Fri. Jul 25 2014

Russia may ban McDonald's from producing Fish 'O Fillet, other items claiming consumer deception

Alaska's governor asks USDA to buy $37 million worth of canned pinks

Federal judge lifts archaic, 56-year old antitrust gag order on Maine lobstermen  

June brown shrimp catch in Louisiana was up but Jan-Jun was well below 7 year average  

Starboard claims Darden won't let it look at its books in complaint filed in Florida court

ADF&G shuts down Kenai River commercial king salmon fishing with escapements to fall short of goal

Nova Scotia's Fisheries Minister proposes lobster marketing levy be raised to five-cents per pound  

Omega Protein's remarkable share price trend reflects its recent focus on human nutrition

Legal's Roger Berkowitz has some personal advice for the feuding Demoulas family

Big drop in Norwegian salmon price expected next week

Tassal snags $3.85 million grant to build fish meal plant with 20,000 ton annual production capacity

Supervalu Q1 sales relatively flat vs. year-ago

Banned imports of European eel fry alleged to be flooding into Japan via China

Alaska's salmon set netters recant the peaks and valleys of a life on the water (Fish Radio)

Battle with Walmart and Target results in Q2 loss for Loblaw despite better comps

Seafood Harvesters support Sen. Begich's bill that extends fishing vessel discharge exemption

Long John Silver’s launches "America's Fish Fry" TV campaign

Southern California fresh swordfish off the menu as driftent ban imposed through August

Former Dominos exec joins Wendy's as SVP Marketing

Thu. Jul 24 2014

Itochu agrees to $1.9 billion food tie-up with CP Pokphand

Lobster license stacking starting next spring in PEI will reduce traps in the water  

Mekong shrimp production forecast to rise 4.6% from last year  

Wal-Mart's Asian business chief Greg Foran will replace Bill Simon as CEO of US division

Oregon officials lift coastwide commercial mussel harvesting ban finding PSP risk has dropped  

Newfoundland food fishery death sparks emotional call for Gail Shea to extend season

Arthur T. Demoulas makes offer to buy Market Basket

Vietnam's surimi exports to China up over 30% while shipments fall about 5% to top market S. Korea  

Foodservice operator survey finds most not concerned about higher prices from Syso/US Foods merger

South Australia's bluefin tuna harvest producing very high quality fish

Alaskans asked to comment on MSA Re-authorization, sea lions, mines and more (Fish Radio)

Ipswich, MA officials take emergency measures to keep unlicensed clammers off of commercial beds  

Sealord names former McCain Foods MD new CEO

Demoulas Market Basket crisis shows strength of workplace "family"

NPD sees restaurant traffic likely to remain flat

Food safety in China still faces big hurdles

WWF will push for suspension of Pacific bluefin fishing if nations cannot agree on catch limits  

Performance Food Group names former Sysco exec new Executive Vice President Of Operations News Summary Thursday July 24, 2014

Wed. Jul 23 2014

Gail Shea refuses to budge on inshore shrimp cuts and LIFO policy  

Marine Harvest says it did not violate EU laws in Morpol acquisition after hit with $26 million fine

New England's live lobster prices set to fall to seasonal lows as new shell product hits the market  

Alaska's statewide salmon catch tops 71 million fish with Bristol Bay haul nearly 70% above forecast  

Ecuadorian shrimp producer OMARSA says EU free trade deal will help export market  

Blowback mounts against 4 months lobstering ban off Massachusetts coast to protect whales  

Virginia's marinas hike unloading fees to take advantage of booming oyster harvest  

Sen. Begich releases revised draft of Magnuson-Stevens

Chinese company setting up ambitious Asian carp processing for export operation in Mississippi

Japan planning to closely regulate eel farmers by year-end  

Aleutian Islands herring fleet wraps up season, leaving about 160 tons of quota in the water  

DFO's lobster tagging program providing solid data on Newfoundland's fishery  

Oceana claims excessive antibiotic use in Chilean salmon farming

Study finds large differences among shark species in ability to survive accidental longline catch

Japan to provide Vietnamese tuna fishermen with new boats to spur more fresh imports  

IPHC program features halibut to teach students math and science (Fish Radio)

Chipotle able to build comps 12.3 percent in Q2 despite price increases News Summary Wednesday July 23, 2014

