Fri. Aug 28 2015

NMFS, Industry Win Court Case on Aleutian Steller Sea Lions  


Leading Shrimp Researcher Dr. Donald Lighter Announces Retirement  


SFP Finds Gulf Warmwater and N. American Pink Shrimp Fisheries at Low Risk of Producing High Bycatch  


EWOS Posts 7% Q2 Sales Gain on Surprising Boost From Chilean Division  


Researchers Track Widespread Impacts of Warm Water "Blob" on Alaska's Marine Habitats ( Fish Radio)


Seafood.com News Summary Friday August 28, 2015


Thu. Aug 27 2015

Alaska Supreme Court Grills Proponents of Setnet ballot - 'Why Can't you Ban Setnets Statewide'  


Marine Stewardship Council Issues Statement on Chain of Custody System in Response to our Article


Ray Hilborn Says Recent Science Paper Makes Inflated Claim about Human Impacts on Marine Species   (1)


SeaShare Seeking Full-Time Development Director


Legal Sea Foods Announces Four-Week Fall Oyster Festival


Trans-Ocean Launches Digital Coupon Campaign for Surimi Products


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday August 27, 2015


Wed. Aug 26 2015

Texas Carries Gulf Shrimp Landings in July with Total 2015 Catch Even with Last Year  


Alaska Salmon Hatcheries Based on Principle of Protecting Wild Stocks   (1)


Carl Salamone Reflects on How Seafood Sustainability Got Its Start at Wegmans


Alaska's Chinook Researchers Limited to Just 12 Projects Under Budget Cuts (Fish Radio)


Hot Weather Causes Farmers to Flood Tilapia Markets in China, Damping Hopes for Price Increase  


Russia to Restart Mackerel Fishing in Far East, up to 400,000 tons, to Make up for Import Ban  


United Nations and OPEC Project Plans to Increase Shrimp Production in Central and South America  


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday August 26, 2015


Tue. Aug 25 2015

Strong Pink Salmon Returns in PWS Carry Alaska Harvests Beyond Forecasts  


Southeast Alaska's Dungeness Season Disappoints as Catch Falls Under 5-Year-Average (Fish Radio)  


Sea Lice "Bath" System Shows Promise of Reducing Costs for Chilean Salmon Producers  


Fourth Generation of the Rozzo Family Still Proudly Purveying Fish in Lower Manhattan


At-Sea Processor's Assoc. Donates 450,000 Pollock and Hake Servings to US Food Banks


Aqua Capital Buys Controlling Stake in Brazilian Tilapia Producer GenSeas  


Earth Ocean Farms is Awarded the Largest Marine Finfish Concession in Mexico


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday August 25, 2015


Mon. Aug 24 2015

Seafood.com News Summary Monday August 24, 2015


Second Russian Salmon Fishery Withdraws from MSC  


Chinook Salmon Research a Casualty of Alaska Budget Crunch; Some Programs Retained  


White House: Obama's Alaska Visit Will Include Seward, Dillingham and Kotzebue


Norway denies Russian Veterinary examiners' access to its salmon and trout farms  


Thailand Scrambling to Clean Up Unregulated Fishing to Comply with EU Warnings by October


Shrinking Indonesian Shark Fisheries Spur a National Action Plan


With China now center of Far East IUU crab fishery, Russian Gov't to open Talks  


B.C. Mines Minister Hoping to Soothe Alaskans' Concerns after Mount Polley Spill


Australian Students Test Seal Avoidance Measures After Outcry over Geelong Star


Oman Developing Fisheries to Achieve Economic Diversity


Boston's Future Needs its Thriving Seafood Industry (Opinion)


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NMFS, Industry Win Court Case on Aleutian Steller Sea Lions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  By Peggy Parker  -  August 28, 2015

Judge Timothy Burgess of the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, ruled Tuesday in favor of National Marine Fisheries Service’s 2014 analyses that supported loosening certain restrictions to fishing in the Aleutian Islands. Those restrictions were part of a sweeping management decision implemented five years ago, aimed at protecting a sub-population of Steller sea lions in the western Aleutians.

At issue is whether the groundfish industry in certain areas of the Aleutians impact the available food for a distinct group of Steller sea lions whose population is not recovering.

