Thu. Aug 21 2014

Alarmed by seafood demand in Brazil, China, Japan trading houses investing abroad to assure sourcing

Peggy Parker hired as sustainability editor for SeafoodNews   (2)

Gulf shrimp catches down 17% in July as weather distorts landings in La. and TX  

Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries threatened by BC mines, Sec'y Kerry could use treaty as leverage

NFI says Consumer Reports is way off base telling pregnant women to avoid canned tuna

LFA 32 rumored to be site of Nova Scotia fish minister's $0.5 per pound lobster levy pilot project  

Consumer Reports ignores FDA advice and urges pregnant women not to eat any tuna in new report

Seafood Source makes huge mistake with false story about American Seafoods   (1)

Baader unveils new generation snow crab processing machine in Newfoundland with yield, labor savings

Striped bass still on New England menus and in stores, as new Massachusetts harvest rules pay off

Russian food safety officials clamp down on McDonald's; close four stores, start random inspections

Bejing high court upholds anti-monopoly ruling against Zhangzidao's scallop sales practices

Tai Foong USA's Northern Chef brand is first ASC tilapia to be distributed to domestic retailers  

Russia lifts embargo on imported salmon smolt  

Famed Delaware chef and restaurateur Matt Haley dies in motorcycle crash in India

Daily Astorian: Proposed tarriff on port's seafood processors a bad idea

China Fishery Group accepting anchovies in lieu of cash for Copeinca obligations

Bi-Lo Holdings, parent of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo, pulls IPO

ASMFC proposing cuts in striped bass harvest as precautionary measure

Norway is now shipping salmon fry direct to two Murmansk salmon farms

Russian seafood processors complain as EU processed fish escapes ban

Austevoll Seafood Q2 net profit up, future effect of Russian ban seen as temporary

Commerce finalizes higher duty rates for Indian shrimp exporters in 8th review News Summary Thursday August 21, 2014

Wed. Aug 20 2014

Ecuador shrimp production and sales surging, up 31% in July vs. year ago  

Sockeye prices tumbling as Fraser late run expected  

Russian Sea Co. faces 60% revenue decline, heavy losses as it cannot make up salmon shortfall  

Mar-Lees legal battle nears closure as RICO arbitration panel nears decision on damages

New Zealand quota management paying off, as minister announces increases in Hoki, Orange roughy TAC  

VASEP pangasius distribution hub in Zeebrugge Port needs exporter support

Newfoundland's inshore shrimp cuts blamed for lack of work at Notre Dame Seafoods  

Massachusetts river herring populations rebound, good bycatch news for New England herring fleet

California fishermen find massive squid run off Santa Barbara coast  

Bumble Bee attracts early takeover interest from Thai Union and Post Holdings

Fall PEI lobster prices higher than a year ago, but still below prices paid in spring  

Fish markets steer US consumers towards lesser known, locally caught seafood species

High juvenile Chinook mortality at sea linked to falling production rates in Alaska (Fish Radio)

Virginia launches Oyster Trail, declares November Virginia Oyster Month

Russian stores sell shrimp 'from Belarus' to cope with food ban  

The New England lobster roll is migrating westward  

Marine Harvest decides to pull Chilean operations out of Lake Llanquihue in Los Lagos

Jane Brody: "Lots of reasons to eat fish"

Troubled Greek fish farmer Nireus unable to restructure under antiquated bankruptcy laws

Original Soupman with star studded backers, gaining new distribution

Russia boosting funding for fisheries, including significant investments in aquaculture News Summary Wednesday Aug 20, 2014

Tue. Aug 19 2014

Boston Sword and Tuna gives up on Market Basket Management; says continuing as vendor impossible

Louisiana fall white shrimp season opens with buyers expecting a price dip  

Whole Foods: we have to eat farmed Paiche to save the wild stock

Despite the litany of challenges facing US canned tuna consumption, dollar sales are still rising  

Norwegian smolt may get exemption from Russian import ban  

Federal disaster funds on their way to Alaskan Chinook fishermen hurt from low returns (Fish Radio)

Russian officials say fishing companies have slashed salmon exports to help buoy domestic supplies  

