Mon. Dec 22 2014

Cook Inlet set net ban deceives voters, would destroy an industry to give guides 757 more fish


Indonesia's navy set to sink two more IUU fishing boats


Japanese documentary film aims to capture heart of Tsukiji market before it is moved


DFO minister Shea sees P.E.I.'s lobster industry "on the right track"


Mississippi oyster dealers say snafu has unloading times at new Pass Christian harbor up 500%


Lion Capital expected to more than quadruple its money with Bumble Bee sale


Florida company lands $1 million Mozambique longline fishing gear and consulting contract


EPA advisors want agency to add more fish species to "do not eat list" for kids and pregnant women


Divestiture of 168 stores clears 'key hurdle' in Albertsons-Safeway deal


Russia-Japan anti-smuggling agreement shuts down Russian crab deliveries to Japan


Newfoundland fishing industry debates how to implement rationalization


EU warns 19 Vietnamese seafood exporters about antibiotic residue


Norway Royal Salmon awarded 35 new licenses


New Pass Christian harbor oyster checkpoint system has dealers and fishermen unhappy with delays


Sealord returns to profitability


Fri. Dec 19 2014

Thai Union Group acquires Bumble Bee Seafoods for $1.5 billion  


Falklands Illex squid season ends with 306,000 tonne catch, a new record  


Proposed bill could overturn recent favorable Anti-Dumping and CVD shrimp decisions  


Louisiana shrimpers report an average season with most inshore waters now closed  


MPEDA: India has huge potential to become a major tilapia producer  


Vanishing sea ice creates whole new Arctic for both people and places


Sitka board approves 2 parcels sale to Silver Bay; dispute with Alaska Pacific Packing remains


LA Times praises Bristol Bay drilling protections, says same logic must apply to Pebble Mine


West Coast port slowdown forces McDonald's to ration french fries in Japan


Bristol Bay Seafood Dev Assoc. seeks further socio-economic study on buyback (Fish Radio)   (1)


Gulf of Maine water temperature forecasts will provide early warning of lobster migration


Peru's fishmeal producers likely to shut operations with December anchovy season called off  


Louisiana oyster impresario Chris 'Bozo' Vodanovich dies at 86


Moncton airport adding extra C.A.L. rotations to ship lobsters to Belgium  


Venerable shrimp cocktail has colorful history, has been around more than 100 years


Analyst sees Whole Foods primed to make acquisitions


New Hampshire schools bring locally landed fresh fish to cafeterias through CSF project


Wal-Mart appoints senior executives for fresh groceries


Traffic and comps fall at Ruby Tuesday in Q2 as momentum is lost


Sustainable Fisheries Partnership adds fisheries experts Jose Parajua and Geoff Tingley to its ranks


BP claims payments to start soon; notification process begins next week


Seafood.com News Summary Friday December 19, 2014


Thu. Dec 18 2014

RaboBank issues optimistic shrimp report for clients, sees 10% global growth in 2014   (1) 


Group of New Bedford workers protesting wages at NORPEL fired


World Bank's IFC division makes $10 million loan to expand Regal Springs' Chiapas tilapia project  


Louisiana's "Crawfish King" Al Scramuzza predicts plenty of lower priced mudbugs for the holidays  


Russian crab captains call for quota increase; analyst says 30% of Russian crab was IUU in 2013   (1) 


Alaska's Robin Samuelson applauds President Obama for protecting Bristol Bay (Fish Radio)


Thailand's shrimp output seen recovering to 250,000 - 300,000 tons in 2015  


Relocation of Tsukiji fish market moved up in preparation for Olympics


Technomic tracking data shows continued improvement in Casual Dining amid strong competition


Bonamar promotes Luis Vera to VP of Operations, names Hector Medellin to head up QA Dept.