The suit was brought against NMFS by Greenpeace and Oceana who claimed the 2014 Biological Opinion and Enviromental Impact Statement was arbitrary and capricious. Joining NMFS as co-defendants and intervenors were Alaska Seafood Cooperative, Adak Community Development Corporation, Aleut Corporation, and the Groundfish Forum.

In the court’s ruling, Burgess acknowledged...

Full Story »

Leading Shrimp Researcher Dr. Donald Lighter Announces Retirement

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 28, 2015

post from Shrimp News International's Bob Rosenberry has confirmed that leading shrimp researcher Dr. Donald Lightner has retired after over four decades studying shrimp and shrimp aquaculture.

Lightner was lead researcher at the University of Arizona's Aquaculture Pathology Lab. It was here that Lightner and his team discovered the cause of shrimp early mortality syndrome back in 2013, just one of a many breakthroughs Lightner has contributed to the industry.

Lighter's retirement is effective October 9 of this year. The University is currently on the hunt to replace Lightner...

Full Story »

SFP Finds Gulf Warmwater and N. American Pink Shrimp Fisheries at Low Risk of Producing High Bycatch

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 28, 2015

A report released this week by the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) found that bycatch among wild shrimp trawlers accounts for more volume than any other fishery type but that efforts to reduce bycatch can make a positive difference.  The latter point was particulary evident from management efforts analyzed in the Gulf of Mexico fishery and among pink shrimping regions in Atlantic Canada, West Greenland, and the Barents Sea performed well, as did Oregon

The report examined 20 bottom trawl fisheries that account for approximately 1.1 million metric tons annually, or nearly one third of the global wild shrimp harvest...

Full Story »

Alaska Supreme Court Grills Proponents of Setnet ballot - 'Why Can't you Ban Setnets Statewide'

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  - August 27, 2015

The Alaska Supreme court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the proposed ban on commercial setnet fishing in the Kenai is constitutionally permissible. 
 
Sport fishing groups have put together a ballot initiative that would ban an entire class of commercial fishing -Setnetters - for salmon in rivers that are near Alaska's urban areas, such as the Kenai.
 
Originall, Lt. Gov. Treadwell ruled the ballot initiative was unconstitutional, and could not go forward.  The Alaska constitution bans the allocation of public resources held in trust by the state, such as fisheries, by ballot initiative.  Only the legislature has the power to allocate resources among user groups.   His ruling was appealed, and the state appelate court said the ballot question could go forward.
 
The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance which is sponsoring the initiative, says the measure is a ban on gear, with a focus on conservation. They argue that setnetting is an outdated catch method that indiscriminately targets king salmon.  The measure is targeted toward setnetters on the Kenai River who fish primarily for sockeye salmon, but also catch some king salmon in the process.
 
Setnetters contend they have fished in the region for over a century...

 

Full Story »

Marine Stewardship Council Issues Statement on Chain of Custody System in Response to our Article

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)] August 27, 2015

MSC Americas has sent a statement in response to our article on the proposed mandatory MOTS online transaction reporting system.  Their full statement is below.

In response to the August 18 article titled, “Is the MSC Making a Global Power Grab to Protect Monopoly with New Chain of Custody Program,” the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) would like to clarify a few aspects of the MSC Online Transaction Solution (MOTS) that is currently under development and open for consultation.

As demand for sustainable seafood grows, the evolution of the MSC’s traceability standard and associated tools and procedures is critical to keep pace with industry best practice. MOTS was developed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of existing traceability audits by automatically verifying transactions of MSC certified seafood as it flows through the global supply chain. The application cross checks volumes of MSC certified seafood purchased and sold at each link of the supply chain. The tool aims to improve chain of custody integrity, reduce possible product substitution or mislabeling, and streamline chain of custody audits....

Full Story »

Ray Hilborn Says Recent Science Paper Makes Inflated Claim about Human Impacts on Marine Species

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SeafoodNews]  August 27, 2015

Ray Hilborn sent a note regarding his comment on a paper in the August 21st issue of Science Magazine that makes the claim that humans take up to 14 times the amount of marine fish as other predators do.  The extrapolation is that humans are a super predator of marine life, and take an unsustainable proportion of the adult population of various species.
 
