMERRA Capital Management has acquired more than 90 percent of Marine Bioproducts/Biomega (“Biomega”) based in Sotra, Norway.  Biomega is a leading producer of high quality human grade peptones, proteins and oils derived from fresh fish by-products.  Biomega collaborates with Alkymar, a provider of industrial enzymatic hydrolysis solutions with complementary technology and expertise.  AMERRA intends to integrate the two companies.  

Biomega was founded in 2001 with the purpose of conserving the nutritional value of by-products from the salmon farming industry. Biomega has developed technology applications for the premium pet foods and human nutrition market segments... 

Full Story »

Carlos Rafael to Plead Guilty to Federal Charges of Fishery Fraud and Cash Smuggling

Carlos Rafael will plead guilty to federal charges of evading fishing quotas and smuggling profits to Portugal as part of a settlement he reached with the government, the U.S. Attorney's office in Massachusetts said Wednesday. Rafael faced one count of conspiracy, 25 counts of lying to federal fishing regulators and one count of bulk cash smuggling. The U.S. Attorney's office provided no further details regarding the plea deal. Rafael is well known in New England as the owner of the largest commercial fishing business in the region, which includes 40 commercial vessels. 

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Oceana and the Center for Biological Diversity have backed the US government in a lawsuit filed by the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) against the Obama Administration's Seafood Traceability Rule. The groups argue that the rule is vital to help curb illegal and unreported fishing and that it should be upheld even if the Trump administration wants to scrap it. The NFI's lawsuit says there are enough regulations are on the books to ensure that the US seafood supply is safe. “We are specifically suing the government because it improperly and illegally crafted a costly and duplicative rule. In inserting themselves in this lawsuit, it would appear that these outside groups are suggesting they were somehow involved in crafting that rule, a dynamic that raises a whole different set of questions,” said Gavin Gibbons, vice president of communications for the NFI.

In other news, the ADF&G recently completed a multi-year study taking genetic samples from sockeye harvested in the Kodiak Management Area seine fishery. The three-year study found that a significant percentage of the sockeye harvested in that fishery were of Cook Inlet origin in two years. The data, first presented at the Kodiak Board of Fisheries meeting in January, is the first time a mixed-stock analysis was conducted on Kodiak sockeye fisheries and was originally requested by the board as part of a longtime project to study stock composition in the Kodiak Management Area to further develop the management plans.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has offered to compromise with the Washington commission over their differences regarding the Columbia River salmon reforms. The compromise is a response to Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's order to renege on the Oregon Commission's decision to allow some commercial gillnet fishing on the river.

Finally, the directors of the marine resources divisions of the five Gulf states visited with senators, representatives and congressional staffers in Washington D.C. this week to discuss a variety of issues that affect fisheries, especially the red snapper fishery. “The meetings in Washington were to discuss the issues that are facing us with the Gulf fisheries. Primarily, that deals with red snapper and federal fisheries management. Rep. Bradley Byrne has reintroduced legislation that would take away some of the strict quotas. That would give us some flexibility, which is what we need to get away from these short seasons and find some other management strategies," said Chris Blankenship, director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division.

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Young's Seafood Weathers Tough First Quarter to Post £3m Profit

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Grimsby Telegraph] - March 6, 2017 

Strong management of exceptional challenges has been praised at Grimsby's largest private company, Young's Seafood, as the Brexit effect and the Icelandic fishing strike were negotiated.
First quarter results for the financial year ending in September 2017 saw earnings of £3 million on turnover of £128.8 million reported.
Bill Showalter, who was recently confirmed as permanent chief executive ...

Full Story »


Mariner Seafood to Debut GO WILD Brand of Vacum Packed Line of Wild Caught Seafood at Boston

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 6, 2017

Massachusetts-based seafood distributor Mariner Seafood will debut its GO WILD™ brand of super chilled, grab-and-go seafood at the upcoming Seafood Expo North America.

The ready-to-prepare line of wild-caught seafood utilizes vacuum skin packaging (VSP) technology adapted to meet seafood’s special requirements.

"We believe our GO WILD™ brand of wild-caught fish, shrimp and scallops will transform the way super chilled or frozen wild-caught seafood is brought to market," said Jack Flynn, President of Mariner Seafood...


Full Story »

GAA, MultiExport Foods and Mitsui Sign Initiative to Reduce SRS Salmon Disease in Chile

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 22, 2017

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), along with Multiexport Foods SA ("Multiexport"), Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui Tokyo") and the Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch program Bay, is spearheading an initiative in Chile aimed at contributing to a reduction in the incidence of Salmonid Rickettsial Septicemia (SRS) in salmon and trout that are grown in the South American country.

