Fri. Apr 21 2017

NMFS Put Councils on Notice About Overfishing or Overfished Conditions on Bigeye, Four Other Stocks


Russian Pollock Producers Plan to Grow Exports to EU Market 40% by 2019  


Icelandic Group Puts Major UK Seafood Distributor Seachill Up For Sale


Westward Seafoods Settles with EPA Over Clean Air Act Violations


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


Newfoundland Fisherman Continues Hunger Strike Protest After Call From Minister


Seafood.com News Summary Friday April 21, 2017


Thu. Apr 20 2017

PWS Pink and Chum Salmon Get Determination of MSC Sustainability Prior to Public Objection Period  


Greenpeace Tuna Ranking Charade a Market Opportunity for Some Retailers Not a Sustainability Advance  


Scientists Spawn Pacific Sardines In Captivity; Results Could Inform Potential for Good Fishing  


Peru Hikes Anchovy Quota 1 Million Metric Tons With Season Set to Start on April 22  


Chesapeake Bay's Spawning Female Blue Crab Stocks at Highest Level in 28 Years   (0) 


Marine Harvest's Q1 Production Falls 13% in 2017 But Earnings Double from a Year Ago  


Feds Close Flatfish, Rockfish, Sablefish Trawling in Gulf of Alaska 2 Weeks Earlier Than Last Year


American Shrimp Processors Assoc. Backs "Buy American" Executive Order  


Portion of Kodiak Sac Roe Herring Fishery Temporarily Shut Down for Lack of Fish  


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday April 20, 2017


Wed. Apr 19 2017

European Whole Salmon Floods US and Cuts into Canada's Market Share  


West Coast EFP Successfully Targets Pelagic Rockfish with Minimal Bycatch


Russia Squeezed by High Salmon Prices as Chilean Companies Cut Back Shipments  


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


VIDEO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Quotas Announced  


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday April 19, 2017


Tue. Apr 18 2017

Japanese Crab Negotiations with Newfoundland Full of Uncertainty  


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday April 18, 2017


NFI's Shrimp Council Partners with Popular Food Blogger Chungah Rhee to Promote Shrimp Consumption  


Kroger Backs WWF with $50,000 Donation as Part of Earth Month Sustainability Campaign


Mon. Apr 17 2017

The Smokehouse of NY Recalls Smoked Salmon and Fish Products Over Listeria Concerns  


High Liner Recalls Captain's Crew Fish Strips for Undeclared Allergen


Thai Union CEO Thiraphong Chansiri to Run Virgin London Marathon in Support of WWF-UK


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


Seafood.com News Summary Monday April 17, 2017


Indonesian Canned Tuna Producer PT Bali Maya Permai Joins ISSF  


China’s Tilapia Industry Faces Moment of Truth at Volume Remains Flat and Prices Fall  


New Zealand's Most Controversial Fishery Deemed Sustainable by Global Body  


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NMFS Put Councils on Notice About Overfishing or Overfished Conditions on Bigeye, Four Other Stocks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] by Susan Chambers - April 21, 2017

The National Marine Fisheries Service has notified regional councils that five species are subject to overfishing and/or are overfishing or overfished, requiring measures be put in place to remedy the situations.

Bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific and South Atlantic golden tilefish are subject to overfishing, according to NMFS. South Atlantic blueline tilefish remains subject to overfishing. Pacific Bluefin tuna in the North Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic red snapper ...

Full Story »

Russian Pollock Producers Plan to Grow Exports to EU Market 40% by 2019

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - April 21, 2017

Russian pollock producers plans to significantly increase the volume of their supplies to the EU market during the next several years, according to an official spokesman of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo).

That will be achieved through the increase of the volume of domestic fish processing and the reduction of fish exports to abroad, more than 87% of which account for frozen, whole fish...

Full Story »

PWS Pink and Chum Salmon Get Determination of MSC Sustainability Prior to Public Objection Period


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - April 21, 2017

The final report of the results of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) assessment of the Prince William Sound (PWS) salmon fisheries is out and this time, pink and chum hatchery salmon from that area were determined to be certified as sustainable.

The determination triggers a 15 working day objection period. Once that period passes without MSC receiving an objection...

