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Jul 25 - Domestic Red Crayfish is a Big Success for Chinese E-commerce Platforms

Jul 24 - Stavis Seafoods to Greatly Expand West Coast Distribution with Partnership with R.W. Zant

Jul 24 - Shanghai Crayfish Season at its Peak; Prices Have Skyrocketed Over Last Decade

Jul 21 - ANALYSIS: Shrimp Market an Island of Stability in Shellfish Sector

Jul 21 - Senators Collins, King Introduce Resolution to Designate September 25, 2017, as National Lobster Day

Jul 20 - News Summary Thursday July 20, 2017

Jul 19 - News Summary Wednesday July 19, 2017

Jul 19 - Chicago Tastemakers Meet Maine's Most Iconic Seafood: Lobster

Jul 19 - Live Canadian Geoducks Arrive at New Airport Clearance Site in Qingdao For First Time

Jul 14 - News Summary Friday July 14, 2017

Jul 13 - NOAA's Bullard to Retire; No Plans to Slow Down Before He Leaves in January

Jul 12 - News Summary Wednesday July 12, 2017

Jul 11 - News Summary Tuesday July 11, 2017

Jul 11 - Crabfest Back at Red Lobster with More Non-Snow Crab Offerings: Dungeness and Southern Red Crab

Jul 11 - Maine Lobster Industry Gears up for Peak Season

Jul 10 - News Summary Monday July 10, 2017

Jul 7 - News Summary Friday July 07, 2017

Jun 29 - News Summary Thursday June 29, 2017

Jun 29 - China’s Tier 3 Ranking a Reminder of Trade Risks Facing Seafood Industry [Editorial]

Jun 29 - Zhangzidao Outpaces Competitors During '618' Festival; Argentine Shrimp Biggest Seller

Jun 23 - News Summary Friday June 23, 2017

Jun 23 - ANALYSIS: Live Lobster Market Following Seasonal Trends

Jun 22 - Brits All At Sea on Old Fish Names

Jun 21 - Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners

Jun 20 - News Summary Tuesday June 20, 2017

Jun 20 - California Budget Bill Lowers Landing Fees From State Proposal

Jun 19 - Australia's Southern Rock Lobster Stocks Showing Resistance to Climate Change

Jun 14 - Many Consumers Turn to the Expertise of Restaurants to Get Seafood into Their Diets

Jun 13 - News Summary Tuesday June 13, 2017

Jun 13 - Ecommerce Companies Drive Prices of Lobster in China Down to Unbelievable Levels

Jun 9 - News Summary Friday June 9, 2017

Jun 9 - VIDEO: Seafood Data Summary A Look at Shrimp Imports, FDA Refusals and Snow Crab Quotas

Jun 9 - Canada's St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster

Jun 9 - Lobster Promos Continue Hot and Heavy in New England This Summer Despite McDonald's Canada Pullback

Jun 7 - News Summary Wednesday June 7, 2017

Jun 5 - News Summary Monday June 5, 2017

Jun 5 - FDA Seafood Refusals Down Sharply in 2017 as Rejections for Filth Slide 50%

Jun 5 - Thai Union enters China consumer market with 'King Oscar' Brand Lobsters from North America

Jun 5 - Undercover Reporter Sees Live Seafood Switched For Dead Crabs, Shrimp at Fancy Changsha Restaurant

Jun 2 - After Season Closure, Board Revises Tanner Crab Strategy

Jun 1 - Coldest May in Years Slows Crab, Lobster Fisheries, Stabilizes Prices

May 31 - News Summary Wednesday May 31, 2017

May 31 - Red Lobster Promoting Wild Caught Red Shrimp on Summerfest Menu

May 30 - PODCAST: Ecuadorian Shrimp Fuels Asia’s Market; Alaska’s Copper River Salmon Season in Full Swing

May 26 - News Summary Friday May 26, 2017

May 23 - News Summary Tuesday May 23, 2017

May 23 - James Beard Chef Says Maine Should Start Eating its Invasive Green Crab Problem

May 23 - Congressional Trade Committee Hears Testimony About US Seafood Trade Deficits from ASPA and NFI

May 22 - PODCAST: Canada’s Snow Crab Market Stabilizes and China’s Era of High Shrimp Output Fades

May 19 - News Summary Friday May 19, 2017

May 19 - New England Fisheries Council to Consider Deep Sea Coral-Protection Rules