The Piscirickettsia salmonis , or SRS, intercellular bacterium endemic allegedly cost the salmon farming industry more than US $ 300 million a year. It is that SRS can spread rapidly, causing high mortalities if not treated promptly.

Announced during the third and final day  of the Seafood Expo..

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Fishpeople Seafood and Open Blue Win Seafood Excellence Awards at Boston Show 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 21, 2017

The 2017 Seafood Excellence Awards winners were announced at Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America in Boston this week and Fishpeople Seafood won the “Best New Retail” award while Open Blue won the “Best New Foodservice” award

Fishpeople Seafood won for its Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko Wild Alaska Salmon Kit and Open Blue Won for its Frozen Open Blue Cobia Fillet...

Full Story »

News Summary March 20, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Mike Tourkistas Steps Down from CEO Role as East Coast Seafoods Hires New CEO

Leading the headlines today is word that Michael Tourkistas, who together with his wife Heidi built East Coast Seafoods from a two person operation into the largest distributor of live and frozen North American Lobster, is realizing a transition plan that allows him to step back somewhat from the company, but propels the $400 million operation on a robust growth path.

In other news, a new trade deal looming between Canada and the European Union is setting off alarm bells in the Maine lobster industry. The deal between Canada and the EU – the largest seafood consumer market in the world – would eliminate tariffs on Canadian lobster exports into Europe and give the Maritimes a competitive advantage over their American counterparts, who would be stuck selling lobsters with tariffs ranging from 8 percent for a live lobster to 20 percent on processed or cooked lobster.

Meanwhile, the expanding market for lobsters in China is continuing to grow, with the country setting a new record for the value of its imports of the crustaceans from the United States. Last year, China imported more than $108 million in lobsters from America, surpassing the previous high of about $90.2 million in 2014. Chinese importers took in more than 14 million pounds of U.S. lobsters last year, which was also a record. The 

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Japanese Fish Sellers Adapt to Changing Market with More Prepared Items, Different Species of Fish

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Japan Reports]  March 17, 2017

Japanese fish retailers are trying to change to respond to changing consumer trends and they are trying to decrease in long term decline in fish consumption. They are no longer dependent solely on the conventional tactics of selling fresh fish.

Retailers are trying boost sales through new approaches. Instead of only displaying fish slices (fillets) or sashimi on the shelves, they are marketing slice products seasoned with various flavors...

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NMFS's Budget Spared in Trump Administration's Proposal to Slash Commerce Department Funding 16%

The Trump Administration's proposal to cut the Department of Commerce's budget by 16 percent does not specify the extent of cuts to NOAA's satellite programs but it appears to include only minor reductions to NMFS. It has been reported that the budget proposal would eliminate $250 million in coastal research programs including $73 million for Sea Grant programs.

One of the issues flagged in the dismal assessment of Newfoundland snow crab stocks this year was increased predation on snow crabs. One source of the increased predation is thought to be cod, which are eating more snow crab as capelin, their primary food, has not recovered sufficiently to support current cod populations. Another source of predation is seals. Recently Baie Verde native Danny Dicks harvested a bearded seal that had 181 female and 2 male snow crab in its stomach. The seal weighed between 200 and 300 pounds.

In other news, a Minnesota state lawmaker proposed a bill to provide short-term tax incentives for entrepreneurs who want to jump into the shrimp farming business in the state. The bill proposed by Rep. Chris Swedzinski was positively received by the state's House Agriculture Policy Committee. “We’re looking to build a whole new industry of agriculture in Minnesota, one that uses local commodities and creates very good jobs,” Rep. Swedzinski said.

Meanwhile, about 27 million adult salmon returned to Alaska’s 28 hatcheries last summer dotted throughout Prince William Sound, Southeast and Kodiak. That was less than half of the forecast and the lowest return since 1992. From that, the hatchery catch plummeted to 24 million salmon, or just 22 percent of the statewide harvest, again the lowest since 1992. The dockside value of the hatchery fish at $85 million was the lowest since 2005.

Finally, we publish a video by the National Fisheries Institute that features an interview with attorney Katherine Alveraz, who is the general counsel for Alfa Gamma Seafood Group in Miami and Derek Figueroa, COO of Seattle Fish Company in Denver who discuss the potential impact of the Trump Administration's proposed border tax on the seafood market in the US. The border adjustment tax would tax imports and exempt exports as part of a plan to encourage companies to locate or keep jobs and production in the U.S. Alvarez and Figueroa emphasize that a majority of the wild caught and farmed seafood Americans eat—at least 85 percent—is imported. This means the tax could increase the cost of seafood for consumers in the US market. This could result in a decline in seafood sales and actually in job losses, not job creation, across the country.