European Finfish Aquaculture production falls in 2013

Another longtime seafood vendor to Market Basket has had it with errors

ASEAN shrimp standard aims to streamline region's farming practices in 2015  

French restaurants turn to imported mussels as production plummets 90% from pollution, bad weather  

Long Island Sound lobster industry in tatters as 2013 landings hit record low  

New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference opens Aug 20th; focused on telling NZ success stories

Minnesota's The Fish Guys has second successful invasive crayfish harvest to protect northern lakes

Oregon crew member arrested for 'assaulting fishery observer'

Four rescued from capsized shrimp boat off Texas, fifth person still missing

Tassal's profits up 23% this year with salmon sales aimed at Australian market

Goldman downgrades Walmart based on loss of customers to online retailers

Grieg reports lower Q2 profit primarily due to lower salmon prices  

Delaware expects to issue oyster aquaculture leases this fall as regulations get final approval  

Restaurant industry traffic inched into positive territory in July, comps up 3 percent News Summary Tuesday August 19, 2014

Mon. Aug 18 2014

Extreme Seafoods has rough first year in Bristol Bay: hot fish, bad tenders, unpaid fishermen

Blue Star defends patent for selling crabmeat in flexible pouches

Maine's lobstermen say catches have returned to "normal" summer pattern this season  

Frozen tuna prices have bottomed out as high priced 2012 inventories clear supply chain News Summary Monday Aug 18, 2014

Some Norwegian pelagic factories close after Russian ban, Gov't to give export guarantees, money

California sportsfishermen flummoxed as Mexico fails to confirm lifting bluefin tuna ban

More than 30 Ecuadorian enterprises ready to boost fish, seafood exports to Russia  

Inside La Nueva Viga in Mexico: the world's second largest fish market

Tasmanian lobsters on track to hit $100 per kg for export to China  

Dalian at center of massive cold chain logistics developments in China

If Begich loses Alaska election Magnuson reauthorization bill likely out the window

NOAA makes priority to remove hundreds of illegal 'casita's' used by lobster poachers in Florida Key

Alaska's charter boats learn gentle handling methods to decrease halibut mortality (Fish Radio)

NZ King Salmon says retailer Countdown's discounted Norwegian Atlantic salmon is "unbelievably" low  

EU punishes UK over-quota fishing by cutting mackerel quota again

EU lifting ban on import of herring and mackerel from Faroe Islands

UPS, Fedex get approval for express services in more Chinese cities

Belarussan food tycoon sees no problem "processing" Western food for transhipment to Russia

Plan to shoot cormorants that feast on Columbia River salmon is controversial

Dollar General makes rival bid for Family Dollar Stores

Clean Seas searching for backer to fund reboot of southern bluefin tuna breeding program

Nash Finch-Spartan merger pays off in Q2 results

New Bedford fishermen reluctant to embrace offshore wind

25 cents a pound fails to motivate Mainers to harvest green crabs for NC company

Fri. Aug 15 2014 News Summary Friday August 15, 2014

Letters: Linda Kozak says pick the best Ak fish candidate in Republican primary, regardless of party

With blue crab season down, scientists say fall storms key to abundance  

Virginia watermen request Marine Resources Comm. consider a pilot IFQ program for blue crab  

Steve Harmell hired as VP of sales and marketing at Goulian's US subsidiary Sunnyvale Seafood

Codroy Seafoods, Newfoundland Lobster Processor, gets $100 K grant to improve holding capacity

$7.5 billion water bond bypassing Delta controversies heads to California voters

Southeast Alaska Dungeness season one of best on record, says ADF&G  

BRC awards auditor SCS Global Services with its highest five-star rating

Mrs Paul's, Van de Kamp's parent Pinnacle Foods returns to profitability in Q2

Project will tap into herring's archaeological records to rebuild Southeast Alaska's stocks  

Cod pot fishing a big hit among Newfoundland's fishermen, food service industry   (3) 

Taylor Shellish Oyster Bar opens in Seattle's Pioneer Square

Louisiana processors urged to focus on high-quality seafood production akin to Alaska  

Golden King crab fishery starts, co-operative survey underway could mean increase in TAC in future  

Nigeria's new fisheries research vessel to help upgrade fish management practices

