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Feb 13 - Santa Monica Names Bristol Seafood Vendor of the Year; Ted McDermott to Run West Coast Office


Feb 7 - Strong Demand and Cultural Preferences for Seafood Driving Up Prices in China for New Year Sales


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


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


Jan 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday January 16, 2017


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


Jan 11 - National Scallop Research Alliance set up by Zhangzidao to Improve Scallop Genetics


Dec 30 - Bristol Seafood's President and CEO Peter Handy Joins NFI's Board of Directors


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


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


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


Dec 7 - Chinese Companies to invest $200 Million for Scallop Growing in Russia


Dec 2 - As Expected, Hokkaido Scallop Landings fall to 21 year low


Dec 1 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 1, 2016


Dec 1 - Labor Shortages, High Density and Small Size, Plague Shandong Scallop Harvest


Nov 30 - Maine Diver Scallop Season Opens; Restaurants Take Note


Nov 29 - Seafood Sales Reported Excellent Through China's Online Sellers on Singles Day


Nov 22 - Van Cleve Seafood Co. Expands Into Mid-Atlantic Safeway Stores with Premium Seafood and Sauce Line


Nov 21 - PODCAST: 26-30 Ct. Price Spreads Between Asian, Latin American Shrimp; Dungeness Season Starts


Nov 21 - JD and Alibaba Battle Over Fresh Seafood on Singles Day in China; JD Inks Deal with Canada


Nov 18 - Cooke Aquaculture Expands South America Footprint with Purchase of Uruguay's Fripur S.A.


Nov 17 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday November 17, 2016


Nov 17 - US Scallop Catches Likely Stable for 2017 after NE Council Approves Plan


Nov 17 - Bob Simon Winds Down Nova Fisheries, Pioneer in Weathervane Scallops and Argentine King Crab


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


Nov 10 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday November 10, 2016


Nov 10 - Clearwater Notes Good Global Demand for Premium Priced Seafood With Sales Up 30% in 2016


Nov 9 - Urner Barry Launches New Seafood Price Current With Additional Quotations, Interactive Features


Nov 3 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday November 3, 2016


Nov 3 - Mid-Atlantic Scallop Season to Start One Month Later on April 1 Beginning in 2018


Oct 26 - Wellhead Disaster Averted by 12 Meters in Shell Offshore Drilling Incident on Scotian Shelf


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


Oct 24 - Critics: Vancouver Aquarium Ocean Wise Program Has No Enforcement


Oct 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday October 21, 2016


Oct 21 - Nantucket Sound Shellfish Harvesting Closed Until at Least Nov. 1 Because of Domoic Acid


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


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


Oct 10 - Atlantic Capes Begins Joint Venture with Zhangzidao on Oysters Bringing Triploid Production to China


Sep 23 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday September 23, 2016


Sep 15 - Are the Big NGO's Winning the Marine Monument Battle, But Losing the War


Sep 14 - Sushi Outlets Linked to Hawaii’s Hepatitis A Outbreak Cleared to Reopen


Sep 12 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday, September 12, 2016


Sep 12 - Blue Harvest Fisheries Closes Deal to Buy High Liner Foods' Scallop Business


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


Sep 1 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday September 1, 2016


Sep 1 - Japan's Scallop Exports Are Sluggish as Production Falls, and Buyers Wait for Lower Prices


Aug 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday August 22, 2016


Aug 22 - Sea Port Initiates Voluntary Recall with FDA for Philippine Scallops Produced Nov. 23 and 24, 2015


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


Aug 16 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday August 16, 2016


Aug 16 - High Liner Reports Increased 2nd Qtr Earnings on Flat Sales


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


Aug 10 - CEO Ian Smith Can Take a Bow as Clearwater is Riding Success on its 40th Anniversary


Aug 2 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday August 2, 2016


Aug 2 - Blue Harvest Completes Scallop Deal for Hygrade Ocean Products, Brings Scallop Fleet to 15 Vessels


