Tue. Oct 21 2014

South Africa slashes rock lobster quota in effort to rebuild stock but poaching continues

B.C. environmental disaster narrowly averted as disabled Russian ship towed away by U.S. tug

Zhangzidao Group forms Capital Seafoods Int'l in Nova Scotia to export lobsters

Mitsubishi says Cermaq shareholders with 90.97 percent of the share capital have accepted bid

Mon. Oct 20 2014

In historic meeting Council keeps Pacific whiting sector open, shoreside may suffer  

Crab production gaining momentum in Russia, internal struggle continues over IUU fish  

Owner of JP's Shellfish defends actions in unauthorized purchase of Maine lobsters

Cyclone Hudhud damages Indian shrimp hatcheries in Andhra Pradesh; seafood exports being diverted  

Norway's government sells its Cermaq stake to Mitsubishi

NPFMC unanimously votes to develop catch share program for Gulf of Alaska pollock and P. cod

McDonald's US franchisees say September comps were off 3.6 percent

PEI plans to fill Ocean Choice's shuttered plant with another fish processing operation

North American bluefin tuna imports up sharply in Japan despite weak yen

UK's Iceland retail chain will feature whole cooked Canadian lobsters for US$8 this Christmas season

Software project aims to modernize Maine's lobster catch reporting with online system

Emergency Pacific Council meeting on whiting held Friday  

Chile exported 52,077 tons of mussels in Jan-Aug,

Alaska's Symphony of Seafood adds third venue in Juneau for 2015 new product event (Fish Radio)

Bumble Bee tells BJ's it is voluntarily recalling some of its tuna pouches for defective seals

Fall in pollock and salmon exports highlights 11% drop in overall Russian fish shipments through Aug

Some Whole Foods stores selling Boulud's elegant booze infused smoked salmon

PEI wants exemption from foreign worker changes so lobster processors can run at full capacity  

Whole Foods launches $15 million national quality/value ad campaign

Port Hardy BC fishing company invests in $9 million transporter vessel for Marine Harvest Canada

Dutch family owned SHV offers $3.4 billion buyout of Nutreco

Cuba's federal fishery officials learn about US fish management protocols in New England

Friosur wins bid to acquire Pesca Chile for $45 million

Seafood.com News Summary Monday October 20, 2014

Fri. Oct 17 2014

WWF report on illegal Russian crab mostly focused on old data; current conditions improving  

India to rush mass production of low cost WSD shrimp disease detection kits  

Sysco considering divesting assets to satisfy FTC concerns

Aleutian king crab harvesters prepare for fishery's largest ever stock survey (Fish Radio)  

Devi Seafood wins prestigious Sysco "Supplier of the Year" award

M. Slavin promotes Florida stone crab as season kicks off to slow start but with good demand

Commerce's correction to Thai shrimp duty review to have no impact on final 1.10% rate  

Nationwide demand returns for NJ oysters as growers note a renaissance for the state's industry  

Virginia adopts tougher policies to deter oyster poaching  

High Liner partners with Chicago schools to promote seafood consumption among students

EDF calls for better monitoring of Gulf of Maine cod catch, recreational and commercial (Opinion)

Walmart investing in e-commerce and small format units

Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation announces 2015 Symphony of Seafood

Supervalu fiscal Q2 sales driven by strong sales and comps gains at Save-A-Lot

Saltonstall-Kennedy grants increased to $18 million for new solicitation

EC proposes lifting trade sanctions on 5 nations that are cooperating in fighting IUU fishng

Grieg Seafood CEO resigns as company reports Q3 operating loss

Tasmania's Huon Aquaculture builds an aquaculture empire on the back of Australian salmon demand

Seafood.com News Summary Friday October 17, 2014

Thu. Oct 16 2014

No surprises in this year's Groundfish Forum Outlook: whitefish sector quite stable  

Pacific whiting fishery suddenly on hold due to chinook and rockfish bycatch  

EU Indian shrimp rejections show there is continued antibiotic overuse in Andhra Pradesh  

Vietnam struggles to upgrade pangasius exports, new law will limit soaking and moisture content   (1) 

Why Vietnam's exported shrimp duty rates were higher than Thailand and India  

Bluefin tuna bite off Gloucester MA called best in ten years

High Pollock H&G prices, impact of Russia trade ban is focus of Groundfish Forum  

Live crab imports surge at Wakkanai as traders rush to beat new IUU regulations  

Alaska's crab fishermen prepare for longer crab season as stocks up across the board  

Florida's stone crab harvesters live and die by the moon and tides, season off to a slow start

Midwest seafood distributor The Fish Guys to move 5 million lb operation to modern facility in 2015

Extensive tagging of bigeye tuna documents need for Pacific-wide management

Major shrimp farming operations in India's Andhra Pradesh region dodge impact from Cyclone Hudhud  

Bering Sea Crabbers help young AK fishermen get into industry with quota access program (Fish Radio)

