NPFMC Director Chris Oliver Receives Massive Industry-Wide Support to be NOAA's Next Fisheries Admin
Several letters from major US seafood industry associations and companies were sent to the White House that overwhelmingly support the candidacy of NPFMC Director Chris Oliver to be the next Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at NOAA. In total, the letters represented 55 seafood companies, trade associations and conservation groups. Oliver has spent his career in fisheries management, serving for the past 16 years as the Executive Director of the NPFMC. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Oliver also worked served as the Deputy Director and Gulf of Alaska Fishery Management Plan Coordinator. “America’s fisheries generate millions of jobs and contribute billions to the economy, but we could do a lot more,” said Daniel Occhipinti, General Counsel of Oregon-based Pacific Seafood Group and one of the leaders of the coalition. “We believe Chris Oliver has the experience to increase the economic productivity of our fisheries while also promoting conservation and sustainability, which is critical.”
In another step forward for global acceptance of the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative (GSSI), the Japan Fisheries Association announced that the Japan Marine Ecolabel, known as MEL-Japan, will seek to be benchmarked by the standard. Initially, the Marine Ecolabel Japan Council will revise the current certification standards of the MEL Japan scheme and will announce the new standards in mid-February this year. As of last October, this certification had been granted to a total of 70 Japanese operators (with 11 of them having duplicate certification for fisheries and distribution/processing.)
Demand is high for octopus in the US and other major markets since its versatility in the kitchen makes it one of the emerging items in the seafood industry. "It is extremely popular with millennials who can build their own poke cups or bowls and have fresh ingredients with no waste or leftovers and have tons of variety," said Mike Daniels, VP of Operations and Sales at Seaport. But while demand for octopus in the US is booming, production declines have limited supplies. This is has pushed up prices in all octopus categories in the US for this emerging seafood item.
Meanwhile, Chilean mussel company St. Andrews Seafood intends to double its sales to the Asian market. St. Andrews is already largest mussel seller in the world, so the increase means its planned output will reach 25 thousand tons.
Finally, Russia's Association of Crab Catchers of the Far East says domestic king crab consumption has doubled. Demand for crab in Russia is steadily growing because of the country' improving economic situation, which has given rise to the purchasing power of local consumers. The Association says as much as 25 percent of Russia's crab landings are now making it to the domestic market and that this figure could go higher in the next several years.
Also be sure to check out our latest Seafood News Weekly recap video. This week's show discusses some of our top stories including the canceled Bairdi crab season in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico's poor shrimp harvest. Also featured is a special segment from the National Fisheries Insitute that recaps the Global Seafood Market Conference in San Francisco.
Have a great weekend.
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