Jul 27 - LeBlanc Says Newfoundland's Inshore Harvesters Will Be First to Get Northern Cod Allocations


Jul 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Thursday July 21, 2016


Jul 21 - Plan Wants to Shift Mid-Atlantic Scallop Season Start Date to April 1 to Get Stock Data in Time


Jul 15 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday July 15, 2016


Jul 6 - Hokkaido's Scallop Exports Down 60% and Expected to Worsen in 2016 as Yen Strengthens


Jul 1 - Scallop Fishing to Close July 4 for Mid-Atlantic Limited Access General Category IFQ Vessels


Jun 28 - 2016 Council Appointments Announced by Secretary of Commerce


Jun 24 - Yesso Scallop Production up 4.9% in China's Changhai Province; Prices Hit Record Highs


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


Jun 22 - Fall River's Raw Seafoods Adds Three Industry Veterans to Senior Management Positions


Jun 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 21, 2016


May 27 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 27, 2016


May 26 - Bristol Seafood Hires Food Industry Veteran Jimmy Davolio as VP of Sales


May 25 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 25, 2016


May 20 - Maine Economic Development Agency Makes Grants to GMRI and to Start Maine Scallop Aquaculture


May 19 - US Seafood Imports from Malaysia at Virtual Stand Still After FDA Warnings


May 17 - Clearwater Posts Record Q1 Sales from Improved Canadian Scallop Harvest and Macduff Acquisition


May 17 - Chinese Inspectors Clear First Shipment of Scallop Broodstock to Canadian Producers


May 11 - Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday May 11, 2016


May 11 - Hokkaido Scallop Landings Down over 30% this Past Year, with Further Decline Expected in 2016


May 10 - GAA Finalizes BAP Standards for Farmed Mollusks


May 10 - Cooke to Buy Icicle; Transaction to Close in 30 Days, Will Give Cooke $1.8 Billion in Annual Sales


May 6 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday May 6, 2016


Apr 29 - Evaluating the Report Card: What's Behind NOAA Fisheries Annual Status of the Stocks


Apr 12 - Sales of Commercial Sea Scallop Quotas Will Provide $15 Million for Scallop Research


Apr 12 - Louisbourg Seafoods' 'Sea++' Competition Hooks Fisheries Solutions


Apr 11 - Zhangzidao Forecasts Continuing Losses for Investors


Apr 11 - State Finalizes Deal to Preserve Tenants Harbor Working Waterfront


Apr 4 - Zhangzidao gets Chinese Official Recognition for New Species of Yesso Scallop: Zhangzidao Red


Mar 22 - Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday March 22, 2016


Mar 22 - EU Ends 19 Year Ban on Imported Chinese Scallops with Market Approval of Zhangzidao's Yesso Product


Mar 21 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday March 21, 2016


Mar 21 - Blue Harvest Fisheries Expands Scallop Fleet to New Bedford with Purchase of Harbor Blue Seafoods


Mar 9 - Canadian Importer and Ontario Distributor Seacore wins 5th Excellence Award


Mar 9 - Clearwater Hires Dr. Sarah Pilgrim-Morrison to Run Seafood Sustainability Research for Macduff


Mar 7 - Warm Weather in Japan Hurts Sales of Pot Cusine Seafood, Such as Crab


Mar 4 - Seafood.com News Summary Friday, March 4, 2016


Feb 29 - Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 29, 2016


Feb 29 - Arrest of Carlos Rafael Casts Pall Over New Bedford Waterfront


Feb 29 - Fed Agents Say Carlos Rafael Shipped Illegal Fish to New York, Laundered Cash Thru Logan Airport


Feb 25 - Some of China's Popular Seafood Gift Baskets Contain More Frozen Water Than Product


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Santa Monica Names Bristol Seafood Vendor of the Year; Ted McDermott to Run West Coast Office

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 13, 2017

Bristol Seafood was named the "2016 Vendor of the Year" by major West Coast seafood distributor Santa Monica Seafood.