Clean Seas Tuna turns first profit in seven years

AquaBounty reports widening H1 loss as FDA salmon approval remains elusive

Facing bare shelves, Russian gov't takes steps to ease red tape for domestic fish sales

Pompano Beach seafood dealer fined $250K in Lacey Act spiny lobster case

Senators Begich and Cantwell preparing bill to address the urgent threat of ocean acidification

Russia may also ban EU canned fish products

New Zealand's Peter Talley makes the case for collaboration between fishermen and marine scientists

US fresh whole salmon market sees Chilean prices rise, EU prices dip on Russian supply shift  

Thu. Aug 14 2014 News Summary Thursday August 14, 2014

FDA appears to violate its own principles by allowing Russian pollock to be sold as 'Alaska pollock'

Commerce to issue final shrimp duty rates for Thailand, India next week; Vietnam in late Sept  

Cape Cod oyster farmer will get operations underway after winning latest challenge in Supreme Court

Record high shrimp shipments to US help push Vietnamese export values up 24% through July  

Twin Tails Seafood gets $16.5 million credit line from the PrivateBank

Wal-Mart lowers outlook as profit and comps decline and dollar stores do better

Amazon's biggest fish faces threat of extinction

Oregon's commercial Dungeness season will close with highest total value on record at $49.7 million   (1) 

Yukon River's chinook run into Canada is strongest seen in five years

Captain D's CEO envisions "thousands" of US stores in long-term growth plan

Chilean fishery officials continue crackdown on illegal hake with two more seizures  

Alaska Senators push State Dept. for more oversight of tailing dams on transboundry rivers

Pacific Islands Fisheries Agency warns Pacific bigeye tuna is overfished

Mid-Atlantic Council suspends poorly managed research set-aside program

Maine eliminates licensing to encourage harvest of invasive green crabs that prey on shellfish  

CPF sees improving 2nd half, as Japanese drop Chinese poultry suppliers, shrimp recovering  

Thai Union profit increases four fold; CEO Thiraphong refuses to quash Bumble Bee bid speculation

Pebble mine hearing in Anchorage hosted by EPA draws hundreds

Mass. federal fishing aid checks expected to be distributed by September

DFO thinks timing of BC spill reduced risk to returning Fraser River sockeye  

Russian Sea price increases attract attention of Federal Anti-Monopoly Service

H-E-B partners with Environmental Defense Fund on sourcing all fresh, fozen and prepared seafood

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Alarmed by seafood demand in Brazil, China, Japan trading houses investing abroad to assure sourcing


Major Japanese trading houses are moving to expand overseas fisheries business with the aim to secure fishery resources.

Big Japanese trading firms are now stepping up their efforts to secure fishery resources and develop overseas market.
It has been made clear that Mitsubishi Corporation has acquired additional marine farming rights for raising salmon in Chile.
Mitsui & Co. will launch into Chinese market in tie-up with major seafood wholesalers at Sapporo market through its subsidiary.
At present, fish consumption continues to expand around the globe against the backdrop of booming Japanese cuisines, while competition for wild fishery resources is getting harsh mainly because of tightened fisheries regulations in many parts of the world.
Large Japanese trading companies are now groping for ways to ensure stable supply of fish to Japan by ensuring resources...

Full Story »

Peggy Parker hired as sustainability editor for SeafoodNews

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM]  August 21, 2014

Peggy Parker, of Parker & Associates in Deming, Washington, has been hired as the new Science and Sustainability Editor for SeafoodNews.
Parker has a long history of communications and outreach in the seafood industry in Alaska and the US west coast.  She spent her early years in Cordova, where she wrote for the Cordova Times, worked for the Cordova Aquatic Marketing Association, and later became manager of the Copper River Fishermen's Co-op. 
She worked for several years as a Senior Editor with Seafood Business Magazine. In the late 1980's she served as Alaska's seafood industry media liason during the Exxon Valdez oil spill and cleanup, and also managed ASMI's export program for a few years.
Parker has intimate knowledge of North Pacific fisheries, and especially the system of science based management that has made these fisheries among the most sustainable in the world, and a source of pride for US fisheries managers. 
As Science and Sustainability Editor, Parker will focus on global issues relating to seafood sustainability and science based fisheries management.
She will also serve as SeafoodNews editor in Seattle, expanding our coverage of all news in the North Pacific, starting September 1st.
John Sackton, Publisher of SeafoodNews said "I personally have known and worked with Peggy for many years, and we are delighted... 

