West Coast Whiting Stock Assessment Shows Population Highest Since 1980s
The draft stock assessment for the Pacific whiting (hake) stock off the West Coast of North America was released yesterday with higher estimates of spawning biomass that last year, which could result in an estimated median catch limit for 2017 of 969,840 tons writes Peggy Parker. The new estimate for the catch is based on the whiting default harvest rule. “The stock is estimated to be at its highest biomass level since the 1980s as a result of estimated large 2010 and 2014 cohorts. The 2014 cohort has not yet been observed by the survey and only twice by the commercial fishery, thus its absolute size is highly uncertain,” reads the report.
Cooke Aquaculture confirmed that Chris Reuttgers will step down as CEO of the company. Pal Angell-Hansen, will take over as interim Chairman of Icicle on February 13. According to a statement from Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke, Reuttgers elected to resign from the top executive spot at Icicle. “After leading Icicle through the subsequent transition period, Chris made the personal decision to pursue other career opportunities,” Cooke said in a statement. "We appreciate the strong and experienced management team in the Seattle office and know they will provide critical support to Mr. Angell-Hansen and the Cooke management team as we invest in and further develop the business."
In other news, levels of hazardous substances at the proposed relocation site for Japan's Tsukiji Market spiked suddenly according to a January 30 probe by Tokyo officials. Toxic levels of benzene and arsenic were found to exceed national environmental standards by as much as 79 times. Officials have ordered another round of groundwater testing with results expected in early March.
Meanwhile, Fishwise has issued two white papers on seafood traceability and labor abuse in the seafood supply chain. Both papers are comprehensive reviews of how both government and industry is tackling the problems identified. The reports include some recommendation on supply chain best practices, that Fishwise hopes will be adopted by its retail partners. The reports also detail the industry support of many of these initiatives through corporate programs, including those of Thai Union, High Liner, Young's Seafood and the National Fisheries Institute.
Finally, Deviled Crab, an iconic Richmond, Virginia seafood specialty since the late 1970s, will continue to be available thanks to the absorption of the former Dickie’s Seafood and Veterans’ Best operations by Sustainable Sea Products International (SSPI). The new company will be called Sustainable Sea Products International – Mid-Atlantic and will also sell other prepared seafood items in addition to Dickie's existing product lines. “Dickies Seafood, and Dickies deviled crabs are part of Richmond culture and history. That won’t go away,” said SSPI President, Stephen White. “Today’s consumer wants convenient, high quality seafood that is easy to prepare and responsibly sourced. We can deliver that now.”
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