Santa Monica is a leading supplier of quality fish to retailer Albertsons/Vons and is among the major seafood distributors to the entire West Coast market. 

“We chose Bristol Seafood as our Vendor of the Year because they epitomize a great vendor partner.  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...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] January 27, 2017

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

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

Full Story »

News Summary January 16, 2017

Today's Main Story: Shipment of California Dungeness Crab to China Allowed by Chinese, but not by Canadians

Today's news opens with a piece by John Sackton who writes that the situation of live shipments of Dungeness crab to China remains murky. For a couple of weeks, there was a ban on shipment of California crab and the Chinese interpreted that to apply to most fishing areas on the West Coast. During this time, the Canadian authorities stopped accepting any US-caught Dungeness crab for air shipment to China through Vancouver. But the Chinese, working with US Food inspection and NOAA, quickly lifted the ban on ...

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National Scallop Research Alliance set up by Zhangzidao to Improve Scallop Genetics

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Finance Sina] Translated by Amy Zhong  Jan 11, 2016

A national innovation alliance of yesso scallops has been established in Dalian. 
 
China’s national technical and innovation alliance of yesso scallop industry was founded in Dalian on December 22. 

Zhangzidao is the initiator, while key research institutes, universities and companies have also provided support to its establishment. The goal is to improve the industry’s development in basic research, genetic technologies, ..

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

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

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

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [dl.cnr] Translated by Amy Zhong December 19, 2016

Dalian Global Food is a joint venture of Zhangzidao and Sojitz Corporation. The venture has started to build its second factory. 

On November 28, Dalian Global Food hosted a ceremony in Dayao Bay Bonded Port Area of Dalian in celebration of the second factory it is building. The project investment is as high as 85 million yuan ($1.5 million). And the company’s annual production capacity is to skyrocket from 1,200 tons to 3,600 tons with this factory. Its refrigerating capacity will also balloon from 850 tons to 2,850 tons. In addition, there is expected to be a great improvement in its capacities of material purchasing, processing, warehousing and marketing. 
 
Dalian Global Food was established in 2003. And it is the joint venture of Zhangzidao, Sojitz Corporation of China and Sojitz Corporation..
 

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As Expected, Hokkaido Scallop Landings fall to 21 year low

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  Dec 2, 2016

As has been expected given the pace of landings this season, total scallop production in Hokkaido has fallen to its lowest level in 21 years.
 
According to the Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives, total scallop harvest this year is 183,000 tons, compared with 200,400 tons last year.  This represents the weight of scallops in the shell.
 
In many average years Hokkaido produces around 300,000 tons of scallops in shell.
 
Landings are not expected to recover much in 2017...

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Labor Shortages, High Density and Small Size, Plague Shandong Scallop Harvest

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [xinhua] Translated by Amy Zhong  December 1, 2016

Too high density has cut the scallop sizes in some areas of Shandong Province.  Wu, one local farmer, cultivates 50 thousand cages of scallops in coastal areas and deep sea sites this year. But the scallop growth is unsatisfactory. The coastal ones reach the size of about 140 scallops per jin (0.5 kilo), while the deep-sea ones are only at around 160 scallops per jin.  

The problems have resulted from stocking too densely.  Last year, scallop growth in the area was good, so farmers expanded, and many relocated cages to this area.  However, the high density resulted in insufficient natural feed, creating a 'scallop desert'.

Other areas in the province where scallops were raised with lower densities have seen better results, with some farmers reporting sizes in the 100 to 120 range per Jin...

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Seafood Sales Reported Excellent Through China's Online Sellers on Singles Day

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews] with Amy Zhong November 29, 2016

 
Alibaba has achieved gross merchandise value of 120.7 billion yuan within the Singles Day (11/11). Though the company has not disclosed its sales of aquatic products yet, below is a review of some aquatic companies’ performance during the festival. 
 