Tue. Jul 22 2014

New shell Maine lobsters finally appearing in the market  

"East Coast white" demand keeps S. Carolina shrimpers afloat against Gulf product in local markets  

Ex-Seafood Exchange Pres. Gerry Frattollilo to be first inductee into Boston Seafood Hall of Fame

Mekong Delta province spending $38 million to upgrade shrimp farm irrigation  

Abundant pink salmon out-competing sockeye in British Columbia  

Former Heiploeg workers sue Dutch shrimp company for lost benefits, claiming bankruptcy was a sham

Ousted Demoulas CEO urges Market Basket worker rehirings as store out-of-stocks develop

Virginia oyster harvest jumped 25 percent last year, best since 1987  

Coalition of US Seafood Production reports progress with NOAA, USDA in building up US aquaculture

NY Times editor finds how cost dictates Gulf shrimp availability at NYC fish markets  

British Columbia's Tradex Foods launches real-time seafood trading platform

GAA launches BAP certification project for small-scale shrimp farms with National Fish, SFP

NE council exec. dir. says Oceana ignores efforts of local fishermen in bycatch report

Fish oil may save heavy drinkers from neurodamage, dementia

UK's Young's Seafood commits to produce valued-added salmon line in unused Grimsby facility

Cooke Aqua's organic kelp product continues industry push into sea plant mariculture (Fish Radio)

McDonald's profit misses expectations, U.S. sales off 1.5 percent News Summary Tuesday July 22, 2014

Japanese scientist starts project to breed bluefin tuna from mackerel  

Mon. Jul 21 2014

Typhoon Rammasun deals heavy damage to Southern China, Northern Vietnam over the weekend

Why Philippines has failed to become a global player in shrimp production  

Sen. Murkowski introduces legislation blocking Obama declaration of vast Pacific closed area

Moderate supply growth, high demand expected to boost Norwegian salmon prices in Q4 say investors  

San Francisco restaurants, Tomales Bay Oyster sue Interior to block closure of Drakes Bay Oyster Co

Thailand revising labor laws to deal with human trafficking

McDonald's Canada expands summer seafood offerings with limited time Asian style spicy shrimp wrap  

New England fishermen and residents back cull of exploding grey seal population

McDonald's and Yum Brands victims of new food safety scare from Chinese meat supplier exposé

Ecuador's canned tuna, shrimp export market expected to benefit from EU free trade deal  

New sea lice software helping Atlantic Canada's salmon farmers fight parasite

Cooke Aqua's former Shelburne Harbour salmon farm site still a dead zone say scientists News Summary Monday July 21, 2014

Hawaii Oceanic undergoing difficult process of perfecting the rearing of ahi tuna

AK chef, owner of La Baleine Café Mandy Dixon to compete at 2014 Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Cooke Aqua to roll out Canadian certified organic kelp products under True North Salmon brand

Lifelong Maine lobsterman still fishing and winning lobster boat races at 84

National Geographic's third season of top rated "Wicked Tuna" debuts August 17

New clearance procedures have containers backed up at Vietnam's Cat Lai port

North American lobster rolls a hit in Singapore  

Ahold moves Mark McGowan to EVP of Operations, Bhavdeep Singh to new formats role

Fri. Jul 18 2014

Spain bans CP shrimp as tuna industry wants Thai product out of EU trade deal  

Some Bristol Bay harvesters disappointed with lower than expected advanced sockeye price  

US scallop imports soar past 5-year average as high priced domestic product sends buyers to China

Zhangzidao’s Ocean Food subsidiary in Shanghai grows Chinese market for live US lobster, Dungeness

Aleutian Islands herring fishery off to a slow start  

Most of Louisiana's inshore shrimp season will close on July 21  

EPA issues proposal to block Alaska's proposed Pebble Mine over salmon risk News Summary Friday July 18, 2014

Mexico suddenly closes bluefin tuna fishery after filling Baja fattenng pens

Nova Scotia's H&H Fisheries hit with $400,000 fine for illegal halibut deals

Obama administration approves sonic cannon exploration for oil and gas from from Florida to Delaware

AK Fisheries Development Fdn. testing technology to help reduce fishermen's energy cost (Fish Radio)

GMRI's Steve Eayres spells out benefits fuel saving measures could have for NE groundfish fleet