Full Story »

Gulf shrimp catches down 17% in July as weather  distorts landings in La. and TX

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - August 21, 2014

Weather related fishing delays in the Gulf of Mexico's shrimp season this summer appear to have scrambled normal landing patterns. While the catch out of Louisiana in July was a bit higher compared to the month's typical average, landings out of Texas are trending well below their historical range and the total catch is down from last year.

In July the total shrimp harvest out of the Gulf was down 17 percent compared to 2013 at 9.3 million pounds. For the year the catch is down 22 percent from last year, short by over 11 million pounds from 2013 and the five-year average.

Louisiana's shrimp catch in July was well above its five-year average...

Full Story »

Southeast Alaska salmon fisheries threatened by BC mines, Secretary Kerry urged to use cross border treaty as leverage

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - August 21, 2014 - 

A broad coalition of Alaskans, including the state's bipartisan congressional delegation and some of its largest commercial fishing organizations are urging Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene with Canada as large-scale mine developments in British Columbia (B.C.) near Alaska's southeast border rapidly advance.

The request comes in the wake of the Mt. Polley mine disaster in B.C. and with the Canadian province's approval of a large-scale mine called KSM (Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell) near Alaska.

Alaska members of Congress along wth fishing and tribal leaders are calling on Secretary Kerry to act with urgency.

Many have cited the Boundary Waters Treaty between the U.S. and Canada as a tool Kerry could use...

Full Story »

NFI says Consumer Reports is way off base telling pregnant women to avoid canned tuna

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - August 21, 2014

The National Fisheries Institute responded critically to a recommendation from Consumer Reports that tells pregnant women to avoid canned tuna. The suggestion is a direct counter to the FDA's recent decision to set a minimum seafood consumption standard for pregnant women, women of child-bearing age and young children. 

According to the NFI, Consumer Reports' analysis flubs the facts surrounding safe seafood consumption and is a detriment in promoting the many health benefits that seafood brings when it is included as part of a regular diet.

Following is the NFI's full response...

Full Story »

LFA 32 rumored to be site of Nova Scotia fish minister's $0.5 per pound lobster levy pilot project

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Chronicle Herald] by Michael Gorman - August 21, 2014

Nova Scotia’s fisheries and aquaculture minister still won’t reveal the location of a pilot project focusing on lobster quality.

“You’ll have to wait and see when we make the announcement,” Keith Colwell said Wednesday.

The minister’s lips may be shut tighter than a lobster’s grip, but multiple people involved with the industry said the project is happening on the Eastern Shore around lobster fishing area 32.

Colwell said the group involved met Wednesday morning with department officials, and he’s hoping a memorandum of understanding will be signed soon...

Full Story »

Seafood Source makes huge mistake with false story about American Seafoods


SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Editorial Comment] by John Sackton - Aug 21, 2014

Seafood Source, a seafood industry news service, for the second time in a month, has made a major mistake in reporting that has sparked industry reaction.  
Yesterday they put out a breaking news alert that Pacific Seafoods was buying American Seafoods.  The article was sourced to someone 'close to the talks', and went on to speculate about what such a combination might mean.
To anyone with the least understanding of the US West Coast and Alaska Seafood Industy, this type of deal would seem preposterous. Pacific Seafoods owns a number of distribution and processing companies up and down the West Coast, and in Alaska. But they are not a vessel operator.  Furthermore, this type of deal could raise serious anti-trust issues, which Pacific Seafoods has been striving to avoid. 
American Seafoods is the largest single quota holder for offshore pollock, and operates the largest fleet of vessels in Alaska. They produce pollock blocks, surimi, and pollock roe, as well as some whiting and pacific cod.  Pacific Seafood is simply not equipped to sell these products. 
American Seafoods put out a statement immediately denying the story...


Full Story »

Striped bass still on New England menus and in stores, as new Massachusetts harvest rules pay off

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Cape Cod Times] By Doug Fraser - August 21, 2014 - 

CHATHAM, Here we are in the third week in August, and striped bass is still on restaurant menus and being sold in fish markets.