    Fresh Life, a fresh e-commerce company, has chosen to promote its products on the T-mall platform of Alibaba within that day. And the main products include Canadian lobsters, Vietnam’s basa fillets, Irish crabs, Argentine red shrimps, etc. The company’s sales during the Singles Day is ten times of its daily sales. And its best-selling aquatic products are red shrimps and basa fillets. But some products don’t sell well even with discounts on that day, which shows that consumers are becoming more rational now, said Li, the company’s founder. 
 
    Zhangzidao has also worked hard to promote its products like scallop products certified by the MSC, imported shrimps..

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PODCAST: 26-30 Ct. Price Spreads Between Asian, Latin American Shrimp; Dungeness Season Starts

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Cooke Aquaculture Expands South America Footprint with Purchase of Uruguay's Fripur S.A.

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - November 18, 2016

Cooke Aquaculture will close a deal to buy all of the assets to Uruguay’s largest seafood company Fripur S.A . The deal expands Cooke’s presence as a wild-caught seafood operator Latin America.

Cooke said it expects its subsidiary Perindes S.A to close the deal in a few days, pending court approval.

The purchase gives Cooke control over Fripur’s fishing fleet, which traditionally harvests about 16,000 tons of hake and 1,600 metric tons of Red Crab each year...

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US Scallop Catches Likely Stable for 2017 after NE Council Approves Plan

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton November 17, 2016

The New England Fishery Management Council opted for stability in the scallop fishery for 2017, approving a plan that slightly reduces fishing pressure in open areas, and provides for one more trip to the rotational closed areas.
 
The spatial management of the scallop resource has made the fishery behave similar to a limited access fishery.  In 2016 scallopers were allowed three trips to closed areas, with a set trip limit...

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews] November 14, 2016

The two major Japanese companies Maruha Nichiro and Nippon Suisan had differing half-year reports, showing them exposed to different economic and market factors.  Both companies reported declining sales, problems with pollock roe and surimi markets, and favorable trends in salmon.
 
But Maruha Nichiro achieved record mid-term profit on the strength of decreasing procurement costs due to the yen’s upswing while Nippon Suisan reported a difficult first half of the year, with net profits falling 31%.
 
Maruha Nichiro
 
Maruha Nichiro announced on November 7 that its half-year consolidated recurring profit for the current business year started last April spiked 79.8% over a year before to Y13,775 million on sales standing at Y427,313 million, down 1.5%.
 
Its operating income also shot up 114.9% to Y14,798 million, with net profit surging 88.4% to Y8,833 million.
 
Speaking at a press conference, Managing Director Tomohiro Mitamura said the profit level largely surpassed that in the like period in fiscal 2011 when the company achieved all-time high profits.
 
Mitamura attributed the strong performance to drastic surge of the Japanese currency

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Clearwater Notes Good Global Demand for Premium Priced Seafood With Sales Up 30% in 2016

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - November 10, 2016

Clearwater Seafoods posted a sharp increase in its sales year-to-date primarily because of strong demand for high-priced seafood items the company said.

The Halifax-based distributor posted a 29 percent increase in third-quarter sales, which contributed to a 30 percent rise in its sales for the year. Sales for the year were reported at $445 million.

Clearwater noted strong sales at high prices for this year’s performance increases. The company reported good sales of for higher priced Canadian sea and Argentine scallops, lobster and snow crab. Volume growth was also reported for Argentine scallops, UK King scallops, langoustine and whelk...