Super typhoon Rammasun bears down on southern China

New boat design developed for Acadian Peninsula crab fleet

Pebble Mine supporters trying through courts and House bill to keep project alive

Cermaq Q2 results reflect continuing high costs in Chile

Sysco settles California improper drop site storage claims, Reiterates commitment to food safety

NOAA has agreed to fund the Northeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program

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Russia may ban McDonald's from producing Fish 'O Fillet, other items claiming consumer deception

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Retuers] by Maria Kiselyova and Olga Sichkar - July 25, 2014

McDonald's burgers and shakes may become the latest victims of worsening ties between Moscow and Washington after a Russian consumer watchdog agency accused the U.S. chain of sanitary violations.

McDonald's Corp (MCD.N), which opened its first Russian restaurant in Moscow in 1990, became an iconic symbol of flourishing American capitalism during the fall of the Soviet Union.

But its Golden Arches may be in the Kremlin's crosshairs as ties between Moscow and Washington have fallen to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War with consecutive rounds of U.S. sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis...

Full Story »

Alaska's governor asks USDA to buy $37 million worth of canned pinks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] By Becky Bohrer - July 25, 2014 - 

JUNEAU, Alaska, Gov. Sean Parnell has asked a federal agency to buy $37 million of canned pink salmon to ease a glut weighing down prices for Alaska fishermen.

Parnell made the request to U.S.D.A. which made a similar, smaller purchase of salmon earlier this year.

But Parnell said remaining unsold inventories are driving prices to levels that threaten harvest activity this year and next. He said the price of canned pink salmon is 23 percent lower than a year ago and the advance price paid to fishermen is down about 33 percent from last year.

Full Story »

Federal judge lifts archaic, 56-year old antitrust gag order on Maine lobstermen

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bangor Daily News] by Bill Trotter - July 25, 2014

In a ruling that was expected, a federal judge has rescinded a consent decree that had been imposed on the Maine Lobstermen’s Association since 1958.

The federal Department of Justice, which had implemented the decree against the Maine Lobstermen’s Association 56 years ago after the association lost an antitrust lawsuit, had indicated it would not object to the restrictions being lifted.

In a prepared statement released Thursday, the Maine Lobstermen’s Association indicated that having the decree vacated after adhering to it for more than 50 years...

Full Story »

Starboard claims Darden won't let it look at its books in complaint filed in Florida court

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Wall Street Journal] by Joshua Jamerson - July 25, 2014

New York-based investment adviser Starboard Value LP has filed a complaint against Darden Restaurants Inc. in a Florida circuit court, attempting to gain access to the company's books in their continuing dispute over the future of the restaurant company's brands.

Starboard alleges in the complaint that Darden's board, after "months of maneuvers" to thwart shareholders from exercising a voice in corporate affairs, has refused to provide it with access to the books and records it requested in June.

Darden's board completed its decision to sell Red Lobster in May, defying the demands of activist investors, including Starboard and Barington Capital Group LP. Starboard, which holds a 7.1% stake in the company...

Full Story »

Nova Scotia's Fisheries Minister proposes lobster marketing levy be raised to five-cents per pound

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Herald News] by Michael Gorman - July 25, 2014

Nova Scotia is planning to double its levy landings to help support the lobster industry.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell on Thursday said the Liberal government would introduce legislation during the fall sitting of the legislature to collect a levy on every pound of lobster caught in the province. The recommendation is one of 33 produced by the Maritime Lobster Panel, which looked at challenges facing the industry in Atlantic Canada.

But while the panel called for a two-cent levy — one cent from fishermen and one cent from processors — Colwell said his government’s legislation would see five cents collected for each pound of the tasty bottom feeders landed...

Full Story »

Legal's Roger Berkowitz has some personal advice for the feuding Demoulas family 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Boston Globe]  By Shirley Leung - 

When Roger Berkowitz reads what’s going on with the Demoulas family at Market Basket, he can’t help but cringe. He’s been there, with his own family feud two decades ago when his brother took him to court over the future of Legal Sea Foods.

Everything is fine now, the lawsuit long settled, but Berkowitz, without taking sides in the battle between Arthur T. and Arthur S.  has some advice for the bickering cousins.

