Barents Sea Cod Quota Virtually Unchanged
The Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission announced that the cod quota will be 890,000 tons, reduced just 4,000 tons from 2016. This contradicts the official recommendation of ICES which called for a 10% cut in the quota. This marks the second year in a row that the joint Barents sea commission has ignored ICES advice. The implication of the meeting is that cod stocks are still at a high level.
US Foods finalized a deal to acquire Florida-based seafood processor and distributor Save on Seafood. The company is based in St. Petersburg and provides fresh and frozen seafood to restaurants and grocery stores across the Southeast market. Save on Seafood reported $80 million in annual sales. US Foods will retain all of Save on Seafood’s 170 employees. Save On’s Owner Gib Migliano will stay on board as president of the company. Save On will continue to operate out of its current headquarters as a subsidiary of US Foods under its Stock Yards organization. “Seafood sales continue to rise throughout the Southeast, and with Save On Seafood we are able to expand our fresh and frozen seafood offerings to our customers in these markets,” said David Norton, president, Stock Yards, US Foods.
In other news, Chinese shrimp distributor Guolian Aquatic said it has increased its profits 20-fold through the first three-quarters of 2016 compared to year ago levels. Guolian said its sharply higher profits is the result of diverse sales to chain restaurant and because of improved sales to the US market through its Sunnyvale Seafoods subsidiary. Guolian's board also said that the stronger dollar has helped its profitability and that the ending of the FDA automatic detention for some of its shrimp products has also cut costs.
Meanwhile, Tri-Marine's Cheif Operation Officer Joe Hamby told the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council that American Samoa's tuna processing industry is struggling to compete with US suppliers because of ongoing fish shortages. Hamby said American Samoan canneries are no longer able to take advantage of selling tuna to the US market duty-free since they have limited fish supplies to process. “American Samoa’s only advantage besides duty-free access to the US market is fish supply. That advantage has been reduced and may be considered lost due to closure or reduced access to of some of American Samoa’s traditional fishing grounds,” Hamby said.
Finally, Patrice McCarron, the Executive Director of the Maine Lobstermen's Association said the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should reverse its decision on Atlantic menhaden quotas since there is overwhelming scientific evidence that shows the stocks can support higher catch limits. "When the issue of raising the menhaden quota is again brought to a vote, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has the opportunity to reverse its flawed decision to cut the menhaden harvest," said McCarron.
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