That hasn't happened in six years.

In fact, with 33 percent of the total striped bass quota — nearly 368,000 pounds — still left to be caught, experts say restaurants can keep this supremely local fish on their menus right through the summer, maybe into fall.

"The price (paid to fishermen) has stayed high. And I think (the quota) will last into September, if not later," said Alex Hay, chief operating officer for Mac's Seafood, which has four fish markets and three restaurants on the Outer Cape...

Full Story »

Bejing high court upholds anti-monopoly ruling against Zhangzidao's scallop sales practices

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Mondaq Business Briefing] by David Goldstein - August 21, 2014 

China's Beijing High Court has upheld the Beijing Second Intermediate Court's September 2013 decision in Lou, Binglin v. Beijing Seafood Wholesale Industry Association, the first case in which a court found a violation of the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) through horizontal monopolistic agreements since the AML was promulgated in 2008.

Binglin Lou and his wife had been selling seafood, mainly scallops originated from Dalian's Zhangzidao co.,  in a Beijing seafood market. Lou was a member of the Beijing Seafood Wholesale Industry Association, which was registered on Sept. 29, 2011, with 31 members. 
The Association Manual provided, in the section "Rules on Rewards and Penalties," that "[m]embers are prohibited from unfair competition, nor are they permitted to sell scallops at a discounted price ...

Full Story »

Russia lifts embargo on imported salmon smolt

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Barents Observer] by Trude Petersen - August 20, 2014

Russia’s Government on Wednesday published corrections to the list over foodstuffs that are illegal to import to Russia. 

The list includes smolt of salmon and trout, lactose-free milk and milk products, food supplements, seed potatoes, set onions, sweet corn for sowing and peas for sowing. Also vitamin and mineral supplements, flavor additives and protein concentrates of animal and vegetable origins are excluded from the ban, Forbes reports.

The decree, which was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, clearly states that smolt of salmon and trout is excluded from the ban...

Full Story »

Famed Delaware chef and restaurateur Matt Haley dies in motorcycle crash in India

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [News Journal]  by Patricia Talorico August 21, 2014

Wilmington -  "This is for every Delaware chef, every Delaware restaurateur, it's for everyone in Delaware who has ever given back."  -  Matt Haley's James Beard acceptance speech.

Sussex County restaurateur Matt Haley may have been the only Delawarean to receive a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award, but he didn't care much about fancy foods.
Each month, Maria Mairlot, one of three Carmelite sisters who helped start La Esperanza, a Georgetown community service agency that assists Spanish-speaking immigrant workers, had Haley over for a meal.
Friends, colleagues and people whom Haley, 53, touched through his restaurants and much-honored global humanitarian work were stunned to hear of his death Tuesday night from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident in India....

Full Story »

China Fishery Group accepting anchovies in lieu of cash to meet Copeinca obligations deadline

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Bloomberg] By David Yong and Christine Jenkins - August 21, 2014 - 

China Fishery Group Ltd. (CFG), the anchovy seller accepting fish in lieu of cash from a supplier, faces a second deadline today as it seeks bondholder approval to let its unit in Peru guarantee as much as $1.2 billion of debt.

The Singapore-listed group is pushing for Corporacion Pesquera Inca SAC, its Lima-based unit known as Copeinca, to back obligations including $650 million of credit lines from five lenders, $300 million of its July 2019 bonds and future borrowings, company filings show.

That would require a majority of holders of Copeinca’s $250 million notes due February 2017 agreeing to relax the bonds’ covenants, according to a July 17 consent solicitation document.

“It’s very negative for bondholders to consent to this because Copeinca is now going to represent basically the vast majority of China Fishery’s earnings and it has the least amount of debt,” Mariela Anguiano, an analyst at BCP Securities LLC in Greenwich, Connecticut said by phone Aug. 20. “If you make a simple calculation, it doesn’t make sense from a bondholder perspective.”

Full Story »

Bi-Lo Holdings, parent of Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo, pulls IPO

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Supermarket News] By Jon Springer - August 21, 2014 - 

Bi-Lo Holdings, parent of the Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo chains, told federal securities regulators this week that it was withdrawing plans for a public offering of its stock.