Ray says the authors made a mistake in only looking at individual predators and in not considering all predation on a given species.  He says that when all predation is considered, the results reverse themselves, and that natural predators take a larger proportion of adult marine fish than humans do.
 
His comment is below:

Comment by Ray Hilborn, University of Washington

This paper claims that humans have a up to 14 times higher exploitation rate than natural predators. There is a basic flaw in the analysis which diminishes the validity of the conclusions the authors come to. First the calculated predation rate of natural predators will depend on how many predators you look at. Dozens or even hundreds of species may prey upon a given species, most of them taking a trivial fraction of the prey. If you find data only for the most important predators (the ones that take the most of the prey species) you will estimate a high predation rate, but if you find data for all the species that prey upon a species the median will be much much lower. 
 
In fact there are hundreds of potential predators for any species...

Full Story »

Researchers Track Widespread Impacts of Warm Water "Blob" on Alaska's Marine Habitats ( Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] August 28, 2015 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Effects of the Blob in Alaska waters. More after this -- 

Fish deaths, drought in California – those sad happenings and more are being blamed on a giant blob of warm water pushed against coastlines on the West Coast, Canada and into Alaska. It spans 1,000 miles in each direction and runs 300 feet deep. 

"They call it the blob because of its original circular shape on the sea surface. However, this feature is not static, it’s constantly reshaping itself in circulation from mixing so over the course of two years it has spread itself along the west coast."

Carol Janzen is an oceanographer and Operations Director at the Alaska Ocean Observing System in Anchorage. The Blob stems from an unusual weather pattern of high pressure that caused a ridge over the Pacific...

Full Story »

Alaska Salmon Hatcheries Based on Principle of Protecting Wild Stocks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  By Peggy Parker  -  August 26, 2015

Salmon Hatcheries have come under increased scrutiny by certification bodies, who are just coming up to speed with the difference and history of various salmon hatchery programs.  This is the first of a series of articles by Peggy Parker on Alaska's hatcheries, with the aim to focus on both accomplishments and sustainability issues.

When the 2015 salmon season is over and final statewide landings are posted in the coming months, the importance of Alaska’s salmon hatchery program will be quantified in numbers of salmon it produced for the common property fisheries.

This year, those numbers will be big in Prince William Sound, where better than expected hatchery returns met with an unexpectedly strong wild return to result in one of the Sound’s highest commercial harvests.

But the success of Alaska’s unique private, non-profit hatchery program can be measured in more than just numbers of returning salmon.

Like other fisheries management programs in Alaska, the genesis of the state’s revolutionary salmon enhancement program benefited from lessons learned elsewhere and the keen awareness that Alaska’s salmon stocks still had vast, healthy habitat.

In Washington, the legendary Columbia River salmon...

Full Story »

Legal Sea Foods  Announces Four-Week Fall Oyster Festival

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafoodnews] - August 27, 2015 - 

Legal Sea Foods will run its 7th annual "Oyster Festival" this year from September 17 to October 14 at all its locations.

Oysters on the half shell will be available in 14 varieties with the assortment varying by location and availability.  Among the varieties are expected to be Wellfleet, Cotuit, Malpeque, Kumamoto and Glidden Point oysters.

The festival also features fried oysters Buffalo style and a Siracha version along with baked oysters.

Full Story »

Carl Salamone Reflects on How Seafood Sustainability Got Its Start at Wegmans

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafoodnews] By Carl Salamone - August 26, 2015 - 

Carl Salamone is the Vice President for Seafood Sustainability at Wegmans.  He has been handling seafood at Wegmans for more than 40 years, and in this blog post on the Wegmans' site, he reflects on how the company approaches seafood sustainability with its partners.

I have been in my “new” role at Wegmans for three years now —V.P. Seafood Sustainability. I’m so fortunate to work for a company that recognizes its responsibility to its employees, customers and the environment we all share.

My 40 years of seafood experience at Wegmans has afforded me the opportunity to travel the world working with fishermen. I’ve celebrated their successes and witnessed their challenges, realizing that if we are serious about sourcing seafood for generations to come, we have to address the sustainability of wild and farm-raised products.

When Wegmans opened its first fish department in 1974 (I was the manager!), there was no thought of sustainability.