May 18 - News Summary Thursday September 18, 2017

May 18 - NE Fisheries Scientists Expect Drastic Changes as Gulf of Maine and Georges warm 7 to 9 degrees

May 18 - Oregon State Partners with NIOSH to Focus on Maritime Safety

May 17 - Congressional Seafood Names Matthew Berrie as Food Safety Director

May 16 - News Summary Tuesday May 16, 2017

May 12 - PODCAST: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Lobster Prices Strong Heading into Mother’s Day

May 12 - VIDEO: High Liner Buys Rubicon; Scallop Market in a Tailspin; Lobster Prices Up

May 12 - Canadian Food, Seafood Sales on JD Platform in China Increase 400%, CA Gov Pledges More Support

May 11 - News Summary Thursday May 11, 2017

May 11 - Slow Lobster Landings in Gulf of St. Lawrence Push up Prices for Mothers Day; Threaten Disruption

May 10 - Thai Union Credits Red Lobster Investment for 19% Hike in Profits with Q1 Sales Steady

May 9 - News Summary Tuesday May 9, 2017

May 9 - 9th China Shrimp Forum Looks at Asian and Ecuador Production, China to Be Largest Global Importer

May 9 - B.C. Geoducks Prized on World Stage

May 5 - News Summary Friday May 5, 2017

May 4 - News Summary Thursday May 4, 2017

May 4 - FDA Seafood Refusals Down 33% in April and 24% YTD, But Shrimp Rejections About the Same

May 2 - Red Lobster Brings in New Crabcake Item as Part of Current Promotion

May 1 - Monday is the day for New Brunswick and PEI Lobster to start in Earnest

Apr 28 - News Summary April 28, 2017

Apr 26 - Cozy Harbor Wins Two Seafood Excellence Awards at European Seafood Expo for Retail Lobster Products

Apr 26 - News Summary Wednesday April 26, 2017

Apr 26 - PODCAST: Gulf Snow Crab Quota Beats Expectation; Whole Salmon Floods US Market; Brussels Show Starts

Apr 26 - Developer Outbids Cook’s Lobster Owner to Buy Historic Maine Island Wharf

Apr 24 - VIDEO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Quota Beats Expectations; European Whole Salmon Floods US

Apr 20 - News Summary Thursday April 20, 2017

Apr 19 - Letters: Laitram Says Steam Cookers Catching on In NB Crab Industry with Quality Advantages

Apr 17 - News Summary Monday April 17, 2017

Apr 17 - Fortune Fish Expands into E-Commerce Seafood Sales With Deal to Buy Lobster Gram

Apr 12 - News Summary Wednesday April 12, 2017

Apr 12 - Tom Mazzetta Calls on Domestic and Imported Seafood Industries to Come Together to Promote US Sales

Apr 10 - News Summary Monday April 10, 2017

Apr 10 - Seafood Harvesters of America Opposes Modern Fish Act

Apr 7 - VIDEO: Newfoundland Crab and Shrimp Quotas Release; India's Shrimp Sales to Vietnam

Apr 5 - News Summary Wednesday April 5, 2017

Apr 5 - Phil Walsh of Alfa Gamma Critical of Plans to Raise Southern New England Lobster Carapace Size

Apr 5 - Seafood Refusals Down in Q1 But Shrimp, Mahi and Filth Still on FDA Radar

Apr 5 - Oregon Senators Urge Administration to Maintain Funding for National Sea Grant Program

Apr 3 - News Summary Monday April 3, 2017

Apr 3 - Camanchaca Gets MSC Certification for South American Langostino Lobster Fishery

Apr 3 - Canada will Ship Lobsters and Scallops to Europe Duty-Free as Early as May 1st

Mar 29 - News Summary Wednesday March 29, 2017

Mar 29 - Gulf Snow Crab May Not be Underway Until Week of April 23rd Due to Ice

Mar 27 - News Summary Wednesday March 27, 2017

Mar 27 - Florida's Spiny Lobster Season to Close on April 1

Mar 27 - Maine Lobstermen Figured Out How to Make More Money Off Their Catches

Mar 24 - News Summary Friday March 24, 2017

Mar 21 - Boston Show Upbeat Again this Year as Footprint Expands

Mar 20 - News Summary Monday, March 20, 2017

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Domestic Red Crayfish is a Big Success for Chinese E-commerce Platforms

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [] translated by Amy Zhong - July 25, 2017

Suning, a renowned e-commerce company in China, entertained its staff with many crayfish dishes on the evening of June 20 to celebrate excellent sales of June 18 (618), the online shopping festival. And JD also served its employees who worked overtime for that festival with crayfish in the early morning of June 19.