“When the family takes care of the business, the business takes care of the family,” said Berkowitz, the CEO of Legal Sea Foods restaurant chain. “They are stewards of the brand. They can’t put themselves in front of it.”

Berkowitz thinks the only way out is for one bitter faction to sell to the other. That’s how Berkowitz resolved the fight with his brother, Marc.

Full Story »

Tassal snags $3.85 million grant to build fish meal plant with 20,000 ton annual production capacity

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [ABC News] July 25, 2014

Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal has reaped a grant of $3.85 million to produce a fish meal plant on farmland near Triabunna.

The facility will be located about 4 kilometres north-east of Triabunna on the Tasman Highway and will process 20,000 tonnes of fish by-product per year.

Federal MP Eric Hutchinson announced the government funding at the site of the development...

Full Story »

Itochu agrees to $1.9 billion food tie-up with CP Pokphand

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bloomberg News] By Yuriy Humber and Anuchit Nguyen - July 24, 2014 -

Itochu Corp. (8001), Japan’s third-largest trading company, agreed to a business tie-up with Thai agriculture group Charoen Pokphand as the two companies seek to expand food supply in the world’s most populous region.

Itochu will buy an HK$6.6 billion stake ($852 million) in Hong Kong-based unit CP Pokphand Co. and the Thai company will take 102.4 billion yen ($1 billion) of Itochu’s stock, the two companies said in separate statements. Itochu will also spend as much as 110 billion yen on a share buy back over the next year, the company said in its filing.

The cross shareholdings will help the two boost sales and cut the cost of buying raw materials as well as reducing asset running costs, Tokyo-based Itochu said today...

Full Story »

Banned imports of European eel fry alleged to be flooding into Japan via China  

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Yomiuri Shimbun] - July 25, 2014 -    

Japan has been importing from China large quantities of European eel, an endangered species whose export from Europe is forbidden, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

Importers of the eels claim the trading is legitimate, with export certificates from Chinese authorities. However, the Fisheries Agency plans to ask Beijing to investigate the exports. The agency is skeptical of the explanations provided by the Chinese side that European eels shipped to Japan could have matured in 2013 from eel fry imported to China from France in 2010.

"My guess is that eel fry have been smuggled from Europe to China after the export ban was imposed," an importer of the European eels said.

According to trade statistics, 55.8 tons, or about 223,000 European eels, that were alive and originated in France were shipped to Japan via China from January to May. This year's imports will likely set a new record.

Full Story »

Wal-Mart's Asian business chief Greg Foran will replace Bill Simon as CEO of US division

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Associated Press] July 24, 2014

Wal-Mart U.S. chief Bill Simon is stepping down after being in the role since June 2010, the company said Thursday.

The world's largest retailer named the head of its Asian business as his replacement.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer said Greg Foran, 53, who was promoted to president and CEO of Wal-Mart Asia earlier this year, will succeed Simon. The changes will take effect Aug. 9. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Simon will be available on a consulting basis for the next six months to ensure a seamless transition...

Full Story »
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June brown shrimp catch in Louisiana was up but Jan-Jun was well below 7 year average

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Times Picayune] By Benjamin Alexander-Bloch - July 25, 2014 - 

Louisiana shrimpers caught about 10 percent more pounds of brown shrimp in June than compared to the past seven years, according to recently federal fisheries estimates. June was the last full month of the brown shrimp season, as most inshore waters closed this month.

Louisiana shrimpers' catch between January and June typically accounts for between 30 to 53 percent of the total annual harvest, according to a Southern Shrimp Alliance analysis.

But despite the uptick of brown shrimp catch in June, over shrimp catch so far this year still was about 25 percent below the prior 7-year average...

Full Story »

ADF&G shuts down Kenai River commercial king salmon fishing with escapements to fall short of goal

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Peninsual Clarion] by Rashah McChesney - July 25, 2014

Alaska Department of Fish and Game managers announced a closure of the Kenai River king salmon fishery Thursday after continued low counts of returning fish into the river.

The closure, effective Saturday, triggers a closure of commercial setnet fishing on the East Side of Cook Inlet and is meant to conserve Kenai-bound king salmon which are not currently projected to return in large enough numbers to make the escapement goal on the Kenai River.

As of July 23, the sonar estimate of king salmon passage into the Kenai River was 8,023 fish and current projections put the final escapement between 13,500 and 14,000 fish — below the river’s escapement goal range of 15,000-30,000 fish...