Full Story »

Hot Weather Causes Farmers to Flood Tilapia Markets in China, Damping Hopes for Price Increase

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fishfirst] Translated by Amy Zhong - August 26, 2015

With the increase of tilapia supply, it is difficult for the prices to increase in the short term. 

The farm gate prices of tilapias in different areas of China during the mid July varied between 3.4 to 4.1 yuan/Jinn. 

For large tilapias weighing around 1 jin to 1.6 jin (1 jin = 0.5 kilo) each, the farm gate price is 3.4 yuan/jin in Pingsha of Zhuhai, 3.5 yuan/jiin in Zhanjiang, also 3.5 yuan/jin in Maoming, around 4 to 4.1 yuan/jin in Xiegang of Dongguan and 3.6 yuan/jin in Hainan. 

As to those at the weight of around 0.6 to 1 jin each, the price is 2.9 yuan/jin in Pingsha of Zhuhai, 3 yuan/jin in Zhanjiang, 3 yuan/jin in Maoming and 3 yuan/jin in Hainan. 

Compared with last month

Full Story »

Russia to Restart Mackerel Fishing in Far East, up to 400,000 tons, to Make up for Import Ban

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden  August 26, 2015
Russia plans to resume commercial catch of mackerel and sardines.
 
Due to the ban on the imports of fish from Western countries, Russia plans to resume commercial catch of mackerel and sardines in the Far East during the next several years, according to an official spokesman of Alexander Tkachev, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture.
 
This will be mainly due to a recent predictions of Russian scientists of a significant increase of the volume of mackerel and sardines stocks in the Far East by 2018.
 
According to scientists, by this time the volume of mackerel and sardines production may reach 400,000...

Full Story »

United Nations and OPEC Project Plans to Increase Shrimp Production in Central and South America

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 26, 2015

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) have partnered to improve shrimp production and value in Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico and Nicaragua.

An agreement was reached between UNIDO and OFID this week in Vienna to provide $300,000 in grant funding for the project. Altogether the supply chain improvement program is valued at $900,000. The project will benefit actors in the various segments of the shrimp value chain in all participating countries, particularly small shrimp farmers, shrimp cultivating companies, input and feed providers, processors, transporters and marketers contributing to value chain-based competitiveness and enhanced productivity.

Full Story »

Fourth Generation of the Rozzo Family Still Proudly Purveying Fish in Lower Manhattan

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Village Voice] By Karen Tedesco - August 25,2015 - 

On a gleaming summer morning, Louis Rozzo steps out the door of a four-story stuccoed building on Ninth Avenue in Chelsea.

This exact spot has been the headquarters of F. Rozzo and Sons (159 Ninth Avenue) since Rozzo's great-grandfather Felix moved his eponymous business here in 1924.

Much of Rozzo's work involves keeping his demanding chef and hotel clients happy; “I'm in the service industry, so whatever they want, I try to deliver.

F. Rozzo's location is also key.  Rozzo's hotel customers, especially, can depend on him for quick, last-minute service; “I get a lot of calls from the hotels for second deliveries.” Although 90 percent of his business is in the city, the shop also overnights orders to restaurants in Las Vegas, to chefs he's personally built relationships with in New York. “We don't have any salesman — I'm the only salesman. Word of mouth between chefs really gets me my business,” he says...

Full Story »

Aqua Capital Buys Controlling Stake in Brazilian Tilapia Producer GenSeas
 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 25, 2015

Brazilian and South American equity firm Aqua Capital has acquired the controlling stock of major tilapia producer GenSeas.

The GenSeas purchase is Aqua Capital's third largest deal of the year and includes GenSeas' tilapia producing operations in the Brazilian states of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul. 

“GeneSeas is widely recognized in the market, especially for its tilapia production, top quality, efficiency, and sustainable practices. Moreover, it has great potential for growth,” said Aqua Capital’s founding partner Sebastian Popik...

Full Story »

Southeast Alaska's Pink Salmon Harvest Falls Far Short of Forecast as PWS Run Doubles Projections

The ADF&G now predicts the pink salmon run in Southeast Alaska to range between 30 and 35 million by the end of the season, well short of the preseason forecast. Meanwhile, the pink run in PWS is approaching 100 million fish, double ADF&G preseason estimates. Right now Department biologists are only speculating what’s behind the contrast in pink catches compared with the expectations out of each region. "From the time we got the forecast we were kind of cautioned about the warm water in the Gulf of Alaska," said the ADF&G’s Dan Gray."We're not really certain what that does to their food supplies either.”

