Fri. Feb 24 2017

Walmart Backs Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative in Seafood Procurement Policy


MSC Streamlines Assessment in Pilot Program for Echebastar Indian Ocean Skipjack Tuna


High Salmon Prices Offset Sea Lice Losses as Scottish Salmon Company Posts Sales Increase in 2016  


Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Landings Remain Below 5-Year Average in January  


VIDEO: Red Chamber Argentina Agrees to Shrimp Vessel Observers; Iceland’s Fishermen Get Back to Work


Marine Harvest Canada Gets Approval to Buy Gray Aqua's Salmon Farming Assets in New Brunswick


Lemon-Seasoned Crispy Fish and Butterfly Shrimp Headline Church’s Chicken Seasonal Menu


Driftnet Ban Fails to Save Ireland's Atlantic Wild Salmon


Thai Union Training Workers on Labor Rights and Benefits Under Thai Labor Protection Act


Seafood.com News Summary Friday February 24, 2017


Thu. Feb 23 2017

Adak's Seafood Plant Not Processing Bering Sea Cod Because of Damage, Not Over Deliveries Lawsuit  


Russia's Federal Fishing Agency, Director Implicated in Corruption Ring for Upcoming Quota Auctions


Major Ecuadorian Shrimp Producer, Exporter SONGA Gets Four-Star BAP Certification  


Crabmeat Importer, Distributor Bonamar Secures $30 Million Credit Line from Santander


Oceana Says 50% of World's Transshipping Activity Occurs in Russian Waters


Walton Foundation to Continue $32 Million Investment Plan to Boost Indonesia's Seafood Exports


Platina Seafood Names Damien Claire President; Starts Crystal Seafood to Focus on Fresh Salmon  


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday February 23, 2017


Wed. Feb 22 2017

High Liner Posts Annual Sales Decline in 2016 Noting Weak US Demand for Breaded, Battered Seafood


State-Waters Cod Season Opens to Pot Gear as Federal Pot Gear Season Closes in Gulf of Alaska  


White Castle Adds Crab Cake Sandwich to Menu for Lent  


Hello Fresh's Meal Kit Delivery Service Commits to Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch Program


EDF Says Smart Reforms are Key to Global Fish Recovery, Even with Climate Change   (1)


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday February 22, 2017


Tue. Feb 21 2017

Feds Quickly Exempting Fishery Regulations Stalled by Federal Freeze Order   (1)


Commerce Finalizes Shrimp Duty Rates for Vietnamese Exporters in 11th Review Period  


Grieg Posts Record 4Q Earnings on Strong Salmon Prices, Higher Production  


Mariner Seafood's Jack Flynn Joins NFI's Board of Directors


Leroy Seafoods: High Prices Generate Good Earnings  


Arun Dhar Takes Over Shrimp Research Lab from Don Lightner at Univ. of Arizona  


Texas' Perciformes Group Sends First Harvest of Farmed Sablefish To Washington DC Market


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday February 21, 2017


Mon. Feb 20 2017

Seafood.com News Summary Monday February 20, 2017


PODCAST: India Carries US Shrimp Imports to Record; Snow Crab Prices Smash Records Before Boston  


Russia's Quota Incentive Program Does Not Spur Crab Producers to Place Domestic Shipbuilding Orders  


Handy Seafood Launches Line of Value Added Oysters in Time for Boston Show


Iceland's Commercial Fishermen Resume Fishing as Labor Deal Gets Narrow Approval  


Effective Management Can Navigate Climate Impacts on the Fisheries


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Walmart Backs Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative in Seafood Procurement Policy 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 23, 2017

Walmart has become the latest retailer to align its seafood procurement policies in support of the Global Seafood Sustainably Initiative (GSSI).

Walmart said it will now accept certification schemes which have successfully completed the GSSI Benchmark Process.

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and the second major retailer to back the GSSI policy...

Full Story »

MSC Streamlines Assessment in Pilot Program for Echebastar Indian Ocean Skipjack Tuna

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - February 24, 2017

The Marine Stewardship Council has developed a simplified assessment process and is running a pilot program to test the process in the Echebastar Indian Ocean Skipjack Tuna fishery, which failed certification in 2015.