Red crayfish is more than a symbol of success now. They have become very popular on various e-commerce platforms in the summer of 2017. The crayfish sales of JD ...

Full Story »

Stavis Seafoods to Greatly Expand West Coast Distribution with Partnership with R.W. Zant

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Seafoodnews] July 24, 2017

Stavis Seafoods, of Boston, and R.W. Zant, a major west coast broadline distributor, have announced a primary distribution partnership that will begin August 1st.

R.W. Zant is one of the largest redistribution companies in the US.  The partnership will include the warehousing and delivery of Stavis Seafoods’ products to R.W. Zant customers. R.W. Zant specializes in all aspects of protein and dairy wholesale distribution to food service and retail distributors ...

Full Story »

ANALYSIS: Shrimp Market an Island of Stability in Shellfish Sector

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Urner Barry] by Angel Rubio - July 21, 2017

Although the shrimp market has remained relatively stable throughout the year, we have seen slight price declines in recent weeks for some HSLO sizes as well as value-added products.

Record imports for peeled shrimp have placed downward pressure on prices for P&D product on some specific count sizes. 16-20 count Asian shrimp has adjusted down 10 cents down since the end of June. Sizes 21-25ct and 26-30ct have...

Full Story »

News Summary July 20, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Booming Demand for Lobster Means Record Catches and High Prices 

Today's lead item reports that the lobster business is booming in Maine. Lobstermen are hauling in record catches, while prices are near all-time highs. That's because the industry is also seeing record demand. U.S. lobstermen have seen their yearly haul quintuple over the last 30 years. They brought in 131 million pounds of the crustacean in 2016, more than 80 percent of that was caught in Maine. The industry made a huge push to increase demand, both domestically and around the globe. And they've had great success, especially in China, where distributors are marketing Maine lobster as a clean source of quality protein. It also helps that the Chinese word for lobster is similar to the word for dragon, it resembles the mythical creature and when cooked, it turns the lucky color red.

In other news, the Bristol Bay Sockeye run is not over yet, with word Monday that the Kvichak River seemed to finally “pop”, but this year’s fishery is shaping up to be one of the largest ever and certainly one of the most valuable in a long time. The total run was predicted to be 41.5 million, allowing for a harvest of 27.5 million sockeye, but through Monday the fleet had hauled in over 34 million and the total run was already past 51 million.

Meanwhile, it will be another week or so before ...

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Chicago Tastemakers Meet Maine's Most Iconic Seafood: Lobster

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - July 19, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine -- The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) headed to the Midwest this week and brought a taste of Maine to chefs and culinary influencers in Chicago during a Maine Lobster-inspired industry night event. The MLMC hosted the event to educate and inspire local chefs and industry leaders in one of the largest and most influential food hubs in the country.

In partnership with prominent Chef Giuseppe Tentori of GT Fish & Oyster, the MLMC hosted a "Maine After Midnight" celebration ...

Full Story »

News Summary July 14, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Stronger King and Chum Return in Yukon Result of Precautionary Management 

We open today's news reporting that for the first time since 2003, and before that 1997, the Yukon River king salmon run has exceeded 253,000 fish. On July 12, the 253,250th chinook was counted at Pilot Station. ADF&G has revised the run outlook to be as high as 287,000 Chinook for this year and relaxed subsistence fishing restrictions. There will be no commercial season for Chinook this year. The higher numbers mean the Canadian-bound kings, which the U.S. is treaty-bound to protect so they can reach their spawning grounds in Canada, will be above the upper end of pre-season estimates. It also means that subsistence take of these highly-nutritional fish will now be open for residents of Alaska's largest river system. 

In other news, thus far, the Trump administration has pursued an agenda that has basically alarmed scientists and environmentalists. The administration has also been slow to appoint scientific leadership, both in the White House and across federal agencies. But the appointment of fisheries biologist Chris ...