In other news we run a profile on Jim Gulkin and his Thai shrimp business Siam Canadian Group. Canadian born Gulkin founded the operation in 1987 and has successfully expanded the business across Asia with operations in Vietnam, China, India, Indonesia and Myanmar. Last year the company posted gross sales at $320 million across 70 markets. Gulkin plans to reach $500 million in sales over the next seven years.

A NMFS analysis that supports loosening some commercial fishing restrictions intended to protect Steller Sea Lions in the Aleutian Islands was upheld by a federal judge. NMFS was sued by Greenpeace and Oceana who called the study arbitrary. However, the judge found that there is no evidence that lifting some of the restrictions would directly impact sea lion stocks. “Without such evidence, then, the NMFS could not conclude that the agency action would place the endangered Steller sea lions in jeopardy,” said Judge Timothy Burgess.

Meanwhile, leading shrimp industry researcher Dr. Donald Lightner has announced his retirement as head of the University of Arizona’s Aquaculture Pathology Lab effective October 9 of this year. Dr. Lightner has spent over forty years studying shrimp and shrimp aquaculture. In 2013 Lightner and his team found the root cause of shrimp EMS.

Finally, Trident will use the Port of Savannah’s refrigerated infrastructure to service its recently opened seafood production and distribution facility in Carrollton, Georgia. Trident will be able to produce as much as 50,000 tons of finished seafood products annually at the plant and has enlisted the Georgia port to help move the cargo. “We are excited to add Trident to our family of customers, especially within the valuable refrigerated cargo market,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz.

Full Story »

Economic Downturn Not Likely to Hurt Booming Seafood Export Business to Chinese Market 

China’s recent economic downturn is not likely to hinder what have been booming seafood exports into their market. In general the global market for seafood is very strong according to John Sackton. In Canada particularly, healthy overseas demand remains for high priced crab and shrimp out of Newfoundland. "Asian demand for seafood has grown so rapidly and is so large that even if it gets cut back a little, it's still going to be a big (player)," Sackton said.

The black tiger shrimp market in the US continues to shrink for Bangladesh’s exporters according to the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association. Industry reports say the downturn is the result of stiff competition from lower priced white shrimp from major suppliers including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. "Shrimp exports to the US have been declining each year since 2008-09 as we can't compete with the small-sized and low-priced vannamei," said Amzad Hossain President of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association.

In more shrimp news, landings of the Gulf of Mexico this year are on par with the catch through July 2014. The catch out of Texas carried the month of July and offset a decline in landings out of Louisiana. The market continues to post declines with Urner Barry reporting pressure from lower priced, new season production.

Finally we run the first story in series of articles by Peggy Parker that will focus on both the accomplishments and sustainability issues from the various salmon hatchery programs in Alaska. Today’s entry discusses how strong salmon returns are not the only indicator of the state’s successful hatchery programs. Parker writes how Alaska has learned the dos and don’ts of hatchery management from various players from across the Pacific Northwest salmon industry.

Full Story »

News Summary August 24, 2015 

Today's Main Story: With China Now Center of Far East IUU Crab Fishery, Russian Gov't to Open Talks 

Today's news opens reporting that the Russian government plans to initiate new talks with the Chinese government, regarding with the acceleration of the fight over illegal supplies of Russian crab to China, the volumes of which have significantly increased in recent years. China is becoming a new center of illegal crab supplies in the Asian region, despite the fact that in recent years the Chinese government has signed a package of agreements for the fight with crab...

Full Story »

EWOS Posts 7% Q2 Sales Gain on Surprising Boost From Chilean Division

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Techno Press] August 28, 2015

Major fish feed and fish meal producer and distributor EWOS posted a 7 percent rise in global second quarter sales driven by an unexpected increase in sales out of its Chilean operation. 

The Norwegian based producer posted a 12 percent decline in sales volumes to 239,000 tons in the second quarter. But this was offset by higher fishmeal prices in 2015, which helped sales rise about $2 million compared to the same time last year...