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Fish 2.0 2017 Competition Opens West Coast Track with Investment Event in Seattle

EAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - March 16, 2017

CARMEL, Calif. -- An April 4 workshop and reception for Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington seafood businesses focuses on building networks and sparking interest from investors and buyers.

The intensive workshop for the new Fish 2.0 West Coast track is open to seafood entrepreneurs from the West Coast and Alaska. It provides coaching on how to communicate persuasively with investors and seafood buyers and gives participants opportunities to meaningfully connect with other innovative seafood businesses, according to a Fish 2.0 press release. To attend, ...

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California, Oregon Salmon Season Options Range from Some to None

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers - March 15, 2017

Commercial salmon fishermen in Oregon and California are once again looking at no significant summer season this year -- a repeat of similar conditions in the late 2000s.

The Klamath River returns of spawning fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record due to poor ocean conditions, drought, disease and other issues. The Sacramento River Endangered Species Act-listed winter Chinook also continue to fare poorly. Since both of these fish are caught incidentally with other stocks, fisheries targeting more abundant stocks must be constrained...


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Alaska Salmon Fishery Recertified Under Responsible Fisheries Management Program

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - March 15, 2017

The Alaska salmon fishery has received continued certification to the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute announced yesterday. 

ASMI is the standard bearer for the Alaska RFM Standard, a certification program that is based on the FAO standards. Alaska's RFM program was the first to be accepted under FAO's benchmarking program Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

The fishery was the first to be certified to the Alaska RFM Certification Program in March 2011...

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Camanchaca Enters Shrimp Market in Joint Venture with Krustagroup to Sell Argentine Shrimp Products

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Technopress] March 14, 2017

The aquaculture and fishing company Camanchaca has signed a joint venture with the Spanish company Krustagroup, which is the processing and marketing arm of the Amasua Group. The group owns a fleet of fishing vessels in Argentina that are mainly engaged in catching Argentine red shrimp.

The Chilean company will take advantage of the Seafood Expo North America fair, to be held between Sunday 19 and Tuesday 21 of this month in Boston, Massachusetts to launch three new products under its brand "Pier 33 Gourmet ".

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Fishermen Funded Bristol Bay Sockeye Promotion Boost Sales in Colorado Market (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] March 13, 2017

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch. Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon branding project got great results. More after this –

A three month project that promoted Bristol Bay sockeye salmon in Boulder, Colorado boosted sales and is already expanding. The $700,000 Wild Taste, Amazing Place campaign was spawned by the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, and funded by 1,800 driftnet fishermen who pay a one percent tax on the value of their catches...

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FDA Now Using Whole Genome Sequencing During US Seafood Plant Inspections to Detect Listeria 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - March 10, 2017

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is refocusing its efforts to detect listeria at seafood processing, importing and distribution facilities in the US and is using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) technology to do so. 

Since 2008 the FDA has been building a network of food labs around the country that use WGS to test food facilities for pathogens that pose a threat to consumers. The WGS technology uses DNA testing to detect strains of foodborne pathogens...

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The Saucy Fish Co Lands Distribution Deals With US Grocers Mariano's and Hannaford

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] March 10, 2017

The Saucy Fish Co. expanded its presence in the US market with two more state-side listings for their brand of Ready to Eat salmon fillets with complementary sauces.

Saucy’s single portion products are now available at Mariano’s and Hannaford grocery stores. The retailers will sell Saucy's range of three Ready to Eat single portion products including: Smoked & Roasted Salmon with Sticky Maple Sauce, Sweet Chili Roasted, Salmon with Tomato & Chili Chutney and Steamed Salmon with Lime & Cilantro, all in 5.6oz servings...


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Bering Sea Snow Crab Season Going Slow 

Fishermen are having the toughest time in the past five years finding snow crab, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, in Unalaska. The fleet of 60 crab boats has caught 74 percent of the quota in the Bering Sea according to ADF&G biologist Ethan Nichols. But based on the number of crab in an average pot, the catch has plummeted. Meanwhile, Alaskan crabbers and their allies in the Pribilof Islands say a hybrid should be considered part of the catch of whatever the fishermen are targeting, whether Tanner bairdi or Tanner opilio. "The mixed physical characteristics make it extremely difficult to identify hybrid Tanner crab in a quick and efficient manner, especially during active fishing operations," the crab group said.