Full Story »

Icelandic Group Puts Major UK Seafood Distributor Seachill Up For Sale 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - April 21, 2017

The Board of Icelandic Group has initiated a sales process for its UK operations, Seachill. This is the latest operation that Icelandic Group has decided to sell off.

 Seachill is a leading supplier of chilled fish to the UK retail market since it was founded in 1998. The business has grown to be one of the largest chilled fish processors in the UK, with well-invested facilities and an established supply chain Icelandic Group said.

Seachill owns The Saucy Fish Co. brand which has a fast growing reputation globally. The brand recently expanded to the North American market.  In 2017, The Saucy Fish Co. entered the frozen retail category with a line of ready to cook frozen products.

Full Story »

Westward Seafoods Settles with EPA Over Clean Air Act Violations

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 21, 2017 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a settlement with Westward Seafoods to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Captain’s Bay seafood processing plant in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. As part of the settlement, Westward is required to use new electronic systems for monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting, to properly train personnel for compliance, and to implement a more robust preventative maintenance and operations plan...

Full Story »

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




Full Story »

Greenpeace Tuna Ranking Charade a Market Opportunity for Some Retailers Not a Sustainability Advance

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton  [News Analysis]  April 20, 2017 

As can be expected with a major initiative of a multi-million dollar NGO like Greenpeace, they have received wide press coverage with their 2017 tuna rankings.

Unfortunately, the rankings have almost nothing to do with tuna sustainability.

Instead, like other supermarket rankings undertaken by Greenpeace, the ranking system is used to reward banners that conform to Greenpeace’s ideology and punish banners that don’t.

For example, 5 of the 9 lower ranked banners on Tuna simply refused to answer Greenpeace’s questionnaire....

Full Story »

Peru Hikes Anchovy Quota 1 Million Metric Tons With Season Set to Start on April 22

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - April 20, 2017

Peru’s Ministry of Production announced a 2.8 million metric ton fishing quota for its first fishery season, which will start on April 22.

This quota is up 55 percent from last year, a one million metric ton increase.

"We have the satisfaction of having found an important level of biomass that confirms that we are doing well. We are leaving little more than 6 million tons at sea, a lot more baggage than normal for fishing to be sustainable," said Peru’s Production Minister Bruno Giuffra...

Full Story »

European Whole Salmon Floods US and Cuts into Canada's Market Share

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - April 19, 2017

European salmon producers, beset with sea lice problems, appear to be harvesting fish early and flooding the US market with unusual amounts of smaller whole fish.

This has had an impact on Canadian producers, who normally dominate the whole fish market in the US.

Import data from the US Department of Commerce in February showed whole salmon imports from Europe about equal to shipments from Canada...

Full Story »

West Coast EFP Successfully Targets Pelagic Rockfish with Minimal Bycatch

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers - April 19, 2017

More than 750,000 pounds of West Coast rockfish have been landed in roughly a month under an exempted fishing permit, creating a small boon for fishermen and markets.

The 2017 annual catch limits (ACLs) for many rockfish species such as canary and widow rockfish, formerly listed as overfished, increased more than five times what they were in 2016 -- but the trawl fleet had no real way to access them under the catch shares program, which holds fishermen 100 percent accountable but did not remove archaic management regulations...

Full Story »

American Shrimp Processors Assoc. Backs "Buy American" Executive Order

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - April 20, 2017

The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) supported the Trump Administration’s “Buy America” executive order that was signed this week and begins a widespread review period of all US import policies for manufactured goods.

Among the directives in the order, section “F” directs the Commerce Secretary to “assess the impacts of all United States free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement on the operation of Buy American Laws, including their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement preferences.”

Full Story »

Russia Squeezed by High Salmon Prices as Chilean Companies Cut Back Shipments

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - April 19, 2017

Russia may face a shortage of salmon this year, due to the lack of supplies from Norway and the inability of producers from Faroe Islands, Chile and Iceland to fill the vacant niche.  This was laid out by Ilya Shestakov, head of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo). 

Despite state hopes, domestic fisherman, as well as salmon producers from South America, were not able to replace more than 500 Norway salmon producers and importers, which were banned from Russia at the beginning of 2015 due to sanctions...