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China's Online Seafood Dealer Gfresh Lands Investment Deal with E-Commerce Titan Alibaba

Chinese seafood e-commerce retailer G-fresh has secured US$20 million in funding from China’s premier online purveyor Alibaba and from investment firm Legend Capital that will support an expansion of Gfresh’s fresh seafood sales directly to Chinese consumers. The investment deal was announced this week at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao. In addition to funding Gfresh’s online seafood marketplace, Alibaba and Legend Capital will also become board members for the company. This partnership represents continued expansion and evolution of China’s online seafood delivery industry. The investment shows a concerted effort by Gfresh to improve the cold-chain infrastructure of China’s online seafood retailers. “With this new investment, Gfresh plans to pursue product initiatives for its online seafood marketplace; expand to new markets; and upgrade its logistics supply chain service. All while leading the Chinese seafood industry into a new stage of development,” the company said in a press release.

Beginning in 2018 the Mid-Atlantic sea scallop season will start one month later in April now that NMFS has passed a final rule that delays the start to the fishery. Federal officials said they wanted to push back the start the date to give government scientists and third-party researchers more time to collect stock data. The change is not likely to have a large impact on the Mid-Atlantic scallop fishery since most major industry stakeholders have been aware of that the delay could happen and because historical data shows that March and April are generally low producing months for a majority of Mid-Atlantic scallopers.

The ban on shellfish harvesting in Wellfleet Harbor issued on Oct. 13 because of a norovirus outbreak will continue through at least Nov. 17, according to the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The initial closure notice, which also ordered the recall of shellfish harvested from Sept. 26 onward, said the ban would last at least 21 days. That period has now been lengthened to at least five weeks.

In other news, the CMA CGM Group, COSCO Container Lines, Evergreen Line and Orient Overseas Container Line propsoed the formation of the Ocean Alliance, which woul dbe the largest shipping alliance in the world. The four partners will share their capacity on several routes to offer more services for their customers. Together, they will operate 40 services on the East-West trades with around 100 ports of call and almost 500 port pairs. "By offering more ports and more direct calls as well as better transit times, we will provide our customers with unmatched quality services. This new offering is a cornerstone of our strategy as it reinforces our competitiveness and strengthens our position as a key player in the shipping industry," said Rodolphe Saadé, Vice Chairman of the CMA CGM Group.

Finally, state fishery managers in New England are seeking public input on an addendum to the fishery management plan for Southern New England lobster stocks, which lays out options for addressing stock decline in the region. The goal is to increase egg production and reduce fishing mortality, through a

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Strong Demand and Cultural Preferences for Seafood Driving Up Prices in China for New Year Sales

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [FishFirst] with material from and John Sackton Amy Zhong  - February 7, 2017

A roundup of Chinese seafood markets just prior to the new year shows strong prices and good consumer demand.  Also there is evidence of an increased cultural preference for seafood over more traditional chicken dishes.
 
Our article focuses on specific city reports, and makes some general observations.
 
Shanghai:  overall seafood prices have risen 30% to 40% over the past year in the wet markets.  
 
Dalian:  Although seafood prices are high, they are comparable to their peak ..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Finance East]  Translated by Amy Zhong with Additional Material from John Sackton    January 12, 2016

Sales of High end imported seafood including items such as lobster, king crab, salmon, Dungeness crabs and Argentinean shrimp appear to be surging in China prior to the Chinese New Year on January 28th.
 
For lobsters, unlike 2016 when New Year's sales were barely over the prior year, all indications are that sales are up substantially, if the supply has materialized.
 
Chinese consumers have started their holiday shopping in preparation for the coming Chinese New Year. High-end seafood has surged as a popular choice with the improvement of household incomes. Such high-end seafood as king crabs and lobsters are becoming widely received among consumers. 
 
It is about half a month before the Chinese New Year. But Chen has decided to skip her lunch break and select seafood in an aquatic market..

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Bristol Seafood's President and CEO Peter Handy Joins NFI's Board of Directors

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] December 30, 2016

Bristol Seafood’s President and CEO will join the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Board of Directors in 2017.