Bangladesh producers face price downturn on black tiger shrimp, customers renegotiate orders  


Beaver Street Fisheries names Casey Marion Director of Sustainability Initiatives


Chile gets first western free trade deal with China; plans expansion of salmon, mussel sales  


Casual dining restaurant chains simplifying menus to focus on their strengths


Vietnam to clamp down on seafood quality under threat of EU import ban


AKCRRAB readies next batch of egg-bearing blue and red king crabs for Kodiak restoration project


Rudong County, near Shanghai, wins 'No. 1 country for white shrimp' by CAPMA  


Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative picks marketing communications agency  


19 NYC restaurants promoting Louisiana shrimp during "Louisiana Shrimp Week"  


Sea Shepherd ship conducts citizen's arrest on Nigerian-flagged toothfish vessel in Southern Ocean


Oceana loses latest challenge to NMFS Bi-op for sea scallop fishery  


Washington, Oregon fish managers rearing eggs in barrels to rebuild Columbia River's chum population  


NOAA gives $1.4 million to OSU's ocean acidification project aimed to help West Coast shellfish


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday December 18, 2014


Wed. Dec 17 2014

Norwegians increase prices on larger cod, smaller cod priced similar to Newfoundland  


President Obama blocks oil and natural gas drilling in Bristol Bay


Recommendations of federal task force on IUU fishing and seafood fraud released


Act reducing West Coast groundfish buyout rate payments from 5% to 3% passes Congress


Chile's 14 major salmon producers sign landmark labor agreement with nearly 900,000 workers


Holiday trading patterns impact this week's wholesale beef, egg and seafood markets  


Moratorium delays Cooke Aquaculture's $150M expansion plan for Nova Scotia by years


Darden quarterly sales up 4.9 percent, Olive Garden comps up 0.5 percent


EU raises 2015 cod and haddock quotas despite scientific recommendation to slash catches  


Louisiana announces Dec. 22 closing date for most inshore, some offshore fall shrimping waters  


Rep Don Young (AK to lead on Magnuson Reauthorization in restructuring of House committees next year


Malerie Gunderson's "Fish Eye" takes Grand Prize in ASMI's Alaska Fishing Photo Contest (Fish Radio)


OSU team thinks Tums hold the key to reversing acidification's threat to shellfish


Newfoundland-Labrador sets policy for sustainable development of aquaculture


ASC will streamline its eight separate fish farming certifications into one core standard


CSX delivers last trainload of oyster shells from Florida to Chesapeake Bay for reef sanctuaries


TUF expected to hit $5 billion sales target for next year - Analyst


Newfoundland-Labrador premier amps up the rhetoric against Stephen Harper


Enviros fret EU ministers set quotas too high as CFP reforms begin


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday December 17, 2014


Tue. Dec 16 2014

Frozen tilapia market continues to weaken on smaller sizes amid lackluster buying interest  


Canadian lobsters making massive inroads in China; consumers told not to discard the claws  


Hokkaido traders panicked over soaring crab prices as Russia and Japan treaty takes effect  


Minnesota Attorney General questions if divestiture can save competition in Sysco-US Foods merger


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday December 16, 2014


McDonalds Menu Cuts involve Quarter Pounder, Chicken and Snacks so far


ADF&G may have discovered how to accurately find a crab's age (Fish Radio)


GAA and Vietnam plan to complete country-wide VietGap / BAP fish farming standard in early 2015


ASC certified fish farms tops 100 as approved operations doubled in 2014


TED mandate for Gulf shrimpers is working with sea turtle populations on the rise


Study finds North Carolina's shrimpers would land larger, higher priced shrimp with a later season  


Rising ocean acidity sends BC oyster and scallop production into a tailspin


China security report clears Zhangzidao of any fraud regarding missing scallops


Review of Nova Scotia salmon aquaculture finds no need for province-wide ban on fish farming


South Korea now testing Japanese seafood for radiation to see if import ban can be lifted


New EU seafood labeling regulations come into force this week


Norway lifts seafood consumption limit warning for pregnant women


Marathon EU fisheries negotiations begin with discard ban on pelagics to be imposed


"Gentlemen's agreement" coming unraveled as Denmark claims waters past North Pole