The company, which had submitted a registration statement under the name Southeastern Grocers for an IPO almost 11 months ago, had not updated that information since last November. The Securities and Exchange Commission had yet to declare its registration effective.

Its withdrawal statement to the SEC said only that the company “has determined not to pursue the contemplated public offering at this time.

Full Story »

Russian Sea Co. faces 60% revenue decline, heavy losses as it cannot make up salmon shortfall

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  August 20, 2014

Russian Sea is under threat of serious financial losses due to sanctions against Western countries, which were recently imposed by the Russian government.  The company’s revenue may decline by almost 60% this year. 

Prior to the sanctions, the company announced a tender for the delivery of 29,000 tons of salmon from 10 Norwegian fish factories. The deliveries were scheduled during the period of September 2014-September 2015, however, due to imposition of ban on imports, these plans will be never implemented. 

According to the company’s initial plans, banned Norway salmon should be replaced by its own production from the fish farms in the Murmansk region, purchases of Far East salmon, as well as the salmon imports from Chile. However their salmon production does not exceed 6000 tonnes per year...

Full Story »

Russian seafood processors complain as EU processsed fish escapes ban

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Vedomosti] By Natalia Ischenko - August 21, 2014 - 

Russian seafood processing companies are concerned because the import ban imposed by Moscow from 6 August will keep European raw fish out of Russia, while allowing imports of processed (smoked, salted, canned) fish.

Sergey Gudkov, executive director of the Russian Fishing Association, points out that the federal government had promised equal terms for competition between Russian and foreign fish processors, but Russian companies now find themselves in a "surprising situation": their supplies of raw fish have been cut off, but foreign producers still enjoy full access to raw fish and the right to sell their products in Russia.


Ken Coons

Full Story »

Mar-Lees legal battle nears closure as RICO arbitration panel nears decision on damages

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Legal Monitor Worldwide] - August 20, 2014 - 

The lengthy legal battle between US supplier Mar-Lees Seafood and John Lees, its co-founder and former CEO, is nearing some closure.

On Aug. 8, a document filed in the docket of the federal lawsuit filed against Lees Oct. 25, 2013 under the RICO Act, gives an update in an arbitration process relating to the state case, which was filed by Mar-Lees at the end of 2013.

Lees’ defense council states that Lees’ actions, far from harming Mar-Lees, were actually in the best interests of the company.

"The panel will now rule on whether Lees’ conduct harmed Mar-Lees, which we are confident it did not, in fact we are confident it benefited the company. This is under consideration now," said John Daukas of Goodwin Procter, legal council for Lees.

Full Story »

VASEP pangasius distribution hub in Zeebrugge Port needs exporter support

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [VNS] - August 20, 2014 - 

The concerned agencies are trying to speed up the establishment of a distribution center for tra fish in the European market.

Head of the Directorate of Fisheries' Science, Technology and International Co-operation Department Nguyen Viet Manh said that they were coordinating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Export and Import Department, and Vietnamese Trade Office in Belgium to work with the trade agencies in Belgium's Flanders and Zeebrugge areas and a number of Belgium companies to establish the distribution centre.

The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) and Belgium's Zeebrugge Port late last year had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on establishing the centre. Under the MoU, a centre will be built at Zeebrugge Port to receive, auction, and distribute Vietnamese tra products throughout the EU...

Full Story »

Massachusetts river herring populations rebound, good bycatch news for New England herring fleet

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New Bedford Standard Times] by Ariel Witenberg - Aug 20, 2014

ACUSHNET — Things are looking up for Buzzards Bay's herring population. Way up, in fact.
This summer more than 10,000 herring swam up the Acushnet River, a 68 percent increase from the previous year. In the Mattapoisett River, the gains have been even greater with a 156 percent increase in river herring. On the Agawam River in Wareham, river herring numbers have more than doubled since 2011 with 49,000 fish swimming up the river in 2014.
These increases are just the latest, largest spikes in a more steady increase in river herring that has been occurring in Massachusetts river herring populations since 2011.
"This is great news all around," said Paul Diodati of the Division of Marine Fisheries....