Full Story »

Japanese Crab Negotiations with Newfoundland Full of Uncertainty

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton –April 18, 2017

Sources in Japan say that the negotiations with Newfoundland snow crab packers are in a high state of uncertainty.

Although there were reports of a price of $6.95 between one or two packers and a Japanese buyer, other Japanese say there was a condition on this contract that limited the amount of product to only a portion of what the buyer purchases in the first week.

They called it more of a “reference price”...

Full Story »

The Smokehouse of NY Recalls Smoked Salmon and Fish Products Over Listeria Concerns

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 17, 2017 

The Smokehouse of NY issued a recall for several smoked fish products, including salmon, over the possibility the fish are contaminated with a listeria-causing bacteria.

The Mamaroneck, NY- based company said the products were distributed through New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Alabama, Minnesota, and Montana.  The products were sold in restaurants and hotels.

The recall was a result of a routine inspection sampling program by the company which revealed there was listeria present in the warehouse... 

Full Story »

Thai Union CEO Thiraphong Chansiri to Run Virgin London Marathon in Support of WWF-UK

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 17, 2017

Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union Group will run in the Virgin London Marathon on 23 April 2017 to raise funding for WWF-UK.

Chansiri who is an accomplished marathon runner wants to raise at least of $2600 in sponsorship funds to support the WWF-UK. The 26-mile route of the London Marathon starts in Greenwich Park and takes in some of London’s most iconic landmarks before finishing on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace...

Full Story »

News Summary April 21, 2017

Today's Main Story: NMFS Put Councils on Notice about Overfishing or Overfished Conditions on Bigeye, Four Other Stocks

Leading the headlines today is word that the National Marine Fisheries Service has notified regional councils that five species are subject to overfishing and/or are overfishing or overfished, requiring measures be put in place to remedy the situations. Bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific and South Atlantic golden tilefish are subject to overfishing, according to NMFS. South Atlantic blueline tilefish remains subject to overfishing. Pacific Bluefin tuna in the North Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic red snapper are both overfished and also subject to overfishing.

In other news, Russian pollock producers plan to significantly increase the volume of their supplies to the EU market during the next several years, according to an official spokesman of the Russian Federal Agency of Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo). That will be

Full Story »

European Whole Salmon Floods US and Cuts into Canada's Market Share

European salmon producers, beset with sea lice problems, appear to be harvesting fish early and flooding the US market with unusual amounts of smaller whole fish. This has had an impact on Canadian producers, who normally dominate the whole fish market in the US. while demand for salmon in the US and other global markets has been exceptionally high, this particular rise in European shipments to the US market has not been totally demand driven. Rather, it appears US buyers have opted to import more whole salmon from Europe in 2017 because the surge in available supplies lowered prices to competitive levels compared to Canadian product.

More than 750,000 pounds of West Coast rockfish have been landed in roughly a month under an exempted fishing permit, creating a small boon for fishermen and markets. The harvest included only four Chinook salmon and no catches of green sturgeon or eulachon smelt, both ESA-listed species. Five vessels made 17 trips since the beginning of March. Oregon Trawl Commission Director Brad Pettinger said the success of a midwater rockfish fishery + something common when he was fishing more than 20 years ago + is a validation of sacrifices made since 2000. "We're on the verge of placing the last piece of the puzzle to rebuilding this fishery," Pettinger said. "It's been a lot of work over the last decade-plus."

In other news, we run a Letter to the Editor from Garrett Fine, the cooking business unit manager for Laitram Machinery who disagrees with claims from our April 18 article that said some in Japan think steam cooking snow crabs hurts the quality of the product. "Myself and my colleagues have literally been in the plant with one of the “Big 3” Japanese buyers, have feedback from our customers’ other Japanese buyers, as well as the plants’ QC department and owners, Canadian, and US buyers. The overwhelming feedback is that the product quality is better; in fact, they say the product texture, color, taste, and extractability are all much better," Fine writes.

Meanwhile, Russia may face a shortage of salmon this year, due to the lack of supplies from Norway and the inability of producers from the Faroe Islands, Chile and Iceland to fill the vacant niche according to federal fishery officials at Rosrybolovstvo. Among the issues causing the shortages is the inability of the domestic industry and producers in South America to replace imports from more than 500 Norway salmon producers and importers, which were banned from exporting fish to the Russia at the beginning of 2015 due to sanctions.