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News Summary July 12, 2017

Today's Main Story: Chile's Salmon Output May Increase More than Expected, Help Shares

Headlining the news today is a focus on how Chile's farmed salmon production could increase more than expected this year, helping share prices of Chilean producers at a time when salmon from leading global producer Norway is limited, according to a trade association and analysts. As stricter regulations are implemented to tackle environmental problems that have decimated fish populations, local companies had forecast stable output in 2017 after a 20 percent decline a year earlier due to a deadly algae bloom. Production now looks likely to surpass expectations, said Felipe Sandoval, president of the Salmon Chile association, which represents producers.

Meanwhile, the Chilean salmon fillet market continued to trend lower yesterday. Urner Barry's Salmon Market Reporter Janice Schreiber writes that supplies range fully adequate to ample in the spot market coupled with a seasonally lackluster demand period. Downward pricing pressure is being felt not only from other origins of farmed salmon (i.e. Canada and Europe) but also from the growing supply of wild salmon; especially sockeyes. Additionally, market participants report that the volumes available out of Chile will continue to increase throughout the second half of the 

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Crabfest Back at Red Lobster with More Non-Snow Crab Offerings: Dungeness and Southern Red Crab

 SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafod News] July 11, 2017

 Crabfest®, is back at Red Lobster®! For a limited time Red Lobster is inviting guests to explore the restaurant's largest variety of wild-caught crab it offers all year, including two new types of crab – Dungeness and Southern King.

Red Lobster says diners can dive into its new "NEW! Dueling Crab Legs™" – a pairing of Pacific Northwest Dungeness and sweet Snow crab legs, or they can try the "NEW! Southern King Crab Leg ...

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News Summary July 10, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Bristol Bay Run Looking Likely to Exceed Forecast; Nushagak District May See Highest Harvest 

There were more positive reports out of Bristol Bay over the weekend. Saturday’s total in the Bay was over 2 million fish. Total catch is now over 20.58 million sockeye, and the total run is 31.8 million. The Naknek-Kvichak District and the Ugashik District are still seeing less than half their expected run and the Port Moeller numbers continue to show higher trends than in many prior years. The largest total showing in the test fishery occurred on July 4, and with transit times at 6-9 days, today could be the highest landings and escapement numbers yet in the Bay. If so, it would follow a remarkable week in terms of numbers ...

Full Story »

News Summary June 29, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Rethinking MSC and West Coast Fisheries: Brad Pettinger Makes an Important Point 

Last week we published an article attacking the role MSC plays in West Coast Groundfish, and many people told us we went too far. SEAFOODNEWS' John Sackton and Susan Chambers agree. When we saw the MSC press release highlighting the strides made in West Coast groundfish conservation, it came at the same time we were wrestling with a story about the problem of low catch rates and the general difficulty of harvesters catching a substantial share of their allocations under current NMFS rules. Unfortunately, I hastily conflated this problem with the MSC, and that was wrong. The MSC has been a very positive factor in West Coast Groundfish. In his rightly angry response, Brad Pettinger, head of the Oregon Trawl Commission, made an important point- which we post.

In other news, herring and pogies

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Zhangzidao Outpaces Competitors During '618' Festival; Argentine Shrimp Biggest Seller

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [] Translated by Amy Zhong - June 29, 2017

June 18 -- or "618" -- is known as a mid-year online shopping festival in China and very popular with consumers. This year has seen the increase in such statistics as sales volumes of e-commerce platforms like JD and T-mall of Alibaba.

In the battlefield of fresh food, Zhangzidao has won over consumers with good products, renown brand and satisfactory service. Its sales on its T-mall store has ballooned by 395 percent ...

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ANALYSIS: Live Lobster Market Following Seasonal Trends

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Urner Barry] by Nicole West - June 23,2017

The 4th of July is right around the corner – a time of year typically met with peak demand for live lobsters. Traders in the US are reporting higher replacement costs for product and it appears lobster market prices are following their traditional seasonal trend. By the end of next week, the major producing Lobster Fishing Areas in Canada will be closed and supplies of hard shell live lobsters will be limited. So far reports indicate that Maine is not producing  ...

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Just Shrimp Adds Healthy Alternatives to Attract Younger Diners

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - June 21, 2017

Just Shrimp is a new concept with just three units in Illinois.  But they are making a splash.   Their original location in Tinley Park recently added a few more non-fried items to their menu: Grilled shrimp skewers and fresh grilled salmon. 

Recently, Just Shrimp started smoking salmon in-house, and added two sandwiches their customers seem to enjoy. The smoked salmon fillet sandwich is servedcold, on a buttered and toasted soft bun  ...