A Washington state fish buyer, Pacific Harvest Seafood, intends to bring a processing vessel to Bethel and park it at the seawall during the late summer silver salmon run in the Kuskokwim River and in the Kuskokwim Bay according to Pacific Harvest Seafood's President Jim Gonzalez. The Renton-based company also will run a tender to go back and forth between the fishing village of Quinhagak on Kuskokwim Bay to the self-sustained floating processor

In other news, the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is calling for an independent, external review of the management and science capabilities of Canada's federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in relation to the reported dramatic decline of key stocks off Newfoundland and Labrador. The request for review follows recent federal stock assessments for Newfoundland's coldwater shrimp and snow crab fisheries, which each showed poor biomass results.

Meanwhile, Red Lobster is expanding its Lobsterfest promotion to its lunch menu with the addition of a Maine lobster roll among other lunchtime offerings that feature Maine lobster. Last week, we reported how the value of Maine lobster landings reached a record high in 2016 from unprecedented demand in US and Chinese markets. In the United States, the restaurant sector has featured more lobster meat items on menus in recent years and Red Lobster's lunch special is one such example. The lunchtime offerings will retail for $9.99 at participating locations.

Finally, the FDA issued more seafood refusal data for the month of February over the weekend, which showed by line item refusals more in line with historical averages but on the decline compared to 2016. According to the data, refusals from China were the highest among all suppliers to the US market in February. Filth remains on the FDA’s radar accounting for 40 percent of the month’s seafood rejections. However, FDA seafood refusals in 2017 are trending below last year’s levels so far.

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Report: Restoration Efforts in Columbia Basin Helping Salmon

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] by Keith Ridler - March 6, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The $500 million spent annually on habitat restoration projects and improvements are helping salmon, steelhead and other wildlife in the Columbia River Basin, federal agencies responsible for operating 14 federal dams say.
The Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released a report Thursday outlining projects from 2007 to 2015.
“It says we’re making very good progress in bringing fish back to the rivers and improving the numbers of fish in the Columbia River Basin,” said Lorri Bodi, ...

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US, Chinese Demand Sends Maine Lobster Values to Record Levels as Landings Top 130 Million Lbs 

According to data from Maine’s Department of Natural Resources, the value of the state’s lobster landings in 2016 topped $500 million. The figure was up nearly $30 million from 2015 and a new record. The state's lobster landings in 2016 were also record-setting at 130 million pounds. At the same time, Urner Barry prices for lobster meat and live lobsters reached record levels in 2016. This is the result of high restaurant demand for lobster meat in the US market and a surge in North American live lobster sales to China.

Both U.S. and Canadian whiting industries will enjoy a higher total allowable catch of Pacific hake in 2017. The key drivers for the higher TACs are strong 2010 and 2014 year classes, according to the stock assessment. The assessment also noted those classes should drive the fishery for the next few years. This year's high TAC is still far shy of the potential of almost 970,000 mt that could be harvested while keeping the stock healthy writes Susan Chambers.

In other news, the long-awaited word arrived from both the State Department and the Commerce Department late yesterday that the Pacific halibut season would open on time this year. “On behalf of the Secretary of State, after consulting with and obtaining the concurrence of the Department of Commerce, I accept on behalf of the United States all of the recommendations proposed by the International Pacific Halibut Commission for the 2017 Pacific Halibut fishery....," said State Department Assistant Secretary Judith Garber.

Meanwhile, Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke said Alaska's wild salmon sales can flourish now that Icicle Seafoods' is under the umbrella of Cooke's operations. “I believe the Alaskan wild salmon has an incredible place in the marketplace,” Cooke said. “It’s a product that needs to be promoted. It needs to get huge coverage. The product is an incredible product and should be respected as that in the marketplace and we plan on doing that as a company. We believe the wild salmon has its niche. And we believe with working together with the farm product on the side enables us to be able to position that right with the retailers so they can get the premium and the benefit of what the wild should bring.”

Finally, Sino Agro Food a China-based investment company focused on protein foods, including seafood and cattle, carved out Tri-way Industries Ltd., the holder of enzyme technology master license for manufacturing of livestock feed and bio-organic fertilizer. The purpose for the carve-out is to provide Tri-way a means toward capitalizing on market conditions that currently support entities with strong aquaculture focus. For SIAF, that means becoming a 'solutions destination,’ supporting a wide range of agriculture endeavors through the delivery of value-added technology and world-class operations," said Solomon Lee, chairman and CEO of SIAF.

And for those that didn't get a chance to attend Urner Barry's Seafood Import Workshop held this week at Urner Barry's headquarters in New Jersey check out our Weekly Roundup Show for some video and pictures out of the event. 

Have a great weekend.

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