Bristol Seafood is based in Portland, Maine and has been in business since 1992. The company is a fresh and frozen seafood processor and distributor to the US market.  .  In 2015, Bristol reported record sales and shipped more than 6 million pounds of seafood from its facility on the Portland, Maine fish pier.  The company is the first and only processor of mussels, scallops, or fillets in the state of Maine to earn a Safe Quality Food institute certification...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Story »
Chinese Companies to invest $200 Million for Scallop Growing in Russia
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [China Aquatic] Translated by Amy Zhong  Dec 7, 2016
 
According to the government of Primorsky Krai, some Chinese companies plan to invest US $200 million to raise scallops, sea cucumbers and mussels there.
 
The deputy secretary-general of China Overseas Development Association is reported to have met and talked with the vice governor of Primorsky Krai. And Chinese companies intend to start the operation of their aquaculture facility there in May, 2017. And this facility will create thousands of new jobs.
 
Chinese investors are attracted by the good conditions around Vladivostok and other advanced development zones, said the deputy secretary-general. Primorsky Krai is attractive for investment,

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Russian Salmon Catches Exceed 420,000 Tons This Year, 4th Largest Volume Since 2000 

Russia's Pacific salmon catch has exceeded 420,000 tons this season an increase of 14 percent from last year according to the North Pacific Development Association. The total represents the 4th largest catch in the past 16 years for the Russian fishery. By species pink salmon accounted for 61 percent of the catch; chum was 25 percent of the haul followed by sockeye, coho, chinook and other salmon species.

In China, labor shortages, high densities and smaller sizes are hurting the scallop industry in the Shandong Province. Last year, scallop growth in the area was good, so farmers expanded. This has caused a high density problem, which has created a 'scallop desert' in the region according to farmers. Meanwhile, labor shortages is limiting shucked oyster production and tightening availability.

The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) said the EU will eventually give "green card" status to Thailand for its efforts to fight IUU problems in its seafood industry. “Thailand will succeed in getting a green card after being given yellow-card status almost two years ago. But I don’t know when, and the EU would like to see long-lasting measures for sustainable fishing,” said Steve Trent, executive director of the EJF.

Average tilapia prices in China for purchase by processors declined about 1% in the past two weeks. Prices are down because there is a lot of fish on the market right now since Chinese farmers are clearing ponds ahead of the winter season.

Finally, the Southeast Purse Seine Task Force is getting a first look at the federal preseason forecast for pink salmon harvest in Juneau, and it is slightly more than the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s preseason forecast released earlier this month. The NOAA Fisheries management and modeling team from Auke Bay predict a 46.2 M pink salmon harvest in SE Alaska in 2017. This is slightly higher from the ADF&G forecast writes Peggy Parker.

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Maine Diver Scallop Season Opens; Restaurants Take Note

 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - November 30, 2016

Ask a waiter or waitress in a high-end New England restaurant 'Where are the scallops from', and mostly the answer you get is Maine, whether true or not.
 
This is because of the successful marketing of Maine diver scallops to chefs, who have adopted them as differentiated from the dragger landed scallops shucked by the New Bedford Fleet.
 
The Maine state waters season opens December 1st, and lasts about 60 days.
 
The Maine production is tiny, around 500,000 lbs of meats total, vs. the 40 to 50 million pounds landed in the primary East Coast scallop fishery from New Bedford to Virginia.
 
However, over the past five years, Maine landings have increased steadily to 175,000 lbs in 2010 to 525,000 pounds in 2014-2015.

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Van Cleve Seafood Co. Expands Into Mid-Atlantic Safeway Stores with Premium Seafood and Sauce Line

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - November 22, 2106

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va., Nov. 22, 2016  -- The Van Cleve Seafood Co., the all female and family owned creators of premium gourmet products, announce their product lines launching into 91 premium stores of the Safeway grocery chain.