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California Budget Bill Lowers Landing Fees From State Proposal

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - June 20, 2017

Five months of opposing a huge landing tax increase in California yielded victory Thursday as the legislature sent a budget to Gov. Jerry Brown with landing fees less than 10 percent of what the governor originally proposed.

California seafood industry members were shocked in January to find landing taxes that would increase an average of 1300 percent in an effort to make up a $20 million state Fish and Wildlife budget shortfall. The landing taxes had not changed in 20 years. ...

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Many Consumers Turn to the Expertise of Restaurants to Get Seafood into Their Diets

Majority of U.S. Consumers Don’t Eat The Recommended Amount of Fish or Seafood


The health benefits of eating seafood are well-documented but many consumers lack the confidence to select the right seafood and prepare it at home, which is why many consumers turn to restaurants. Shellfish, which tends to be more costly and therefore to some consumers riskier to prepare at home, appear to be the seafood of choice when dining out, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Case shipments of shrimp, lobster, and other crustaceans shipped by broadline distributors to independent and small chain...

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Ecommerce Companies Drive Prices of Lobster in China Down to Unbelievable Levels

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [] Translated by Amy Zhong  June 13, 2017

A price war is breaking out over ecommerce lobster sales in the Province of Ningbo, directly south of Shanghai.  As new entrants come on board, they are offering lobsters at lower prices than in the US, and with free delivery to the customer's home.  This cost appears to be unsustainable, but a new importer,, is making this offer. Their prices are about 66% of Chinese supermarket lobster prices...

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Shanghai Crayfish Season at its Peak; Prices Have Skyrocketed Over Last Decade

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Schuichan News] Translated by Amy Zhong - July 24, 2017

With the weather getting hotter, the peak season of crayfish has arrived. Crayfish output usually drops every July and August, so their prices are high correspondingly around this period. The price can reach 38 yuan/jin (~ US $2.82/kg) for those with individual weights exceeding 0.1 jin.

The output has plummeted by more than 70% recently. There are crayfish of two different sizes available at a Shanghai farmers market. The large ones are sold at 28 yuan/jin (~ US $2.06/kg), while the small ...

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Senators Collins, King Introduce Resolution to Designate September 25, 2017, as National Lobster Day

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Federal Information & News Dispatch] July 21, 2017

U.S. Senators Angus King and Susan Collins today introduced a resolution that would designate September 25, 2017, as "National Lobster Day." Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also sponsored the resolution, which recognizes the historic and economic importance of lobster in the United States.

"Maine's lobster industry helps drive our economy, supports our coastal communities, and is an integral part of our state's heritage," Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. "The ...

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News Summary July 19, 2017 

Today's Main Story: Bloomberg: Trident Valued at $2.1 Billion, with Chuck Bundrant on Bloomberg Billionaires Index 

Headlining the news today is a look at Chuck Bundrant’s Trident Seafoods which is valued at $2.1 billion. Trident was formed in 1973 with two partners and one boat. Chuck Bundrant was a college freshman with $80 in his pocket when he drove halfway across the country to Seattle to earn a few bucks fishing. The year was 1961. He hasn’t stopped fishing since. And today, Bundrant, the founder and majority owner of Trident, is worth at least $1.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth is due to a fair measure of pluck. Back in the early 1980s, he persuaded Americans to eat pollock, then considered a trash fish, at fast-food restaurants and, to this day, Trident ships it + along with salmon and cod + to chains including Costco and Safeway. 

In other news, Bakkafrost, the major salmon producer in the Faroe Islands, discovered listeria bacteria in its production last week. This was confirmed by its CEO Regin Jacobsen. The company is not certain how much of the fish was shipped before the listeria was discovered, but Jacobsen says the testing showed small amounts, less than 10 parts per million per gram. Listeria is destroyed by cooking in any amount under 100 parts per. This salmon, however, is not suitable for sushi. 

In the UK, sushi bars are committing "seafood fraud" by serving customers the wrong fish, a study has found. Researchers examined labeling practices in restaurants and found that in many cases fish was being mislabeled, or not labeled at all. Substitution levels in the UK were significantly lower, however, than those observed in North America. Research indicated that the average British fish-eater could only distinguish two out of six common fish. About half could tell a salmon from a mackerel, but only a third could identify cod. 