Chinese demand driving up Tasmanian rock lobster price  


Newfoundland and Labrador premier says he'll keep fish processing rules to force CETA compensation


After devastating France's Pacific oyster industry, herpes now threatens Australia  


Jellyfish invasion killed 300,000 salmon at Loch Duart farm


Some NGO's cry foul over change to Calif. sardine management when it contradicts their view  


Mon. Dec 15 2014

Seafood.com News Summary Monday December 15, 2014


BMR Group, operating 8 hatcheries and 2 plants in India, joins GAA as sustaining member  


Lamitech to rebrand its smoked salmon fish boards as Sammy Board


Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative votes unanimously to revise its benchmark tool


Sysco promotes Greg Keller to president of Sygma


Nippon Suisan sees major opportunities in farmed salmon; expands production 66%, seeks acquisitions  


Final North Pacific Council Motion provides for 3.4% pollock increase of 43,000 tons  


BC Salmon Farmers Assn. commits $1.5 million to study interaction with wild fish


CETA meeting did not go well in Ottawa, says NL Premier Davis; $400 million fund in jeopardy


1 dead, 18 missing, 32 rescued from capsized Nicaraguan lobster boat


India's Coastal Aquaculture Authority shuts two unapproved shrimp hatcheries


Russian government to fully subsidize seafood rail tariffs from Far East to Moscow  


Arthur T. Demoulas completes Market Basket deal


Maine 2014 lobster catch value expected to be slightly higher on lower catch  


Fishermen happy for reopening of some Louisiana waters affected by oil spill  


Sanford's CEO leading company to "customer focused operation around fresh, not frozen"


North America's Scandinavians keep lutefisk tradition alive


High Liner Foods moves U.S. headquarters to Pease International Tradeport in NH


Preferred's new third Miami-Dade warehouse already nearly full


Gulf of Maine waters warming more rapidly than anywhere else on earth


Gulf Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2014: Overreach in the name of states rights (Opinion)  


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Thai Union Group acquires Bumble Bee Seafoods for $1.5 billion

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - Dec 19, 2014

The Thai Union Group, led by CEO Thiraphong Chansiri, has made the largest acquisition in its history, as it emerged as the winner in the sale of Bumble Bee Seafoods by Lion Capital.  TUF will pay $1.5 billion.
 
Bumble Bee has annual sales of about $1 billion, and an estimated EBITDA $145 million.  The sale represents a value of 8.6 times EBITDA.  
Thiraphong, speaking to reporters in Bangkok, said the acquisition will boost TUF's revenue over $5 billion in 2015, and puts the company on track to reach its goal of $8 billion in sales by 2020.
 
TUF has made a string of acquisitions...

Full Story »

Falklands Illex squid season ends with 306,000 tonne catch, a new record

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [MercoPress] - December 19, 2014 - 

The head scientist of the Department of Fisheries of the Falkland Islands, Dr. Sasha Arkhipkin, reported last week that the Falklands' Illex season ended this year with a total catch of 306,000 tonnes, exceeding by 40,000 tonnes the record set in 1999.

The Argentine jigging fleet captured nearly 150,000 tonnes of squid (Illex argentinus) in South Atlantic waters during the season that took place between 24 January and 31 August this year.

Uruguay reported a catch of 1,356 tonnes of squid between January and August...

Full Story »

Proposed bill could overturn recent favorable Anti-Dumping and CVD shrimp decisions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - December 19, 2014

A bill proposed before Congress could have wide-ranging affects on antidumping and countervailing trade regulations. This includes the possible reversal of court decisions that favored shrimp and other seafood import tariffs..

The Leveling the Playing Field Act was introduced last week by Democratic Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. The legislation was proposed as a way to improve the US's ability to crack down on "unfair foreign competition resulting from violations of trade law...

Full Story »

Louisiana shrimpers report an average season with most inshore waters now closed

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Daily Comet] by Jonathan Olivier - December 19, 2014

The fall shrimping season, which comes to a close on some state waters Monday evening, has been average for area fisherman.