The pilot program “aims to simplify the assessment process – reducing complexity and cost whilst improving effectiveness of stakeholder engagement and maintaining credibility,” according to MSC.

One of the reasons the Echebaster IO tuna fishery was not afforded the MSC logo two years ago was that the regional management group had not adopted a harvest control rule or reference points for the fishery, which in 2015 included skipjack, yellowfin, and bigeye. The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission has since adopted these management tools....

Full Story »

High Salmon Prices Offset Sea Lice Losses as Scottish Salmon Company Posts Sales Increase in 2016

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 24, 2017

The Scottish Salmon Company reported higher sales in 2016 as globally higher salmon prices helped offset production declines from ongoing sea lice problems.

The company’s sales reached US$136 million for the year, about a $12 million bump from 2015 levels.

This performance was achieved despite a 4.7 percent drop in its annual harvest to 24,342 metric tons...

Full Story »

Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Landings Remain Below 5-Year Average in January

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 24, 2017

The first report of shrimp landings from the Gulf of Mexico in 2017 was released this week and continued to show harvest levels below the five-year-average for this fishery.

Landings in January were 3.4 million pounds. The figure was actually up a bit from last January but the figure was down over 5.6 percent from the five year for this month.

This is no different from how shrimp landings out of the Gulf trended throughout 2016. The shrimp catch from the five major producing states were consistently below the five-year-average for this fishery last year... 

Full Story »

Adak's Seafood Plant Not Processing Bering Sea Cod Because of Damage, Not Over Deliveries Lawsuit

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] by Peggy Parker - February 23, 2017

Yesterday morning National Marine Fisheries Service closed the “A” season for Pacific cod in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI). The TAC had been reached which prompted the closure on the earliest date ever for the “A” season. In 2016, the A season trawl P-cod fishery remained open until March 9.

The early closure is a defining note in a fishery that has historically included deliveries to Adak’s cod processing plant since it opened in 1999...

Full Story »

Russia's Federal Fishing Agency, Director Implicated in Corruption Ring for Upcoming Quota Auctions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - February 23, 2017

The Russian Federal Fishery Agency (Rosrybolovstvo) is on the verge of a new massive scandal, caused by the ongoing investigations, conducted by the Russian law enforcement agencies, related to facts of brokerage and corruption in Rosrybolovstvo, according to an official spokesman of the Russian Federal Security Service.

Several days ago the Moscow City Court had arrested Evgeniy Degtyarenko, Rosrybolovstvo’s  private crisis consultant, on the suspicion of involvement in the organization's criminal schemes prior to the forthcoming auction for distribution of fishing quotas in Russia...

Full Story »

Marine Harvest Canada Gets Approval to Buy Gray Aqua's Salmon Farming Assets in New Brunswick

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 24, 2017

Marine Harvest Canada will complete its purchase of salmon farming assets in New Brunswick in a deal valued at US$ 11.5 million.

The Court of Queen's Bench of New Brunswick gave Marine Harvest approval to buy all of the assets to Gray Aqua Group. The deal to buy these assets was first reported last December. 

The assets purchased include one hatchery in New Brunswick, two farming licenses in New Brunswick, seven farming licenses in Newfoundland, and one processing plant in Newfoundland. Currently no fish has been stocked in the above mentioned licenses...

Full Story »

Major Ecuadorian Shrimp Producer, Exporter SONGA Gets Four-Star BAP Certification 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 23, 2017

Ecuador’s SONGA (Sociedad Nacional de Galapagos C.A.) was awarded four-star certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices Program for its shrimp production operation.

Four stars is the highest designation available in the BAP’s third-party certification program. It signifies that a product originates from a BAP-certified feed mill, hatchery, farm and processing plant.

“The efforts of SONGA to differentiate itself by achieving the maximum level of third-party certification truly represent its responsible aquaculture practices...

Full Story »

Driftnet Ban Fails to Save Ireland's Atlantic Wild Salmon

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Irish Times] by Lorna Siggins - February 24, 2017

Ten years after Ireland banned driftnetting for salmon at sea, the controversial measure has proved to be a failure.

