DFO Says Newfoundland's Shrimp Stock Still at Critically Low Level; Sank 25% Between '15 - '16
The latest stock assessment of Newfoundland's pink shrimp biomass by federal biologists showed not much improvement compared to 2015. This assessment was conducted on shrimp fishing areas (SFA) 6, 5 and 4 — off the Northern Peninsula and the coast of Labrador. For the key SFA 6, the fishable biomass — the weight of all commercial-sized male and female shrimp — declined from 785,000 metric tons in 2006 to just 104,000 metric tons in 2016. And there was a 25 percent decline from 2015 to 2016. DFO said work is currently underway on a stock advisory report, which will be ready for publication next week. on March 9, the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee will meet to hear the latest report from DFO and to offer their suggestions on quota levels for this year’s shrimp fishing season
The federal freeze on approving new regulatory measures issued by the Trump Administration last month has stalled some fishery policies across the country. However, regional management councils and lawmakers have been able to secure quick exemptions from the freeze for some quota allocation changes and other vital fishery management protocols. One such exemption was secured by Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio and other West Coast lawmakers, who successfully petitioned this week to get updated West Coast rockfish quotas implemented.
In other news, Nova Scotia's provincial Fisheries Minister Keith Colwell said there is an intention to expand premium quality seafood shipments to the Chinese market. The announcement was made after three lobster exporters in Nova Scotia elected to participate in a pilot program with China's major online sales platform Tmall to sell premium quality live lobsters. “I can’t disclose that but (Alibaba is) very anxious to work with us and other products,” said Colwell. “It’s going to be a while because these things take a long time to negotiate.”
Meanwhile, the US Commerce Department finalized the duty rates for Frozen Warmwater Shrimp exports out of Vietnam in its 11th period of review. The final rate makes no change for 12 exporters compared to the 10th final review rates.
Finally, Northern Dynasty responded to an investor report that said its Pebble mine asset near Alaska's Bristol Bay watershed was "worthless." Northern Dynasty said Kerrsidale Capital's report was "unfounded" and based on "unsupported speculation."
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