Full Story »
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Consumer Reports ignores FDA advice and urges pregnant women not to eat any tuna in new report

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Consumer Reports] - August 21, 2014

Consumer Reports has released its own analysis of the most recent government data on mercury in fish, found that it continues to be critical for consumers to pay close attention to the fish they consume, and has updated its advice for consumers.

Two federal agencies recently recommended that because fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, women of child-bearing age and young children should eat more lower-mercury fish. While Consumer Reports (CR) agrees that eating fish can be healthy, it analyzed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data to determine its own recommendations for lower-mercury options. 

We encourage pregnant women to avoid all tuna,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

The full report, “The Great Fish Debate” is featured in the October 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine

Full Story »

Baader unveils new generation snow crab processing machine in Newfoundland with yield, labor savings

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - August 21, 2014

Baader has been working with crab processors in Newfoundland to perfect a snow crab butchering machine that would reduce the amount of labor needed in crab packing.
As the workforce in seafood plants in Newfoundland and Maritime Canada has aged, processors are finding it more and more of a limiting factor for high volume fisheries like crab and lobster. 
Baader has been working on a prototype machine at Allen's Fisheries near Corner Brook, and this season the machine was quite successful. 
Yesterday, crab processors from all around Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, attended a technical demonstration at the plant. 
The attendees were extremely impressed with the machine and its capabilities.  The processors who have the older machine...


Full Story »

Russian food safety officials clamp down on McDonald's; close four stores, start random inspections

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] by Polina Devitt - August 21, 2014

Russia ramped up its scrutiny of McDonald's restaurants on Thursday, as the state food safety watchdog began unscheduled checks in several Russian regions, a day after four branches in Moscow were shuttered by the same agency.

The food safety agency cited breaches of sanitary rules by restaurants in the fast food chain, but the action came after Moscow and the West imposed tit-for-tat sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine. The agency denied that its actions were politically motivated.

"There are complaints about the quality and safety of the products in fast food restaurant chain McDonald's," said the regulatory agency, known in Russian as Rospotrebnadzor. It declined to comment on the scope of the planned checks...

Full Story »

Tai Foong USA's Northern Chef brand is first ASC tilapia to be distributed to domestic retailers

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - August 21, 2014

Tai Foong USA is the first distributor in the US that will sell ASC certified tilapia--under the Northern Chef brand-- to retail outlets across the country.

The company will distribute 10 oz. tilapia fillets sourced from farms that have been certified against the ASC standard for responsible aquaculture.

Tai Foong started distribution in mid-May to Sprouts Farmers Market, Ingles Markets, Tops Friendly Markets, Lucky's Markets, Nugget Markets, Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, and through the Harvest Meat Company...

Full Story »

Ecuador shrimp production and sales surging, up 31% in July vs. year ago

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - August 20, 2014

Ecuadorian shrimp exporters capitalized on a banner summer production season this year with shipments to major markets through July at record totals. In the US, Ecuadorian volumes were also at record levels-- particularly for smaller sized shrimp; but the overall share of Ecuador’s shrimp going to the US is down.

But while the Ecuadorians are producing and sending more shrimp the US market than ever before, the US market share from Ecuador is down in 2014...

Full Story »

Daily Astorian: Proposed tarriff on port's seafood processors a bad idea

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Daily Astorian] - August 21, 2014 - 


Port runs risk of losing competitive advantage

No port at the mouth of the Columbia River or the largest ports on the Oregon Coast has a seafood tariff. Not Ilwaco, not Newport, not Coos Bay.

Why then would the Port of Astoria Commission consider burdening its seafood processor tenants with a new fee? Why would the Port choose to make itself less competitive?

Andrew Bornstein suspects the answer is that Port Commissioner Bill Hunsinger aims “to destroy the seafood cluster that (former Port Director) Peter Gearin created.” That cluster includes Bornstein Seafoods, three other seafood processors and Englund Marine & Industrial Supply.

Bornstein notes that two sites are being considered for cold storage plants: at the Port of Astoria or Ilwaco. If the Port of Astoria adopts a seafood tariff, he asks rhetorically: Where do you think the cold storage plant will be built?