“I’ve seen better seasons and I’ve seen worse seasons,” said Daren Martin, owner of Martin’s Fresh Shrimp in Chauvin.

Martin, who regularly fishes inside state waters that are closing, said a year with no tropical systems meant shrimpers in his area got off to a good start around September. But cold fronts during November worked to push shrimp out of the interior marshes, thus reducing harvest numbers, he said...

Full Story »

MPEDA: India has huge potential to become a major tilapia producer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New Indian Express] - December 19, 2014 - 

Vijayawada: India has an enormous potential for tilapia culture and with its vast freshwater resources, it can emerge as a major exporter of freshwater fish, opined experts at the India Tilapia Summit - 2014, held at Vijayawada on Thursday.

Inaugurating the biennial international event, Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) chairperson Leena Nair said Seafood exports from the country had crossed US $ 5 billion in 2013-14, but 50 per cent of that amount was earned through shrimp culture.

“There is a vast market for freshwater fish and tilapia has the potential as a major fish variety for exports,” she said.

In his presidential address, principal secretary (animal husbandry) Manmohan Singh said the state was now ready for tilapia and the government had already issued guidelines for responsible tilapia culture...

Full Story »

Vanishing sea ice creates whole new Arctic for both people and places

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Canadian Press] by Bob Weber - Dec 19, 2014

 Frank Pokiak remembers long days on the land, camped at traditional hunting grounds under June's 24-hour sun, secure in the knowledge that sea ice would provide a safe highway back to his Tuktoyaktuk home.

Those days are gone.
 
"We used to stay out quite a while, eh,'' recalls Pokiak, a longtime Inuvialuit hunter. "We go hunting geese and ducks along the coast and after the snow melts on the ground we still have access via the ocean.
 
"We don't really do that any more. You can't stay out on the land as long. The ice is melting quicker.''
 
Last month, Arctic sea ice covered 630,000 square kilometres less ocean than the 30-year average. Sea ice extent is shrinking about five per cent a decade...

Full Story »

LA Times praises Bristol Bay drilling protections, says same logic must apply to Pebble Mine

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [LA Times]  (Opinion)   Dec  19, 2014 -

 President Obama's decision to permanently protect Alaska's Bristol Bay and adjacent lands from oil and gas drilling is so clearly the correct decision that the only objections will come from those whose sole interest is the welfare of those two energy industries.

The area in southern Alaska is home to walrus, sea otters and several kinds of whales, grizzly bears, wolverines and many other species. It's a popular tourist attraction too. But perhaps above all, Bristol Bay is the nation's fishing net, just as California's Central Valley is the nation's food basket. Forty percent of the wild seafood consumed in the United States comes from the bay, which has the world's largest sockeye salmon run, a sign of a particularly well-managed fishery.
 
The combined economic contribution of fishing and tourism in the region outstrips by many times over the total amount that oil and gas ....

Full Story »

Bristol Bay Seafood Dev Assoc. seeks further socio-economic study on buyback (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] December 19, 2014 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Fishermen like the idea of permit buybacks at Bristol Bay – but question how to pay for it. More after this – 

Trimming the number of salmon fishermen at Bristol Bay has been discussed for decades.When limited entry began in the 1970s, the state Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission adopted an optimum number of 1,669 permits for the Bay’s drift gillnet fishery. 

Ten years ago, a CFEC study concluded that an optimum range of 900 to 1,400 permits would provide a reasonable balance of economic, conservation and fishery management concerns. 

Today there are 1,858 drift permits active at Bristol Bay. A buyback would retire 300 – 500 boats from the fishery.

Full Story »

Peru's fishmeal producers likely to shut operations with December anchovy season called off

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - December 19, 2014

Now that Peru's major anchovy fishery has been closed the country's fishmeal and fish oil producers say they expect to shutter their operations from a lack of raw materials.

Fishmeal producer Pesquera Diamante told Peru Fishing it and other operators are considering closing down their businesses since their access to anchovy raw materials is now severely limited with Peru's anchovy fishery closed.

