Second Bumble Bee Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Canned Tuna Price Fixing Conspiracy
Kenneth Worsham is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty for participating in a scheme to fix prices of canned tuna in the US market. According to the charge, Worsham and unnamed co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products. Worhsam is the second Bumble Bee sales executive to plead guilty to a price fixing conspiracy. Earlier this month, Walter Scott Cameron plead to the same conspiracy charge. Both of the executives agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the division’s ongoing investigation. So far, Worsham and Cameron are the only named co-conspirators in the case.
A deal that could shake up the Russian pollock industry was announced today. Gidrostroy, one of Russia’s largest fish producers, owned by a senator of the Sakhalin area Alexander Verkhovsky, is considering acquiring Preobrazhensky Base of Trawling Fleet (PBTF). The amount of the deal may reach US$430 million. The deal could make Gidrostroy the biggest pollock producer in Russia, surpassing the volumes produced by The Russian Fish Company. It is expected that the deal will be finally closed in January 2017.
In other news, fishery managers in Oregon and Washington will open more waters to commercial Dungeness fishing on January 1. This ends a one-month delay to the start of the season. Officials delayed fishing to conduct more domoic acid testing out of precaution, not because the acid levels were over the legal limit.
Meanwhile, shrimpers in Mississippi are concerned that new federal rules to expand the use of turtle excluder devices (TED) will increase their costs and limit their catches. The proposed rules requires skimmer nets to use TEDs over tow-time restrictions. The industry says about half of the state's shrimp fleet would be impacted.
Finally, we run a story on how the use of Sustainable Development Goals in global fisheries can help the seafood industry address issues including IUU practices, antibiotic usage and sustainable fishery management. The report says that the seafood industry is in a unique position since the private sector has the influence and resources to make such improvements.
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