In a new study, an international group of scientists found that in comparing four types of fishing gear that touches the seafloor, otter trawls were found to be

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Live Canadian Geoducks Arrive at New Airport Clearance Site in Qingdao For First Time

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Shuichan] translated by Amy Zhong - July 19, 2017

A batch of Canadian live geoducks weighing 374 kg arrived at Qingdao on July 3 for the first time. They are from the North Pacific of Canada with a value of $20,000 U.S.

The new route between Qingdao and Vancouver not only makes traveling and business trips more convenient but also helps the import of fresh food. Imported food will be delivered to different markets in China from here. For example, after clearance, these geoducks will be transported to markets in Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Qingdao airport has cooperated with relevant agencies ...

Full Story »

NOAA's Bullard to Retire; No Plans to Slow Down Before He Leaves in January

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Gloucester Times] By Sean Horgan - July 13, 2017

John Bullard, NOAA Fisheries' Greater Atlantic regional administrator for the past five years, announced Wednesday that he will retire effective Jan. 5, 2018.

Bullard took the top job in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gloucester-based office in 2012. As regional administrator, he has been responsible for leading the agency’s approach to fisheries, habitat, sea turtle, and marine mammal issues from Maine to North Carolina as well as through...

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News Summary July 11, 2017

Today's Main Story: Thai Union and Greenpeace Sign Agreement on Tuna Harvesting and Labor Issues

Leading the headlines today is a focus on Thai Union, owner of international brands Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch, and Greenpeace which announced an agreement that will tackle illegal fishing, overfishing, and labor abuse issues in the tuna industry. The agreement marks a major milestone in Greenpeace’s campaign to reform tuna industry practices, and marks a move from confrontation to cooperation. Greenpeace has been highly critical of the big three US tuna brands: Starkist, Chicken of the Sea, and Bumble Bee. They have led numerous demonstrations and protests, and they have strongly pressured retailers to reduce their reliance on these major brands.

In other news, July 15th marks the opening of the Texas offshore brown shrimp season. But this year, according the Texas Shrimp Association, the industry faces “one of [its] biggest crises in years.” At issue is Congress stripping the returning worker provision from the H2B visa laws, meaning that experienced shrimp crew from Mexico that have worked on boats for years will not be allowed to do so this year. This problem has impacted the seafood industry from Maryland

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Maine Lobster Industry Gears up for Peak Season

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - July 11, 2017 

PORTLAND, Maine -- As the Maine lobster season gets underway, the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) gears up for another season promoting Maine lobster and supporting the industry that is a key economic driver to the state.
Most of the MLMC's efforts to educate and influence chefs and culinary leaders happens during the summer and fall months when the catch is at its highest. Their work focuses on four key areas of the industry: sustainability, seasonality, origin and culinary versatility.

Most of the MLMC's efforts to educate and influence chefs and culinary leaders happens during the summer and fall months when the catch...

Full Story »

News Summary July 7, 2017

Today's Main Story: Like Ecuador, India Seeing Huge Increase in Shrimp Production This Year

Our leading story today looks at how Indian shrimp exports to the US continue to surge, and at the end of May they were up 100% for the month compared to 2016, and 54.8% up year to date as Paul Brown reported yesterday. Behind the surge is a remarkable growth in Indian shrimp production, and the continuing favorability of the US market for Indian exporters. For the Indian fiscal year ending March 30th, 2017, Indian shrimp exports were up 16.2%, to 434,484 metric tons, which is nearly 1 billion pounds. The US only accounted for 29.8% of this volume, as exports were diversified. Southeast Asia including China and Vietnam, took 23.3%, the EU took 17.7% and Japan took 7.2%.

In other news, wholesale prices of ikura (salmon roe) are soaring in Japan reflecting the shrinking domestic inventory due to poor harvests of fall chum in Hokkaido. The wholesale price in Tokyo and Osaka has been on a rise since last fall, jumping 30 to 40 percent over the same period of the previous year. A major dealer at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market notes it is the highest price since Japan's bubble economy period 30 years ago. The price of salted ikura at Tsukiji now stands at 7,500-8,000 yen per kilo ($65 to $70 U.S.), with that of soy-sauced roe being at around 6,500-7,000 yen ($57 to $61 U.S.).

Elsewhere, for one fish plant owner in eastern Newfoundland, the fight to bring sustainable practices to his industry has meant a painful setback that unraveled years of hard work, and the loss of a type of certification that appeals to environmentally conscious consumers. After years of research, and a year of what turned out to be a short-lived victory, this particular fish plant owner was forced to make a difficult decision: he withdrew the Marine Stewardship Council's sustainability certification for the cod fishery off the south coast of Newfoundland. The decision cost him time, money, and a few major customers who were drawn to the vaunted blue MSC label.