Diamante said it has already informed its employees at both its plant and its fishing vessels that they will have to take forced holidays. The company said it expects other operators to follow suite.

Full Story »

Moncton airport adding extra C.A.L. rotations to ship lobsters to Belgium

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [XL-FM] - December 19, 2014 - 

Greater Moncton International Airport has announced additional rotations with C.A.L. Cargo Airlines in order to meet the high demand of seafood, mainly lobster, heading into the European market for the holiday period.

C.A.L. is adding extra rotations serving the route, which starts in New York, stops in Moncton, and then continues on to Belgium.

Johanne Gallant, the interim President and CEO of GMIA, says fresh seafood will also be sent from our region to Montreal and Toronto onwards to Europe and Asia through various other cargo carriers.

Full Story »

Venerable shrimp cocktail has colorful history, has been around more than 100 years

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Times Colonist]  by  Eric Akis  Dec 19, 2014

Eric Akis is the author of the hardcover book Everyone Can Cook Everything, and a Times Colonist Food writer
 
 All married couples have stories to tell about their courtship and one of mine revolves around a famous appetizer. My wife and I first met about 33 years ago when we were working in the same hotel kitchen. I was a chef's apprentice, just learning the trade, and she was a garde manger, a cold-food specialist who prepared salads and starters for the hotel restaurant.
 
A popular appetizer on the menu was shrimp cocktail. And that meant my not-yet-wife had to cook kettles full of large shrimp and cool, peel and devein them.
 
When I was supposed to be going off shift and noticed her doing that work, I would hang around and help her peel. Not exactly like meeting at a Paris cafe for lunch but, as we did the work, we chatted, got to know each other and became attached.
 
Other couples have "our song" to remind them of the days of their youth. We have "our appetizer" - shrimp cocktail - to bring back warm memories of those long-ago days at the hotel.
 
There must be a new generation of young chefs chatting and perhaps falling in love over cold shrimp because, we notice, this appetizer still appears on menus....

Full Story »

New Hampshire schools bring locally landed fresh fish to cafeterias through CSF project

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seacoast Online] by Minta Carlson - December 19, 2014

Fish sticks made way for a different sea bounty at schools throughout the Seacoast on Wednesday, Dec. 11, when locally caught Acadian redfish was prepared and served in the cafeteria.

Oyster River High School was one nine schools involved in the "Fish to School" project. Doris Demers is cafeteria director for the Oyster River School District, which includes Mastaway Elementary, Moharimet Elementary, and both Oyster River middle and high schools.

She has been working with local farms over the last two years to establish a Farm to School program, where local produce is served as a part of the school lunch program. Demers was excited by the opportunity to include locally sourced fish.

Full Story »

Group of New Bedford workers fired after protesting wages at NORPEL 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Standard-Times] By Simón Rios - December 18, 2014 - 

NEW BEDFORD, At least five workers at a city fish company were fired Tuesday morning after conducting a work stoppage and giving management a list of demands that includes a $15 minimum hourly wage, according to advocates.

On a blistering cold Monday night, some 25 workers and "allies" gathered at Northern Pelagic Group's Fish Island facility with candles in hand, waving placards and chanting slogans in Spanish and English.

"This is based on a history of complaints that the workers have had with the company about working conditions," said Lisa Maya Knauer, an activist with Centro Comunitario Trabajadores and UMass Dartmouth professor.

Lucio Avila, division manager at EDA's New Bedford office, said  "If it's your company and you want to pay a packer $15 an hour, I don't think you're going to be in business too long with competition the way it is in New Bedford."

Full Story »

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership adds fisheries experts Jose Parajua and Geoff Tingley to its ranks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] December 19, 2014

The Sustainble Fisheries Partnership has Jose Parajua and Geoff Tingley the groups's newest senior staff members that that will help further SFP's goal of making large-scale improvements to major seafood sectors through supplier roundtables. 