Finally, the New England Fishery Management Council has initiate changes that will attempt to reduce the conflict between large and small boat scallopers in the Northern Gulf of Maine. The management council says there is a "critical need to initiate surveys and develop additional tools to better manage the area." It also says the new rules could include limiting some boats from fishing in the area until the total scallop population can be more accurately determined.

Full Story »

EU Inspecting Mekong Shrimp Exporters for Possible Transshipment of Indian Shrimp Through Vietnam

Vietnam's Ministry of Trade confirmed that EU inspectors examined several shrimp exporters in the Mekong Delta under the suspicion that Indian shrimp is being transshipped to the EU market through Vietnam. Currently, EU import tariffs for Vietnam's shrimp are much lower than those for India. Particularly, the tariff for unprocessed shrimp imports from Vietnam is 4.2 percent, compared to 12 percent for India. For semi-processed shrimp, Vietnam's tariff is about 7 percent while India's is 20 percent. Officials with the EU said they will raise Vietnam's tariff rates for its shrimp shipments if transshipping is detected.

Fortune International has acquired the assets to online seafood distributor Lobster Gram in a deal that expands Fortune's market reach to consumers across the country. “I have always admired Lobster Gram and how [Lobster Gram founder Dan Zawacki] successfully started a live Maine lobster home delivery company from his parents’ garage, now that is entrepreneurship,” said Sean J. O’Scannlain, Fortune International’s President and CEO. “We have always considered entering the e-commerce business given the growth potential and what better way than with an icon like Lobster Gram that shares our commitment to quality service and products.” This is Fortune’s first acquisition of 2017 but just the latest deal that the Bensenville, Illinois-based seafood distributor has made since 2012. Fortune purchased JDY Gourmet in 2012, Chef Martin Old World Butcher Shop Sausage in 2014 and Coastal Seafoods of MN in July of 2016.

The retail market for Bristol Bay sockeye is looking good again this year because of a large push to chill majority of the fish and sell it as a premium product. Last year harvesters set a record volume for the amount of raw material they chilled. "This is huge for the retail potential of Bristol Bay," said Rebecca Martello, the association's executive director. "The fleet is making great strides to ensure Bristol Bay is a quality product and this definitely ties into all aspects of marketing and making Bristol Bay the premium brand we know it to be."

In other news, Chinese tilapia production was flat and the value of its exports fell last year. The industry says its needs to do a better job of developing more international markets to boost sales. In order to do this, producers and processors are being encouraged to increase overseas marketing efforts, develop more competitive brands and increase the quality of the fish.

Finally, the eight percent tariff on Canadian live lobster shipped to Europe will immediately disappear when the free trade deal known as CETA is signed, which could happen as soon as May 1. This coincides with the spring lobster season opener in P.E.I. "For the lobster sector it will mean tariff free access to 27 countries in Europe over the next number of years," said Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada. "[That] will give us, hopefully, an advantage in that market as we compete against other seafood products and other proteins in a market that has 500 million people."

Full Story »

Newfoundland Fisherman Continues Hunger Strike Protest After Call From Minister

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Canadian Press] - April 21, 2017

St John's, N.L. — A Newfoundland fisherman is continuing his hunger strike over what he says is Ottawa's dire mismanagement of stocks, despite getting a phone call from federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, his mother says.

Linda Gillett said Friday that her son Richard Gillett spoke with LeBlanc on Thursday, but isn't ready yet to give up his protest.

"He's not accepting that, he wants it in writing that he (LeBlanc) will meet with him," said Gillett.

She said her son is entering the ninth day...

Full Story »

Scientists Spawn Pacific Sardines In Captivity; Results Could Inform Potential for Good Fishing

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

Biologists at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center cracked the code on how to spawn Pacific sardines in the laboratory, opening a new window on the life cycle of the commercially important species. Some in the industry hope it will better inform industry and managers as to what environmental factors would augment wild reproduction and recruitment.

Like many species, sardines require just the right conditions to reproduce. Researchers working with sardines in the SWFSC’s Experimental Aquarium had tried for decades to identify ...