In Nova Scotia, fishing groups say the lobster fishery would be better off with an industry-led by-catch monitoring system if the reality is that it’s coming anyway. Three local fisheries organizations say fishermen and industry would be better off to handle it themselves as opposed to having it handed down by DFO. Such is the case with a proposal that could see by-catch monitoring happen in the lobster fishery by the fall of 2018. Three local organizations – Coldwater Lobster Association, the Maritime Fishermen’s Union and the Bay of Fundy Inshore Fisheries Ass

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China’s Tier 3 Ranking a Reminder of Trade Risks Facing Seafood Industry [Editorial]

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Editorial] by John Sackton  June 29, 2017

China has been downgraded to Tier 3 in the US annual trafficking in persons report.  The reason given was that China had not responded to US inquiries about what progress it was making in this area, after being listed as Tier 2 for several years.

Most in the seafood industry are quite familiar with the Trafficking in Persons report, because it has been an important factor in seafood trade relationships with Thailand, (which was downgraded, and then upgraded), and because labor abuse issues, especially on vessels, are getting a lot of attention.

The Tier 3 designation prompted an angry response from China, which said the US had no business commenting on internal Chinese government legislation.

If this remains just a war of words, trade impacts ...

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News Summary June 23, 2017

Today's Main Story: NFI, Importers Dealt Setback by Court in Ruling over Seafood Traceability Rule

We open the news today with a look at how the NFI and the nine seafood importers who filed suit to halt the Obama administration rule on new seafood traceability requirements were dealt a blow in a Washington DC District Court yesterday, June 22nd. The Judge, Amit P. Mehta, ordered the Dept. of Commerce to submit a signed statement to ratify the Seafood Traceability Rule. Such a statement would then cure, after the fact, any failure of the DOC in making the rule in violation of Magnuson. The plaintiffs had argued that since the rule was signed by an ineligible officer, it was invalid under the DOC rulemaking powers.

In other news, Notre Dame Seafoods reportedly shut its NL Twillingate Plant in response to low shrimp quotas. A union leader at the shuttered shrimp processing plant in Twillingate is "shocked" that the facility isn't opening this season, but is defiant at the suggestion the doors won't ever open again. Quota cuts, and not lingering sea ice, are blamed for the plant not opening this season. In a news release Wednesday, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers referred to the closure repeatedly as "permanent." Calls to Notre Dame Seafood were not returned Thursday.

Full Story »

Brits All At Sea on Old Fish Names

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Marine Stewardship Council] June 22, 2017

A study of over 2,000 Brits found many are baffled by traditional fish dishes with over half (54%) not knowing, or incorrectly guessing what a kipper is.

The research conducted for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) aims to highlight the vast array of MSC sustainable seafood available in the UK. It shows that despite being avid fish consumers, many are baffled by traditional dishes such as bloaters, Cullen skink, rock salmon and kippers. Coupled with the mistaken belief (41%) that fish labelled as sustainable is more expensive, these findings could mean many are reluctant to sample new species. There are now over 1,000 MSC labelled sustainable seafood choices including kippers, Coquilles St Jaques and redfish in supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and ...

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Peeled Shrimp Margins Squeezed

Since about the middle of 2015, despite a few peaks, margins on peeled shrimp have been on a steady decline according to an analysis from Urner Barry. Margins bottomed out in the 4th quarter of 2016 and have rebounded since that time. But they remain at the bottom of the range since 2008. After the high prices due to EMS in 2014, peeled shrimp have generally traded in a very narrow range over the last 3 years.

Bocaccio and darkblotched rockfish, which are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, have now been rebuilt before original target dates. The Scientific and Statistical Committee report at the June Council meeting said bocaccio's increase above the overfishing level is due in large part to strong recruitment events in 1999, 2010 and 2013. Its estimated lifespan is 50 years.“The rebuilding strategies used to achieve this conservation success, coupled with favorable environmental conditions for groundfish productivity, have paid huge dividends in rebuilding our overfished groundfish stocks and resurrecting West Coast groundfish fisheries,” Council Chairman Herb Pollard

In other news, Thai producers plan to increase their shrimp output in the second half of this year, after output from farms dropped in the first two quarters of 2017 compared to last year. The expectation is for shrimp production to grow 5 percent overall this year. Thai shrimp prices, which are on the rise again, are expected to either remain stable or grow 5 percent in 2017 compared to last year said Preerasak Boonmechote, Thai Union Group’s shrimp unit managing director.