Parajua has more than 25 years experience in marine resources and coastal communities development including work for FAO and the European Union.  He has worked in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors across Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.  Jose is based in Madrid, Spain.  The SFP said Jose will oversee fisheries improvement field projects.  He will also oversee SFP’s tuna and reduction fisheries work particularly in Southeast Asia.

Full Story »

World Bank's IFC division makes $10 million loan to expand Regal Springs' Chiapas tilapia project

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - Dec 18, 2014

The World bank's IFC (International Finance Corporation) announced it is making a $10 million loan to Regal Springs tilapia project in Chiapas, Mexico.
 
The $10 million will go to Acuagranjas Dos Lagos to fund the expansion of its fish farming and processing operations in the Mexican state of Chiapas. 
 
Acuagranjas Dos Lagos, a subsidiary of Regal Springs, plans to invest USD $24 million to eventually bring its production and processing capacity in Mexico to 70,000 metric tons of fish. The project will help address increasing demand for tilapia in Mexico and in global markets, and help efforts to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks amid three decades of steadily growing global fish consumption. 
 
The investment will support employment in one of Mexico’s poorest states, by increasing jobs in the company to over 2,500 employees...

Full Story »

Russian crab captains call for quota increase; analyst says 30% of Russian crab was IUU in 2013

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugen Gerden Dec 18, 2014

Moscow - Russian leading crab producers have called on the country’s President Vladimir Putin to increase the existing crab quotas in the country, due to the ever growing volume of illegal catch and declining profitability of the industry.
 
In an official letter to Putin, producers call on Putin to lift the existing restrictions on the crab catch in the West Kamchatka shelf.
 
Commercial fishing of red king crab in the West Kamchatka and the Kuril-Kamchatka subzones was permitted in November 2013 after lifting of the existed ban. According to the results of studies, conducted in summer of 2014, scientists had proposed to increase the total allowable catch (TAC) of king crab in these subzones for the current year to 2790 tonnes and 1988 tonnes respectively (in 2013 the TAC was 5,700 tonnes).
 
However, despite this, Russian Rosrybolovstvo decided not to increase total allowable catch...

Full Story »

Thailand's shrimp output seen recovering to 250,000 - 300,000 tons in 2015

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters]  By Khettiya Jittapong and Manunphattr Dhanananphorn - December 18, 2014 - 

BANGKOK,  Thailand's shrimp output is expected to recover to between 250,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes in 2015, four years after the sector was hit by the disease of Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), industry bodies said on Thursday.

Thailand, once the world's top shrimp exporter, has seen its share of the world market drop to 10 percent against 30 percent to 40 percent in 2012.

"2014 should be the lowest in the industry," Suraphol Pratuangtum, president of the Thai Marine Shrimp Farmers Association told reporters on Thursday.

"The situation will improve in 2015, as shrimp farmers adopt several strategies to cope with the disease...

Full Story »

Technomic tracking data shows continued improvement in Casual Dining amid strong competition

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [SCOM]  Dec 18, 2014

Tracking data from more than 100 national public and private chains that generate more than $40 billion in quarterly sales, the latest from Technomic’s Financial Dashboard,  finds that the Fast Casual Restaurant segment outperformed all others with nearly 8 percent growth in same store sales during Q3 2014. Same store sales within Casual Dining and Quick Service Restaurants increased by 1.9 percent and 1.2 percent during the same period, respectively. 
 
This shows an acceleration of restaurant performance across all types of chains.  In Q2, Fast Casual grew at a 5.8%  pace, Quick Service at 1.5%, and Casual Dining at 0.4%.
 
“Our quarterly Technomic sales tracker continues to report low restaurant growth across all segments but fast casual.  Growth rates around 2 percent continue to signal heated competition for share of stomach and strong trends in consumer frugality” said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President at Technomic...

Full Story »

Sitka board approves 2 parcel sale to Silver Bay; dispute with Alaska Pacific Packing remains

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Sitka Sentinel] by Shannon Haugland - Dec 19, 2014

Sitka - The Gary Paxton Industrial Park board voted Wednesday night in favor of selling two parcels of land at the park to Silver Bay Seafoods for about $1.14 million, and entering into a “lease to purchase” agreement on the administration building property.