Full Story »

Texas Carries Gulf Shrimp Landings in July with Total 2015 Catch Even with Last Year

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - August 26, 2015

Much higher shrimp landings out of Texas have helped the Gulf catch through July stay on par with volumes posted at this time in 2014.

In July Gulf fishermen hauled in 10.5 million pounds of shrimp, just over 1 million pounds more compared to last July.

Landings out of Texas accounted for nearly half of the month’s catch at 5.2 million pounds; the figure was up nearly 80 percent compared to July 2014 levels.

The total Gulf haul now stands at 40.3 million pounds through July compared with 40.4 million last year...

Full Story »

SeaShare Seeking Full-Time Development Director

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 27, 2015

Seafood charity SeaShare is on the hunt for a full-time Development Director to help build and maintain new fundraising strategies for the organization.

According to the job posting the Development Director will report to the Executive Director and would be in charge of managing short and long term funding goals; communication with SeaShare's stakeholder and coordinating with partnerships with industry participants to further the charity's mission. 

The Development Director would also be in charge of maintaining SeaShare's current day-to-day business activities...

Full Story »

Trans-Ocean Launches Digital Coupon Campaign for Surimi Products

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 27, 2015

Major US surimi distributor Trans-Ocean Products is bringing back a digital retail store promotion this September.

The company that produces the Crab Classic brand will launch digital load-to-card and print-at-home coupons via Inmar Promotion Services beginning next month. The digitial coupons will take advantage of Inmar's network of retail partners across the US market and will be sold directly through the retailer website.  Print-at-home coupons will be delivered through Inmar Media Network, including Hopster.com, and NewsAmerica’s SmartSource.com.

Trans-Ocean initially launched this campaign in May, which received an above average redemption rate; about 20 percent higher than the industry average for food products...

Full Story »

Alaska's Chinook Researchers Limited to Just 12 Projects Under Budget Cuts (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] August 26, 2015 


This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Funding for Chinook salmon research gets slashed. More after this 

Chinook Salmon Research was a casualty of this year’s budget cuts - the 5 year, $30 million dollar Initiative launched two years ago as a way to find out why Chinook stocks have been declining since 2007. It covered three dozen projects in 12 major rivers from Southeast to the Yukon. Now it’s been winnowed to about one dozen projects. 

They’re kinda the key projects that we’re trying to see some really interesting results on that we want to keep them living as long as we can with the hope that another appropriation will be coming down the pike. 

Ed Jones is a coordinator with the state Sport Fish Division and oversees the Chinook research team...

Full Story »

Strong Pink Salmon Returns in PWS Carry Alaska Harvests Beyond Forecasts

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  By Peggy Parker  -  August 25, 2015

Since the last update from Alaska fishery managers, another ten million salmon were harvested across the state, bringing the Alaska harvest to a total of 231.4 million salmon.

Pre-season forecasts for Alaska pink salmon and chinook — the two species that mark the extremes of value and sheer abundance — fell short of unexpectedly high returns and strong harvests, mostly in Prince William Sound...

Full Story »

Southeast Alaska's Dungeness Season Disappoints as Catch Falls Under 5-Year-Average (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] August 25, 2015 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Pinks push the salmon catch past the forecast. More fishing updates after this

Meanwhile, Southeast’s bumper pink run never materialized – the Panhandle catch is likely to come in at around 30 million, well below the 58 million pink forecast.

Southeast’s summer Dungeness fishery was also a disappointment after last year’s four million pound haul. When the fishery closed last week the tally was just over 2.5 million pounds, slightly below the five year average...

Full Story »

Sea Lice "Bath" System Shows Promise of Reducing Costs for Chilean Salmon Producers

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Techno Press] August 25, 2015

Three aquaculture science and technology firms have developed a sea lice management system that has so far shown promising results in reducing outbreaks among salmon farms at a lower cost.

GMT Marine Farm, Storvik Aqua and Pharmaq's system wraps a canvas around a salmon or fish pen to better contain the drugs used to combat sea lice. This prevents the drugs from escaping into the ocean and creates a higher and more consistent concentration of the drug in the covered pens. 

The companies said the system reduces costs since the anti-sea lice "baths" provide a more concentrated and effective means to treat the ponds. 