The award-winning seafood company, which started in Spotsylvania, Va., in 2001 with a seafood market, found its niche by providing high quality and one-of-a-kind gourmet items. The Van Cleve Seafood Co.'s signature product, Chesapeake Blue Crab Pie, is made using a 200-year-old secret recipe from a historic Virginia manor and has been designated a Virginia's Finest product since 2006. The company is proud to include the Chesapeake Blue Crab Pie and its Chesapeake Scallop and Bacon Pie in the Safeway launch.

"All of our products are made by hand with high quality seafood not typically found in the retail market. Both of those factors set us apart from every other brand in the industry," said Monica Van Cleve-Talbert, ...

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JD and Alibaba Battle Over Online Sales of Fresh Seafood on Singles Day in China; JD Inks Deal with Canada

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [163.com] Translated by Amy Zhong November 21, 2016

Imported fresh food have become increasingly popular among China’s rising middle class. And the sale of fresh food is one important battlefield for e-commerce companies during the “Double-11” festival, on November 11th. This is also known as singles day because of the 11/11 acronym.
 
JD has inked a contract again with Canadian government to ensure sufficient supply before the festival. And there is an increase of 120% in its supply of Canadian fresh food during 2016 compared with last year, while the sales so far have skyrocketed by over 400%.
 
There are over 300 different kinds of Canadian fresh food sold in JD now. And JD negotiates with Canada’s leading companies directly, said Wang, the president of JD Fresh...

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US Scallop Catches Likely Stable for 2017 after NE Council Approves Plan 

The New England Fishery Management Council opted for stability in the scallop fishery for 2017, approving a plan that slightly reduces fishing pressure in open areas, and provides for one more trip to the rotational closed areas. Landings are expected to be around 47 million lbs. which is just marginally higher compared to the current fishing year.

An EU delegation visited Thailand earlier this month to inspect the progress the country has made to combat IUU issues in its seafood sector. Thai officials said the visit went well. The EU is expected to announce its assessment of Thailand in tackling the IUU fishing issue in January 2017.

In other news, Hanwa, a major Japanese trading firm, reported significant recovery in its consolidated profit in the first half of its current business year because of improved profitability of Seattle Shrimp, its US subsidiary.

Meanwhile, VASEP told Vietnam's shrimp producers and exporters that production costs need to be reduced and the quality of shrimp needs to improve if the industry wants to remain competitive in the global market. Exporters were told they will lose their market share to Thai and Chinese producers if they do not make improvements. 

Finally, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) announced a deal to buy frozen foods distributor Bellisio Foods for $ 1.075 billion that will close this December. Bellisio is the third-largest frozen food company in North America. "We are excited to be part of CP Foods and look forward to leading the North American strategy for one of the world's most successful and innovative food companies,” said Joel Conner, Chairman of Bellisio.

Today SeafoodNews subscribers will get their first in our series of commodity newsletters. Over the next few weeks we will roll out commodity newsletters for shrimp, salmon, lobster, crab, cod and all the other species we cover. The newsletters will highlight the stories and market information we have recently run, and will provide an easy way to keep up with important stories you may have missed.

Initially, we are sending the newsletters to all subscribers. However, each newsletter has an opt-out link at the bottom which takes you to your account preferences, where you can check or uncheck any specific newsletter. We welcome feedback on this new service.

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Bob Simon Winds Down Nova Fisheries, Pioneer in Weathervane Scallops and Argentine King Crab

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  November 17, 2016

Bob Simon, who founded Nova Fisheries in 1985, and moved the company to Seattle shortly thereafter, announced that the company was ceasing its involvement in fisheries direct production operations, although it would continue with some of its sales operations.  'A sunset', one customer called it.
 
Nova was a small company that worked to develop new fisheries and invested in fishing technology and gear, and commodity processing both in Alaska and in the Canadian Maritimes. 
 
One of their successes was the development of the Alaska Weathervane Scallop fishery.  Nova's Blair Culter worked for 23 years to define and develop this fishery.  Although a small volume fishery, Alaska's weathervane scallops were among the highest prices scallops world wide.
 