But board members held off on making the more controversial decisions about sale of other property at the park to Silver Bay or another prospective buyer, saying they needed more information before going forward. They also wanted guidance from the Assembly, and to give the two companies a chance to work out an agreement.
 
The Assembly will have the final say on all sale of property at the city-owned industrial park.
 
Silver Bay Seafoods says it wants to take over the majority of the land in the park to expand its seafood plant, build a canning line and process fish waste. The company also would like to take over the administration building for office space and operate a marine services center, working with Halibut Point Marine to build a boat haulout....

Full Story »

West Coast port slowdown forces McDonald's to ration french fries in Japan

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New York Times] by Jonathan Soble - Dec 19, 2014

TOKYO -- Complete with rationing and emergency airlifts, Japan has entered the great French fry shortage of 2014.
 
McDonald's on Wednesday began limiting French fry servings at its 3,200 Japanese stores to the smallest of the usual three sizes, blaming a shortage of processed potatoes from the United States.
 
The problem has also affected other restaurant chains, as a dockworker dispute on the West Coast of the United States has reverberated across the Pacific Ocean.
 
McDonald's apologized to its customers in Japan with signs posted on cash registers and a message on its local website.
 
''Because we are currently having difficulty stably procuring McDonald's French fries, we are offering them in the small size only,'' the note on the website said....

Full Story »

Gulf of Maine water temperature forecasts will provide fishermen, processors with early warning of lobster migration

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Portland Press Herald] By Tom Bell - December 19, 2014 - 

So what’s the lobster forecast look like for the weekend?

Mainers will soon have an answer.

Scientists this spring will begin issuing weekly forecasts indicating when lobsters start to migrate from deep waters off the coast to state waters nearer shore where they are easier to catch. The forecasts, based on water temperatures, will help lobstermen and processors gear up for the 2015 fishing season.

The announcement was made Thursday by scientists with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute at a conference in Portland hosted by the Island Institute for fishermen and marine researchers.

Full Story »

Louisiana oyster impresario Chris ‘Bozo’ Vodanovich dies at 86

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New Orleans Advocate] By Ian McNulty - December 19, 2014 - 

Bozo’s restaurant never gave off much glitz, not at its original location tucked away in Mid-City nor during its second chapter on a Metairie side street off Causeway Boulevard.

But the memorably named restaurant was renowned for the quality of its raw oysters and fried seafood, and during a heyday that stretched for decades beginning in the 1950s, it was known as a place for figures from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports and the media to see and be seen.

Tommy Cvitanovich, proprietor of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, said,  “He took such pride in what he did, especially the oysters. He insisted on frying them himself, always. No one fried oysters like Mr. Chris.”

Full Story »

RaboBank issues optimistic shrimp report for clients, sees 10% global growth in 2014

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - Dec 18, 2014

Rabobank has issued an optimistic report on shrimp in 2015 for clients.
 
The bank says that although risks remain, recovery from EMS is underway in all the countries hit hardest, and that expanding global demand will help maintiain price levels as global production increases 10% in 2014.
 
They do not rule out price volatility or risk in 2015...

Full Story »

Analyst sees Whole Foods primed to make acquisitions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Supermarket News] - December 19, 2014 - 

Whole Foods Market next year will use its might to absorb competitors in the rapidly growing health and wellness field, according to stock analyst Charles Grom of Sterne Agee.

“We think conditions are ideal for [Whole Foods] to go on an acquisition spree in 2015,” Grom wrote while speculating on 10 predictions for the retail space in the coming year. Grom cited the growing number of competitors crowding the natural/organic space; the falling valuation of Whole Foods stock in recent years; and a “debt-free, robust balance sheet,” that could allow Austin, Texas-based chain to buy a rival if it wanted one.