Full Story »

At-Sea Processor's Assoc. Donates 450,000 Pollock and Hake Servings to US Food Banks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] August 25, 2015

SeaShare has announced that members of the At-Sea Processor's Association (APA) have donated 450,000 servings of pollock and hake to food banks across the country.

According to a blog post from SeaShare's Mary Harmon, the APA is an annual contributor to the charity, which specializes in providing high quality seafood protein to food insecure Americans. 

The APA is an industry trade assocation that represents six companies that own and operate 16 U.S.-flag catcher/processor vessels that participate principally in the Alaska pollock fishery and west coast Pacific whiting fishery...

Full Story »

Earth Ocean Farms is Awarded the Largest Marine Finfish Concession in Mexico

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - August 25, 2015 -  

Earth Ocean Farms  has been awarded a commercial ocean concession of 343 hectares in Baja California Sur as a part of Mexico's policy of producing sustainably farmed fish.

Through a special permit called an UMA, EOF raises and contributes to the protection of the endangered fish Totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi).

EOF is also the first fish farm in the world to raise the delicious and highly-sought Red Snapper/Huachinango - Pargo (Lutjanus peru).

 

Full Story »

Alaska Supreme Court Grills Proponents of Setnet ballot - 'Why Can't you Ban Setnets Statewide' 

The Alaska Supreme court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the proposed ban on commercial setnet fishing in the Kenai is constitutionally permissible. The Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance is sponsoring the initiative as strictly a measure to ban the gear for conservation purposes. But setnetters contend they have fished in the region for over a century and that the initiative is the latest in sportfishing interests' attempts to force them out of the industry. The justices appeared skeptical of the claims of the sportfishing groups. They suggested that the ballot initiative would undermine all the work the legislature has done to make the salmon fishery work in Alaska.

We run the Marine Stewardship Council’s response to our August 18 article on the MSC’s proposed mandatory online transaction reporting system. At the time John Sackton said the MSC should not be build and manage a database of sensitive sales data and that the program was not the best way to guarantee robust traceability in the industry. However, the MSC says the program’s data will be secure and sharing will be limited. They said the system is intended to be a tool that will “improve chain of custody integrity, reduce possible product substitution or mislabeling, and streamline chain of custody audits.”

In other news Starkist will pay eligible customers $25 in cash or $50 worth of tuna as part of an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit. The suit claimed Starkist under filled its five-ounce tuna cans. Starkist admitted no wrongdoing in the deal. 

Finally, Vietnam’s seafood shipments to China have not been impacted by China’s decision to devalue its currency . Traders said since most contracts are negotiated in Vietnamese dong there were no issue exporting seafood to China after this month’s devaluation.

Full Story »

Strong Pink Salmon Returns in PWS Carry Statewide Harvests Beyond Forecasts

Another 14 million salmon were harvested across Alaska since last Friday. This has increased the state’s total summer harvest well above the pre-season forecast to 234.9 million fish. A stronger-than-expected pink salmon return of 93.5 million fish from PSW has helped push up the state catch beyond expectations. ADF&G’s pre-season forecast for pinks statewide was 140.3 million fish. The current statewide total of 165.6 million pinks, with harvests still ongoing, could reach 170 million before the season concludes.

Lobster harvesters in Prince Edward Island are reporting better prices and demand three weeks into the fall harvest. As of midday Monday, prices were reported $5 per pound for canners and $5.50 per pound for markets according to the PEI Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA). “Everything is really in favor of the fishermen,” said Craig Avery, PEIFA President. “The demand right now for any good quality lobsters in the live market is strong. And if they are a little bit weak when they do come, in there’s no problem because the meat market is strong.”

In other news India’s Fisheries Department wants to double the available space for shrimp farms in Andhra Pradesh to 6,000 hectares. The effort will start with reviving abandoned ponds as soon as this year officials with the Department said.

Finally, the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon return is about a third of what scientists had forecast. A report from the Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariat (FRAFS) estimated a run of 2.4 million salmon, more than 60 percent below the pre-season forecast. "First Nations are disappointed. This is going to cause some real hardships for those who rely on the sockeye runs as their main source of protein," said FRAFS spokesman Walter Quinlan.

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