Full Story »

Chesapeake Bay's Spawning Female Blue Crab Stocks at Highest Level in 28 Years

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 20, 2017 

The crab population in the Chesapeake Bay is resilient and steady as the biomass of spawning-age females is now at a 28-year high for the fishery according to the latest survey from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Accordign to the DNR’s 2017 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey the overall population of crabs was estimated at 455 million, the 11th highest level recorded by the survey. The spawning female stock increased 31 percent, from 194 million to 254 million, exceeding the healthy target level of 215 million for the first time since 2010...

Full Story »

Marine Harvest's Q1 Production Falls 13% in 2017 But Earnings Double from a Year Ago

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - April 20, 2017

Marine Harvest’s salmon harvest volumes were down but earnings were about double in the first quarter of 2017 compared to last year.

According to the major salmon producer’s preliminary earnings report, Marine Harvest produced about 83,000 metric tons of salmon from its key farms in Norway, Scotland, Canada and Chile. This figure is down about 13 percent, or 14,000 metric tons from its harvest volumes from the first quarter in 2016.

Production from Marine Harvest’s Norwegian, Chilean and Canadian sites was down. In Chile, the industry is still recovering from an algae bloom in 2016 that set production schedules back by almost a full year for all major producers in the Southern part of Chile...

Full Story »

Feds Close Flatfish, Rockfish, Sablefish Trawling in Gulf of Alaska 2 Weeks Earlier Than Last Year

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  April 20, 2017

NMFS has closed the deepwater trawl fisheries in the Gulf directed at rockfish, sablefish, flatfish and arrowtooth flounder effective April 13th.

The fishery has come up against its halibut bycatch limit of 256 metric tons. 

This is a temporary closure, and the fishery will reopen May 15th, with their third-period allocation.

The fishery will close at the latest on July 1st, under the management plan.

The closure this year is two weeks earlier than last year's closure..

Full Story »

Portion of Kodiak Sac Roe Herring Fishery Temporarily Shut Down for Lack of Fish 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 20, 2017

Kodiak’s commercial herring sac roe fishery in the combined Village Islands/Uganik bay sections is on a temporary stand down because of a lack of harvestable fish.

About 80 tons of sac roe herring have been harvested from the region to date.

A release from the ADF&G said the research vessel K-Hi-C is now departing the Uganik Bay and will now conduct surveys in the Izhut Bay Section.

Kodiak’s herring season opened on April 15. This year’s herring stock is strong but made up of mostly smaller, 3-5 year old fish. That prompted managers to reduce the harvest slightly to 1,645 tons. 

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Letters]  April 19, 2017

Hello John

I wanted to write you to express our disagreement with the below excerpt from the April 18th article in Seafood News (Japanese Crab Negotiations with Newfoundland Full of Uncertainty):

They don’t think the plant capacity is there. Some of the Gulf packers are reported to be looking at introducing steam cookers, that can boost throughput by 30-40%, but the Japanese think this might lead to lower quality products.

Our company, Laitram Machinery, has spent over 60 years applying science to cooking seafood. We have installed more than 150 of our patented CoolSteam Systems all over the world; it is the preferred solution for cold water shrimp, aquaculture shrimp, crab, and lobster.

We are indeed commissioning 4 new Laitram systems in Quebec and New Brunswick...

Full Story »

VIDEO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Snow Crab Quotas Announced 

Full Story »

High Liner Recalls Captain's Crew Fish Strips for Undeclared Allergen 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 17, 2017

High Liner Foods Inc. is recalling High Liner Captain's Crew brand breaded fish strips and High Liner Captain's Crew brand breaded fish nuggets from the marketplace because they may contain milk which is not declared on the label.

According to the notice submitted to Canadian health authorities, consumers with an allergy to milk should not consume the recalled products.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] April 17, 2017

Fortune International has acquired the assets to online seafood distributor Lobster Gram in a deal that expands Fortune market reach to consumers across the country.

This is Fortune’s first acquisition of 2017 and just the latest deal that the Chicago-based seafood distributor made since 2012.  Fortune purchased JDY Gourmet in 2012, Chef Martin Old World Butcher Shop Sausage in 2014 and Coastal Seafoods of MN in July of 2016...