Full Story »

Omega Protein's remarkable share price trend reflects its recent focus on human nutrition

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Motley Fool] By Mark Lin - July 25, 2014 - 

Omega Protein, North America's biggest producer of Omega3 fish oil, fish meal, and specialty protein products, has significantly outperformed the benchmark index over the past year. While the S&P 500 increased by 16.4% during the past 52 weeks, Omega Protein's share price soared by 45.3% over the same period.

Although Omega Protein's revenue from the animal nutrition segment came in essentially flat year on year, its human nutrition business saw revenue grow approximately 40% in 2013 to reach $31 million and accounted for 13% of its top line. This has given investors confidence that Omega Protein has positioned itself well to capitalize on the huge growth opportunities in this market.

Omega Protein has engaged in a series of acquisitions over the past few years to expand its presence in the human nutrition business. 

As for Omega Protein's animal nutrition business, while volumes declined by 22% in 2013 as a result of a lower fish catch, a 30% increase in revenue per ton compensated for this. Omega Protein raised its selling prices for fish meal and fish oil by 19% and 15%, respectively, in 2013. This made the most significant contribution to Omega Protein's record gross margin and EBITDA margin of 34% and 31%, respectively.

Full Story »

Big drop in Norwegian salmon price expected next week

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] - July 25, 2014 - 

OSLO, Farmed Norwegian salmon prices are expected to fall around seven Norwegian crowns per kilogram to around 34-35 crowns for delivery in Oslo next week, traders told Reuters on Friday.

"It's a big fall, and one of the biggest drops in the last 2-3-4 years", a trader, who asked not to be names, told Reuters.

"While we in Norway are back from holidays and produce more fish, Europe has gone on holiday...What was strange was the price rise in July."

"Now we are more back to normal for the year. I believe prices will go down to 30 crowns", the trader said.

A fish farmer confirmed that the price fell sharply but declined to make predictions.

Full Story »

Supervalu Q1 sales relatively flat vs. year-ago

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Progressive Grocer] - July 25, 2014 - 

Supervalu Inc. posted Q1 net sales for fiscal 2015 of $5.23 billion, relatively flat, vs. $5..24 billion year-ago. The Midwest grocer's net earnings came in at $48 million for Q1.

"Fiscal 2015 is off to a solid start across our business segments,” said president/CEO Sam Duncan. “Our first quarter results reflect the investments we are making this year to position the company for future success and I am pleased with our operating performance.”

Supervalu's Save-A-Lot business reported $1.35 billion in Q1 net sales, compared with $1.27 billion last year, a 6.5 percent increase, which the grocer attributed to the 5.6 percent increase in Save-A-Lot identical store sales. Identical corporate store sales within the Save-A-Lot network were up 7.2 percent.

Save-A-Lot's Q1 operating earnings came in at $46 million, or 3.4 percent of net sales, compared with $52 million, or 4.1 percent of net sales, last year.  Supervalu attributed the decrease to incremental investments to lower prices to customers offset in part by the benefits of cost reduction initiatives and higher sales volumes.

Full Story »

Lobster license stacking starting next spring in PEI will reduce traps in the water


A new plan to allow P.E.I. fishermen to hold more than one lobster licence will reduce the number of traps in the water.

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea made the announcement in a news release overnight Wednesday.

The new rules will allow Island fishermen on the North Shore and in the southeast to buy another lobster fishermen's licence out.  The one boat would be allowed to fish two licences, which is known as stacking. Some of the traps from the second licence, up to 50 per cent the news release said, would have to be retired...

Full Story »

Mekong shrimp production forecast to rise 4.6% from last year

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Vietnam News] July 24, 2014

The Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta provinces expect US$1.3 billion from exports of shrimp in the second half of 2014, bringing earnings to $2.6 billion for this year.

The Steering Board for the Southeast Region, said that to increase export targets, the provinces planned to produce 214,000 tonnes of prawn in the second half for processing export products and 430,000 tonnes of prawn for the whole year, which is 4.6 per cent higher than last year.

Meanwhile, the region expected to produce 54,000 tonnes of white-leg shrimp and 16,000 tonnes of blue-leg prawn for export processing in the second half...

Full Story »