The Atlantic wild salmon is in a “serious position” and various conservation measures “don’t seem to have worked”, Inland Fisheries Ireland chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne has said.

Speaking at the annual Salmon Watch Ireland conference in Galway, Byrne said marine survival of the species had fallen from 20 per cent of fish returning to rivers in 1980 to five per cent today, before any exploitation.

The non-governmental organisation is dedicated to “restoration of wild Atlantic salmon abundance”.

Angling now accounts for 63 per cent of salmon catches since 2007, the year when the driftnet ban sought by the European Commission...

Full Story »

Oceana Says 50% of World's Transshipping Activity Occurs in Russian Waters

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 23, 2017

Oceana released a report that exposed the global scale of transshipping at sea. The report was especially critical of transshipping activity in Russian waters in the Sea of Okhotsk in the Barents Sea.

The report was released at The Economist’s World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia and used datasets released by Global Fishing Watch and Oceana’s partner SkyTruth to identify likely transshipping hotspots as well as the top countries whose vessels were involved in suspected rendezvous at sea and the ports they most frequently visited...

 

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Thai Union Training Workers on Labor Rights and Benefits Under Thai Labor Protection Act

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 24, 2017

Thai Union Group is collaborating with the Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) to teach a training program for Thai Union workers on labor rights and employee benefits under the Thai Labor Protection Act.

The session provided information about wages, working hours and overtime and holiday pay, as well as social insurance benefits.

Thai Union and MWRN jointly developed a bi-lingual Thai/Myanmar labor rights and employee benefits handbook for participants. This handbook will be distributed to all Thai Union workers...

Full Story »

Platina Seafood Names Damien Claire President; Starts Crystal Seafood to Focus on Fresh Salmon

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 23, 2017

Platina Seafood announced that its president Johan Andreassen has left the company and will be replaced by Damien Claire

Claire’s appointment is part of an executive reshuffle for Platina Seafood, a farmed salmon company headquartered in Stranda, Norway.

Platina also announced the creation of its Crystal Seafood division, which will focus mainly on developing fresh salmon programs from Chile and Norway as well as help develop the land-based Seafood Watch Best Choice Atlantic Sapphire salmon line.

Full Story »

Feds Quickly Exempting Fishery Regulations Stalled by Federal Freeze Order

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 21, 2017

The federal freeze on approving new regulatory measures issued by the Trump Administration last month has stalled some fishery policies across the country. However, regional management councils and lawmakers have been able to secure quick exemptions from the freeze for some quota allocation changes and other vital fishery management protocols.

Last month, the White House issued a memo that called for a freeze on the implementation new federal regulations for further review.

The notice said regulations that have been sent to the official Federal Register but were not published,  should be withdrawn for review and approval.

Full Story »

Commerce Finalizes Shrimp Duty Rates for Vietnamese Exporters in 11th Review Period

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - February 21, 2017

The US Commerce Department finalized the duty rates for Frozen Warmwater Shrimp exports out of Vietnam in its 11th period of review, which covered shrimp shipments made between February 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016.

In this decision, the Commerce Department assigned an antidumping rate of 4.78% to 12 non-individually examined Vietnamese exporters that demonstrated their eligibility for a “separate rate” based on their independence from the Vietnamese Government. 

The final rate was based on the final rate assigned to 32 Vietnamese exporters in the September 2016 final determination of the tenth administrative review...

Full Story »

Grieg Posts Record 4Q Earnings on Strong Salmon Prices, Higher Production

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 21, 2017

Grieg Seafood announced its highest earnings ever in the fourth quarter of 2015, in a market defined by high prices and limited supply.

The Atlantic salmon farming company, with production facilities in Norway, Shetland Islands, and British Columbia, posted operating earnings of US$54.5 million compared to 4Q2015 earnings of $5 million in 2015.

They credit the record earnings from a high harvest volume of nearly 21,000 metric tons in a strong market. This compares to 15,279 metric tons in the same period in 2015, reflecting an increase of 37 percent...

Full Story »

Leroy Seafoods: High Prices Generate Good Earnings

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 21, 2017

Today Lerøy Seafood Group (LSG) reported revenue of $590 million for the last quarter in 2016, compared with $427 million in the same period of 2015.