Full Story »

Sockeye prices tumbling as Fraser late run expected

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by John Sackton Aug 20, 2014

Prices for sockeye salmon continue to fall as indications still are that the Fraser run will be very strong.
Fraser sockeye is characterized by an early summer run, a summer run, and a late run.  At a meeting yesterday the Fraser River Panel adopted a run size of 2.2 million fish for the early summer run, up from their previous estimate, and a 6.3 million run size for the summer run, with 50% of the run through fishing area 20 by August 15th.  The major run is the late run, building towards the end of August, and at this time the Panel is not making any in season assesments yet.
However, packers and processors on the river are gearing up for full production of frozen, fresh and canned sockeye.
According to Japanese buyers who are currently in British Columbia, the average fish size is running 6lbs,

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ASMFC proposing cuts in striped bass harvest as a precautionary measure

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - August 21, 2014 - 

Striped bass, also known as rockfish in some areas, is not currently overfished; however the ASMFC is proposing a suite of three optional cutbacks in the recreational and commercial harvest based on concerns the female spawning stock biomass is falling below a benchmark level.

The ASMFC draft addendum containing these proposed cutbacks will be discussed at public meetings scheduled this month and next along the U.S. Atlantic coast range of this fish and including Chesapeake Bay

The draft addendum proposes new fishing mortality (F) reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce F to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years.&

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Norway is now shipping salmon fry direct to two Murmansk salmon farms

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Interfax] - August 21, 2014 - 

MOSCOW, Norway has begun the shipment of salmon fry (juvenile salmon) or smolt directly to two fish farming enterprises in the Murmansk region.

"Immediately after the publication of the Russian government's decision allowing smolt to be removed from the sanction list, Norway began shipping it to two Murmansk enterprises that raise fish," the executive director of the Fish Union, Sergei Gudkov, told Interfax.

This consignment of salmon fry is comprised of 200,000 juvenile fish. "And on Thursday a similar consignment will be shipped," he said.

Last week, a consignment of salmon fry with 202,000 fish was returned to Norway due to the "food embargo". "It is already irretrievably lost," Gudkov said. "And that consignment that is being shipped now is not without losses, due to a forced delay, not all of the salmon fry will survive transport, but this is a small loss in comparison with what could have been with the ban in place," he said

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Austevoll Seafood Q2 net profit up, future effect of Russian ban seen as temporary

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Wall Street Journal] By Dominic Chopping - August 21, 2014 -      

Austevoll Seafood ASA, the Norwegian fishing and food processing company, Wednesday posted a rise in second quarter net profit but said sanctions imposed by Russia will have an impact on the autumn season, though it remains too early to predict the scope of this impact.

Net profit totaled NOK134.4 million, up from NOK112.1 million last year, on revenue of NOK3.5  billion. Revenue last year was NOK2.75 billion.

The Russian ban on import of Norwegian salmon and trout is expected in the short term to present a challenge to the Norwegian seafood industry, and measures are under way to increase sales to alternative markets.

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New Zealand quota management paying off, as minister announces increases in Hoki, Orange roughy TAC 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - August 20, 2014

New Zealand is continuing to live up to its reputation as a responsible manager for sustainability, as the Minister for Primary industries, Nathan Guy, announced increased TACS for two critical stocks: Hoki and Orange roughy.
The Hoki catch will increase from 150,000 to 160,000 tons, which is possible because the recent assessments have shown the stock at or above the level necessary to produce the maximum sustainable yield. 
Deepwater Group CEO George Clement says the increase is possible because of the policy of deliberately rebuilding stocks to record high levels, up to 60 percent of unfished volumes.
“Industry and government have rebuilt the numbers of hoki.  It now follows that the commercial catch is safe to be sustainably increased...

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Newfoundland's inshore shrimp cuts blamed for lack of work at Notre Dame Seafoods

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [VOCM] August 20, 2014

The impact of drastic cuts to the inshore northern shrimp quota are being felt this summer. Twillingate Mayor Gordon Noseworthy says the third shift at the Notre Dame Seafoods plant in Twillingate didn't get any work, and he's not sure what that will mean in the long term.

He says the second shift still hasn't earned enough hours to qualify for Employment Insurance, and the third shift hasn't had any work at all...

Fishermen's Union President Earle McCurdy says there's no doubt the shrimp fishery needs to be better managed, and they'll continue to fight for a greater share of the quota...

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