Grom speculated that potential candidates include privately held Earth Fare, Fletcher, N.C.  as well as Fairway Markets, a New York-based specialty player. Intensifying competition in the natural space was also behind Grom’s prediction that The Fresh Market, Greensboro, N.C., tempers in its growth plans next year so as to further concentrate growth on the East Coast.

Full Story »

Wal-Mart appoints senior executives for fresh groceries 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bloomberg News] - December 19, 2014 - 

Wal-Mart Stores is creating new senior leadership posts to focus on produce and meat, part of a push by the world’s largest retailer to improve the quality of its fresh grocery items and attract more organic-food shoppers.

The chain will have a new position in charge of “long-term sourcing strategy for meat,” according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg. The post will be filled by Scott Neal, currently a senior vice president for produce, meat, seafood and quality control for Wal-Mart’s US division.

Neal will “help ensure we have a sustainable approach to providing the best quality products for our customers,” Wal-Mart said in the message.

Separately, Wal-Mart said today that it’s imposing stricter safety standards on poultry suppliers...

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Traffic and comps fall at Ruby Tuesday in Q2 as momentum is lost

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Nation's Restaurant News] By Lisa Jennings - December 19, 2014 - 

Ruby Tuesday Inc. on Tuesday reported a worse-than-expected same-store sales decline of 1 percent at company restaurants for its Dec. 2-ended second quarter.

The decline was driven by a 1.3-percent slide in traffic, and the results were a disappointment given projections in October of a 1-percent to 2-percent increase for the quarter.

Full financial results for the quarter are scheduled for release on Jan. 8, and company officials said they would likely update guidance for 2015 at that time.

The chain has also been revamping its menu to offer more variety, while simplifying kitchen operations. The goal is to reinvent Ruby Tuesday as a more casual, energetic and affordable brand.

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BP claims payments to start soon; notification process begins next week

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Times Picayune] By Jennifer Larino - December 19, 2014 - 

Oil spill claims administrator Patrick Juneau will begin the process of paying out a second $500 million round of payments to seafood workers starting next week. But he warned that it could be several months before workers see the money.

In a statement Wednesday, Juneau said the first step is to notify all seafood workers who qualify for a payment under this round.

"Eligible claimants should begin receiving notices next week for their supplemental distribution," Juneau said. "However, the required notification, appeal and payment process will take several months to complete.

Juneau said some claimants might ...

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Louisiana's "Crawfish King" Al Scramuzza predicts plenty of lower priced mudbugs for the holidays

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [WDSU] by Camille Whitworth - December 18, 2014

The man best known as the Crawfish King, Al Scramuzza, is at it again.

In the 1950s, he popularized eating mudbugs, another name for crawfish, and has boiled his first batch of them just as the new season begins. He invited us over and we asked him his prediction on what we can expect this crawfish season.

Scramuzza was lively and full of energy as he carefully boiled his first pot of mudbugs. With more than six decades of experience, he gave us his opinion...

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Alaska's Robin Samuelson applauds President Obama for protecting Bristol Bay (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] December 18, 2014 

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch. A big break for the nation’s fish basket. I’ll tell you more after this 

Lifelong fisherman and tribal leader Robin Samuelson’s family has been against the leases for decades. 

"Well, I had to watch the president’s video on the internet about five times. I’m elated. Bristol Bay needs protection - we have a phenomenal world class salmon fishery here."

In fact, President Obama said the action honors anti-drilling activist Harvey Samuelson who passed away 10 years ago. Son Robin - 

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Relocation of Tsukiji fish market moved up in preparation for Olympics

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Asahi Shimbun] - December 18, 2014 - 

The long-anticipated relocation of Tokyo's Tsukiji market is being fast-forwarded to November 2016 in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

However, operators in the market are apprehensive about the move, which will require them to reopen their businesses just before the busiest season of the year.

Officials of the Tokyo metropolitan government and business representatives of the Tsukiji wholesale market formally agreed to move the facility to Tokyo's Toyosu district during a meeting Dec. 17 to discuss the new site.

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