The operating profit before fair value adjustment of biomass was $121,720 in Q4 2016, compared with $42 million in Q4 2015.

"In 2016, Lerøy Seafood Group achieved a record high result, and can report the highest revenue and highest operating profit before fair value adjustment of biomass in the Group's history," confirmed CEO Henning Beltestad. 

"We are naturally delighted with such a great result," he continued. "We can look back on a quarter with extremely high salmon and trout prices, strong demand but also some biological challenges and relatively high share of contracts...

Full Story »

Perciformes’s First Harvest of Farmed Sablefish Off To Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 21, 2017

The first harvest of plump sablefish was made on Valentine's Day, appropriate for the aquaculturists at Perciformes Group's grow out facility in Taft, TX. Their labor of love started 160 days earlier when the sablefish fry arrived from a Washington state hatchery to the multi-million dollar research and development facility. Perciformes' research facility uses recirculated water throughout their land-based grow-out tanks.

Three hundred pounds of 1.5-pound sablefish, also known as black cod, were harvested, packed in ice, and shipped to a Maryland distributor catering to chefs at Washington DC white tablecloth restaurants...

Full Story »

High Liner Posts Annual Sales Decline in 2016 Noting Weak US Demand for Breaded, Battered Seafood

High Liner Foods posted a decline in annual sales volumes and values last year because of the continued dip in demand for its traditional line of breaded and battered frozen seafood items in the US market. The major seafood producer and distributor reported a 4.5 percent decrease in its annual sales in US dollars and a 3 percent decline in Canadian dollars in 2016. The operator's sales by volume were down 2.5 percent for the year. High Liner CEO Keith Decker said he expects US demand for breaded and battered seafood to continue to decline in 2017. “We expect the trend of lower demand for frozen breaded and battered seafood products will continue into 2017 and that we will not return to volume growth until our new product sales can offset the decline that the traditional breaded and battered category is experiencing," said Decker.

Canada and the EU signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement last week, which included a three-year stop gap measure that will phase out seafood processing requirements in Newfoundland. The province uses the minimum local processing requirements to protect jobs, particularly in more remote fishing communities. But the implementation of the deal requires such restrictions to end. Newfoundland officials will use the three-year phase-out period to come up with a stastrategy protect the economic impacts from the trade deal. "We're going to take the time that's required to have the discussion, take the discussions to the fullest extent to see what's available to us," said Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Dwight Ball.

In other news, Alaska's Pacific cod season in state waters will open to pot gear in Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet at noon this Friday. The parallel seasons for jig and longline gear remains open until closed by emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The season follows the closure of the parallel Pacific cod pot season one day before. This coincides with the National Marine Fisheries Service closure of the Pacific cod pot gear sector in the federal Central Gulf of Alaska.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese seafood export officials said a misleading news broadcast in Spain is what triggered panagsius sales bans at Carrefour stores in EU markets. VASEP said a broadcast by Spain’s Cuatro TV on Jan 5 depicted Vietnamese pangasius being raised in unclean cages and fed with non-industrialized feed like dead fish and other food waste. VASEP said such depictions of Vietnam's pangasius industry were demonstrably false and asked federal officals to take action to defend the industry.

Finally, an Alaska Seafood Marking Institute overview, compiled by the McDowell Group, shows that for sockeye salmon, wholesale prices are expected to remain strong based on robust demand in 2016 sales and increasing farmed salmon prices. Japan also has re-emerged as an important buyer of smaller sized sockeye and larger fish are reportedly selling well in Europe’s smoked salmon market. Conversely, canned prices have fallen sharply and the “Brexit” vote has further reduced demand in the U.K., the largest canned red market.

Full Story »

VIDEO: Red Chamber Argentina Agrees to Shrimp Vessel Observers; Iceland’s Fishermen Get Back to Work

Full Story »
Lemon-Seasoned Crispy Fish and Butterfly Shrimp Headline Church’s Chicken Seasonal Menu
 
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Restaurant News Release] February 24, 2017

The Lenten Season is fast approaching, and Church’s Chickenannounced the return of a variety of Lent-friendly seafood menu options starting on Monday, Feb. 27.
 