 

Full Story »

FFAW Says Hundreds of Crab Vessels Iced in Will Need Compensation Due to Late Start, As in Past

The Fish, Food and Allied Workers union said that hundreds of snow crab fishing boats are being kept ashore by the ice that has built up around Newfoundland and Labrador. President Keith Sullivan called on the federal government to pay compensation to fish harvesters who are kept away from the fishery. "For many, E.I. benefits run out next week, which will leave families without any income for the foreseeable future, since ice is expected to be a problem until at least mid-May," the FFAW wrote in a statement.

New England regulators will allow lobster fishing in proposed deep-sea coral protection zones on the Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridges. The New England Fishery Management Council voted 14-1 Tuesday to ban most fishing in the canyons and plateaus where slow-growing, cold-water coral gardens flourish in the dark waters of the Gulf of Maine. But pleas from Maine lobster fishermen who say a trap ban in fertile gulf fishing grounds would cost them millions of dollars helped sway an initially resistant council to grant a lobstering exemption. The Council will vote on the exemption at its meeting in June.

In other news, Greenpeace released its annual sustainability rankings of canned tuna products sold in the US market. John Sackton writes how these rankings have almost nothing to do with tuna sustainability. "Instead, like other supermarket rankings undertaken by Greenpeace, the ranking system is used to reward banners that conform to Greenpeace’s ideology and punish banners that don’t," Sackton writes.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Seafood Institute and six other Gulf of Mexico seafood industry organizations endorsed North Pacific Fishery Management Council Executive Director Chris Oliver for the open position of Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. “It is imperative that NOAA Fisheries be guided by an experienced Administrator with a solid track record of uniting these varying interests with a spirit of positivity and mutual respect,” the groups said in a letter sent to Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jr.

Finally, biologists at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center cracked the code on how to spawn Pacific sardines in the laboratory, opening a new window on the life cycle of the commercially important species. Some in the industry hope it will better inform industry and managers as to what environmental factors would augment wild reproduction and recruitment.

Full Story »

Japanese Crab Negotiations with Newfoundland Full of Uncertainty

Sources in Japan say that the negotiations with Newfoundland snow crab packers are in a high state of uncertainty. Although there were reports of a price of $6.95 between one or two packers and a Japanese buyer, others in Japan say there was a condition on this contract that limited the amount of product to only a portion of what the buyer purchases in the first week. Overall the Japanese see great uncertainty in the market and expect the situation to clarify more once production is in full swing in both Newfoundland and the Gulf.

Nearly half of all the natural World Heritage sites on the planet are being ravaged by poachers who are driving some endangered animals towards extinction, according to a report from the World Wildlife Fund. The illegal wildlife trade was estimated to be worth some $19 billion, making it the fourth largest international criminal trade after drugs, guns and human trafficking, according to the ‘Not For Sale’ report. The report warned that species listed on the landmark Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) are being killed. "The current international approach to preventing illegal harvesting of Cites-listed species in World Heritage sites is not working, and stakeholders must redouble their efforts and address all parts of the wildlife trafficking value chain," the report said.

In other news, fishermen are petitioning the New England Fishery Management Council to protect tuna and other fisheries from the herring fleet by agreeing to have measures asking for year-round closures of up to 50 miles east of the Cape. “There’s a strong feeling that fisheries that used to happen here have been displaced by 10 years of intense herring removal,” said John Pappalardo, executive director of the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, and a member of the New England council and its herring committee.

Meanwhile, Bristol Seafood in Maine is looking to capitalize on the growing interest in the social responsibility of seafood as its New England scallops are the first domestic fishery in the country to earn certification from Fair Trade USA. To achieve the certification, companies need to submit to an audit and interviews to make sure the food is produced with fair working conditions and environmental stewardship along the supply chain. Fair Trade USA also certifies shrimp from Mexico, yellowfin tuna from Indonesia, and skipjack and yellowfin tuna from Maldives. "There's a certain sanctity to food when it comes to the story about it," said Peter Handy, president of Bristol "It tastes better the more you know."

Finally, Maruha Nichiro expects higher costs of purchasing seafood from overseas suppliers to cut into its profits by about 12 percent. Maruha's purchasing costs abroad are rising due to the yen's depreciation.

Full Story »
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