Bob Simon defended the use of dry scallops, and in both the weathervane and his Atlantic Canadian scallops avoided the use of soaking to increase weight.
 
Nova fisheries also was involved in the early development of the Argentine Southern Red King crab fishery.
 
They worked with Centomar S.A...

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Major New Brunswick Lobster Processors Warn of Possible Shortage of Tails this Winter 

Canadian lobster processors say that by January, February and March, the pipeline for tails will not be normal at all. The expectation is for significant shortages in the market compared to prior years, which means prices could be volatile. John Sackton writes of the various scenarios that packers say will lead to lobster tail shortages this winter season. First is the expectation that the industry will not get a repeat of the nearly perfect fishing weather the industry operated under in 2015. Second is a shortage of available labor that will cut processing capacity at plants that produce meat and tails. Third is the timing of when this season will open versus last year. According to John Sackton these scenarios put the lobster tail market in position to see higher prices this winter season.

A very quick red king crab fishery has wrapped up last week in Alaska, with 98 percent of the rationalized quota of 7.6 million pounds landed, a 14.6 percent decline to the catch last year. Expectations were for red king crab prices to go higher this year based on the shortages and so far this appears to be the case. Urner Barry began quoting new season Alaska red king crab this week, as there are enough sales in the market to establish a quote. Alaskan 14-17 king crab legs quotations are up 19 percent from last November. Meanwhile, Russian red king crab (which can include blue king crab as well) moved up to $16.50 from $16.10 on a comparable size at the beginning of September.

In other news, Clearwater Seafoods posted a sharp increase in its sales year-to-date primarily because of strong demand for high-priced seafood items. Clearwater's sales are up 30 percent in 2016 according to its third quarter performance report. The company credited the increase to strong demand for higher priced Canadian sea and Argentine scallops, lobster and snow crab. Volume growth was also reported for Argentine scallops, UK King scallops, langoustine and whelk.

Meanwhile, executive chef and restaurateur Andrew Gruel has a plan to make fast casual seafood a scalable, chef-driven reality with his Slapfish concept. So far Slapfish has six locations in California. But Gruel said he has a deal in the works to expand to six states and another major plan to expand the restaurant to two international markets by 2017. “If I could reinvent something that was fun and sexy in a fast casual environment I could create a model that could scale and replicate and get more people to eat more seafood,” Gruel said. Ultimately, Gruel’s franchise plan is to launch 100 locations in the next seven years.

Finally, food industry associations and retailers Wednesday voiced nonpartisan reactions to President-elect Donald Trump's defeat of Hillary Clinton and congressional races resulting in Republicans maintaining control of the House and Senate. Today's story runs comments from the Food Marketing Institute, Wal-Mart and the National Grocers Association among others.

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Urner Barry Launches New Seafood Price Current With Additional Quotations, Interactive Features

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - November 9, 2016

This week Urner Barry released an overhaul to the Seafood Price Current (SPC) publication. The report features several major changes to key seafood categories intended to increase the clarity of market behavior for specific items.

The first most obvious change to the report is the switch from a landscape or horizontal, presentation to portrait or vertical format. The revised report also features color coded changes to indicate market direction...

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Mid-Atlantic Scallop Season to Start One Month Later on April 1 Beginning in 2018

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - November 3, 2016

Beginning in 2018 the Mid-Atlantic sea scallop season will start one month later in April now that NMFS has passed a final rule that delays the start to the fishery.

NMFS published the final version of its Amendment 19 proposal to the Federal Register this week, which changes the start date to the East Coast scallop fishery from March 1 to April 1.

Federal officials said they wanted to push back the start the date to give government scientists and third-party researchers more time to collect stock data. The intent is to set harvest limits and other season specifications before the season starts and to reduce the need to make mid-season adjustments to the fishery...

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