Back by popular demand are Church’s Lemon-Seasoned Butterfly Shrimp and Crispy Fish. Guests can choose marinated shrimp or flaky white fish filets, fried up and finished with zesty lemon herb seasoning. Also returning to the menu for a limited time, are Church’s Hush Puppy Biscuit Bites.
 
“In addition to our scratch-made chicken, guests welcome our longstanding tradition of serving seafood during the Lenten season,” said Jennifer Chasteen, Senior Director of Brand & Product Strategy for Church’s Chicken. “We’re excited to bring back our most popular Lemon-Seasoned seafood dishes this Lent...

 

Full Story »

Crabmeat Importer, Distributor Bonamar Secures $30 Million Credit Line from Santander 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 23, 2017

Santander Bank‘s asset-based lending team closed a $30 million senior-secured revolving line of credit with Bonamar Corporation, a major importer, processor and distributor of crabmeat and seafood products based in Medley, Florida.

“Bonamar offers a robust product line and has a solid reputation in the industry, making it an attractive company to work with as it strengthens its position in the marketplace,” said Michael Richard, head of seafood lending at Santander...

Full Story »

High Liner Posts Annual Sales Decline in 2016 Noting Weak US Demand for Breaded, Battered Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 22, 2017

High Liner Foods posted a decline in annual sales volumes and values last year because of the continued decline in demand for its traditional line of breaded and battered frozen seafood items in the US market.

The major seafood producer and distributor reported a 4.5 percent decrease in its annual sales to US$956 million...

Full Story »

State-Waters Cod Season Opens to Pot Gear as Federal Pot Gear Season Closes in Gulf of Alaska

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - February 22, 2017

The Pacific cod season in state waters will open to pot gear in Prince William Sound (Area E) and Cook Inlet (Area H) at noon on Friday, February 24, 2017. The parallel seasons for jig and longline gear remains open until closed by emergency order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The season follows the closure of the parallel Pacific cod pot season one day before. This coincides with the National Marine Fisheries Service closure of the Pacific cod pot gear sector int he federal Central Gulf of Alaska.

For the state-waters season in Prince William Sound, a guideline harvest level of 4,338,141 lbs. is split between...

Full Story »

Walton Foundation to Continue $32 Million Investment Plan to Boost Indonesia's Seafood Exports

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 23, 2017

The Walton Family Foundation outlined its five-year strategy for sustainable fisheries across Indonesia during The Economist’s fourth annual World Ocean Summit.

The Foundation's strategy is to invest $32 million through the end of 2020 on initiatives that partner with the government, local partners, NGOs and businesses to advance fishing policies and ...

Full Story »

White Castle Adds Crab Cake Sandwich to Menu for Lent

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 22, 2017

White Castle has added a Seafood Crab Cake Slider to its menu in time for the Lenten season.

The item will be offered for a limited time at participating restaurants. The crab cake sliders are topped with a creole sauce and served on White Castle’s signature steamed bun.

"White Castle has been innovating since 1921, when we started the first fast food chain. Today we are proud to continue leading the industry by being the first to offer a seafood crab cake sandwich at all restaurants,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle...

Full Story »

Hello Fresh's Meal Kit Delivery Service Commits to Monterey Bay's Seafood Watch Program

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 22, 2017

Meal kit delivery service Hello Fresh said it will source its seafood from fisheries recognized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

“By joining forces with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, HelloFresh pledges to only source ocean-friendly seafood rated a Best Choice or Good Alternative in addition to seafood eco-certified by trusted, independent programs,” Hello Fresh said in a blog pos its website.

Hello Fresh is subscription-based meal delivery service that sells its customers with detailed recipes and measured ingredients to prepare dinners at home...

Full Story »

EDF Says Smart Reforms are Key to Global Fish Recovery, Even with Climate Change

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - February 22, 2017

BOSTON -- New research finds that climate change will cause dramatic impacts in the world’s fisheries, but effective management in most fisheries could yield more fish and more prosperity, even with a changing climate, according to researchers.