Meanwhile, lobster industry representatives in Massachusetts are urging legislators to support a proposal to expand in-state processing of lobsters and lobster parts. The proposal, contained in an amendment in the state Senate’s recently passed budget, would allow licensed Bay State wholesalers to process unfrozen raw lobsters, as well as allowing the sale of previously frozen raw in-shell tails and the importation of unfrozen shell-on lobster parts and tails. "Right now, we depend on Canada for so much of our processing facilities,” said Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, which supports the proposal. “This would allow us to do that processing here in Massachusetts, helping us to create jobs here and create markets for our lobster products.”

With what looks like a "sustained push" of reds up the Nushagak and Wood Rivers, coupled with stronger winds in the forecast, the ADF&G is likely to make an announcement to ready the fleet for possible fishing time. "There was a big uptick in passage yesterday: 59,000 raw count and still pushing this morning," said west side area manager Tim Sands early Monday.

Finally, today is my last day as production editor for Urner Barry and My career in the seafood industry will continue as I have taken a position in Boston. It’s been a privilege learning and writing about this industry and I’m extremely grateful to Urner Barry and Seafood News for the opportunity they have offered me over the last six years to serve you, our readers.

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Australia's Southern Rock Lobster Stocks Showing Resistance to Climate Change

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 19, 2017

Research from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) suggests Australia’s Southern rock lobster fishery is showing resistance to climate change.  

The research identified many complex environmental factors affecting the abundance of juvenile lobsters, but those that were important in one region were often completely different from those in another.

“The reef settlement of the rock lobster J. edwardsii is a complex process where larval behaviour, biological factors and oceanographic processes interact over different scales,” said Professor Gardner.

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AquaBounty to Produce GM Salmon in Indiana with $14 Million Purchase of Bell Fish Company's Assets

AquaBounty Technologies will soon be able to produce its genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon in the United States as the firm has struck a $14 million deal to buy some of the assets of Bell Fish Company in Albany Indiana. AquaBounty said the facility's first harvest could come as soon as the third quarter of 2019. Once fully operational, the facility will have an expected annual capacity of 1,200 metric tons. "This acquisition marks an important milestone and provides the Company with its first commercial-scale facility in the United States for growing eco-friendly AquAdvantage Salmon. This site will enable production of healthy Atlantic salmon, which will not require vaccines or antibiotics, in a sustainable and responsible manner close to domestic consumers,” said Ronald Stotish, Chief Executive Officer of AquaBounty.

The International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has recommended that the Joint Russian-Norwegian Fisheries Commission cut the 2018 Barents Sea cod quota 20 percent from last year citing poor recruitment in the fishery. The Council’s recommendation would set the total cod quota at 712,000 metric tons. This represents a 183,000 metric ton reduction from last year’s quota. The Commission will take up ICES advice when it makes its quota determination this fall.

In other news, a price war is breaking out over ecommerce lobster sales in the Chinese Province of Ningbo. Online retailers are offering live North American lobsters at deeply discounted prices in order to compete for sales and market share in both the online retail space and from traditional grocers.

Meanwhile, citing 20 years of success with groups such as Conservation International, the MSC, and others, the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) outlined its $37 million, five-year strategy for building sustainable seafood markets. The initiative is part of the foundation’s ocean strategy that takes a systems approach—working on both the supply and demand side—to promote sustainability in five core countries: Indonesia, Peru, Chile, Mexico and the United States. "The Walton Family Foundation has probably had more impact on the seafood sustainability movement than some of the more well-known consumer facing advocates," writes John Sackton in an analysis of the plan. "They have leveraged a market-based strategy in which they paid NGO's to lobby and convince the retail supply chain to adopt seafood sustainability standards."

Finally, the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to global markets is up this year but the increase is not because of more sales to the US market. So far Vietnam's seafood exports are up 7.5 percent worldwide but sales to the US market are down nearly 13 percent. The US is traditionally the top market for Vietnam's seafood exports like pangasius and shrimp. However, higher duty rates and the implementation of the catfish inspection program under the USDA have forced Vietnam's exporters to seek other markets like China.

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