Scientists and economists at the University of California Santa Barbara, Oregon State University and Environmental Defense Fund previewed their preliminary results from this new research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Relative to today, this preliminary research illustrates that effective management reforms can lead, globally, to a nearly 90 percent increase in profits, a third more fish in the water and a more than 10 percent increase in harvest by 2100 in the face of climate change, the authors said in a press release.

The research also shows the effect is even more pronounced ...

Full Story »

Mariner Seafood's Jack Flynn Joins NFI's Board of Directors 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] February 21, 2017

Jack Flynn, CEO and Founder of Mariner Seafood was recently chosen to represent the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) as a board member and executive committee member.

Flynn brings more than 30 years of experience in all areas of the seafood industry to this directorship appointment.

"The appointment of Jack Flynn is a natural fit for NFI. Under his leadership, Mariner Seafood has long committed to procuring seafood from suppliers that are fully dedicated to sustainable, traceable and responsibly sourced practices. We are delighted to welcome Jack, one of our industry's most qualified and knowledgeable players, to the NFI Board,” said NFI President John Connelly...

Full Story »

Arun Dhar Takes Over Shrimp Research Lab from Don Lightner at Univ. of Arizona 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Global Aquacutlure Advocate] by James Wright - February 21, 2017

The world-renowned shrimp disease research laboratory at the University of Arizona in January named Arun Dhar, Ph.D., as its new director. Dhar, who joins the school after a three-year stint as a contract researcher at Intrexon Corp., aims to broaden the lab’s role in solving the challenges aquaculture faces in regards to disease.

The lab is regarded for its expertise in diagnostics, treatment and biosecurity against virtually all classes of crustacean pathogens and parasites...

Full Story »

Amid Adak Plant Delays and Law Suit Against AM 113, Pacific Cod “A” Season Closes Today

We clarify a story from last week that said Adak's cod and pollock processing plant was not taking cod deliveries because of a lawsuit over the Amendment 113 regulation requiring mandatory cod deliveries to the plant. However, the plant has actually been out of commission since a severe 2015 winter storm-damaged portions of the roof. The city sent a letter to NMFS, according to Amendment 113 protocol, notifying them they would not be buying cod this winter and last fall. The lawsuit, meanwhile, was filed by The Groundfish Forum claiming it violated national standards and other laws. But the lawsuit itself is not responsible for the current lack of cod processing at the Adak plant."There are trawl catcher vessel owners, who have delivered a fair amount of cod to the Adak plant over the years when it was operating, that would be willing to deliver to another renovated shore plant if it was in operation," said Brent Paine, executive director of the United Catcher Boats, a plaintiff in the suit. "They just want an option to deliver their catch to multiple markets, onshore or offshore."

Russian investigators suspect federal fishing authorities at Rosrybolovstvo are involved in a corruption ring to fix a fishery quota auction scheduled to take place next month. The auction will distribute fishing quotas to Russian producers at 700 new sites. Authorities had already arrested a consultant on the suspicion that the person was involved in a criminal scheme to fix the outcome of certain quota auctions. Reports suggest Ilya Shestakov, the current head of Rosrybolovstvo, may be suspended or even fired for his alleged involvement in the scandal that is still under investigation.

The Hawaii Longline Association opposes a bill that would change the rules for how fishing licenses are issued to foreign crew members that make up the majority of the state's commercial fleet. The bill would require anyone seeking a commercial fishing license in Hawaii to appear in person. "It could lead to the use of no foreign crew in the fishery, which would be very devastating," said Jim Cook, a member of the association's board of directors. "It would be similar to having no immigrant people in agriculture in Hawaii or any other part of the United States."

In other news, Thai Union Group reported a 7.3 percent rise in sales last year. Chief executive Thiraphong Chansiri said the US market accounted for 39 percent of its total sales. "Despite challenging costs for raw materials and economic volatility in various markets around the world, we delivered a stable bottom line," said Chansiri.

Finally, Ecuador’s SONGA was awarded four-star certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices Program for its shrimp production operation. SONGA is one of the top four white shrimp producers in Ecuador. In 2015 and 2016, SONGA was the top Ecuadorian exporter to mainland China, South Korea and the United States.

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