Oceana faults EU for mismanaging Mediterranean swordfish as ICCAT meeting approaches

Clyde's, DC area operator of 14 restaurants, expects strong finish to the year

South Africa's hake industry calls for government cooperation to assure continued MSC certification

Forum Fisheries says Kirbati's cuts in US fishing days were part of the negotiated deal

After 37 years in the lobster business in Maine, Pete McAleney needs a break

University of Guelph gets CAD3.8 million for farmed salmon disease research

Changing water temps among factors Australia's abalone industry will consider in setting 2015 quotas

SeaFish appoints certifier for Responsible Fishing Scheme on crew welfare for UK seafood imports

Safeway Q3 net profit plummets from one-time charges but sales were up 2.6 percent

Precision Harvesting's fishing net technology honored as NZ top innovator

Seafood.com News Summary Thursday Oct 16, 2014

Wed. Oct 15 2014

Retail momentum seems to be pushing lobster prices higher, as promotions increase with lower supply  

Sysco working hard to save US Foods deal from possible FTC action

N. Pacific Council to look at regional purchase of halibut quota by charter fleet including who pays  

Sea Fare's China Fisheries and Seafood Expo now 2nd largest global seafood trade show

With Ecuador shrimp producton at record levels, sales to Asia soaring  

Alaska's dockside seafood prices from last year show salmon, king crab up, halibut down (Fish Radio)  

Louisiana shrimpers report falling dock prices as this season's catches continue to improve  

Florida Stone crab season opens today with some optimism for higher landings  

Bob Tkacz, late fisheries journalist, honored by United Fishermen of Alaska

Japan may take Korea fish ban to WTO

Prevalence of low growth, diseased shrimp hampering sales in China  

Dave Atcheson's book "Dead Reckoning" tells harrowing tales from his time in Alaska's fisheries

Trident's Sitka plant in court for late fish tickets

Gene Lee named interim CEO of Darden

Global warming to drive fish toward poles says Canadian Study

Snapper overtakes blue cod as NZ's most expensive fish  

Kamchatka region salmon shippers may try Northern Sea Route as rail lines are plugged and costly  

Maryland blue crab prices falling as end of season approaches and catch rate is up  

EC Council announces Baltic quota shares for Latvia, Estonia as herring stocks rise  

Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Tue. Oct 14 2014

American Seafoods pays $1.75 million in settlement of inaccurate flow scale results   (1)

Thai Union, Hormel and up to 10 others may submit bids for Bumble Bee Seafoods

Alaska adds nearly 30 million pounds of crab to markets this year  

A look back at Kodiak's boom-bust king crab fishery and its early innovators   (2) 

Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday Oct 14, 2014

Purse Seine Vessel Owners joins national Seafood Harvesters lobbying group

In first glimmer of hope for cold water shrimp, ICES raises harvest advice in Barents Sea, North Sea  

Two Zhangzidao processed scallop plants get BRC certification  

Pew highlights scientific uncertainty of Atlantic bluefin stocks ahead of ICCAT's Nov meetings  

GAA, IFFO, Lyons and Morrisons issue statement on social responsibility in aquaculture feed

NFI's Crab Council hires Dr. Hawis Madduppa to head up its Indonesian Blue Swimming Crab Assoc.

Sky Power project wants to develop sail-powered cargo ships for Pacific Ocean traveling (Fish Radio)

Maritimes closely watching Maine's' $7 million lobster processing bond issue vote  

Cruise ships load up on lobster during Maine port calls  

McDonald's transparency initiative seeks to dispel myths about its food

Marine Harvest Q3 earnings trimmed by "exceptional" amount of morts

TUF balance sheet strengthened by debt to equity swap as it continues to acquire companies

EU to allow mackerel, herring fishermen to "bank" up to 72,500 tonnes in quota rollover  

Analysts wary and cautious over Darden's new board; worry about long term erosion of Olive Garden

Maryland DNR seafood marketing program gets chefs acquainted with local crab and oysters  

Pangasius vs pollock: Vietnam surpasses China to become largest fish fillet exporter to Brazil  

Omega Protein's Gulf and Atlantic meal and oil fisheries certified by Friend of the Sea

Summerside Seafood Supreme (P.E.I.) installs new value added processing lines

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In historic meeting Council keeps Pacific whiting sector open, shoreside may suffer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM By Peggy Parker - Oct.20, 2014

In an historic emergency meeting of Pacific Fishery Management Council last Friday, fishery managers found a way to protect chinook salmon, stay under the darkblotched rockfish quota, and allow the Pacific whiting fleet to fish the remaining 21,000 mt of quota.
The Council took immediate action to protect chinook salmon bycatch in the Pacific whiting trawl fishery by moving the mothership and catcher processor fleets to deeper water, beyond the 150 fathom contour. A “guideline” harvest limit of 11,000 chinook salmon was taken by the Pacific whiting fleet last week. All vessels in the three-sector fishery are impacted by more restrictive management measures...

Full Story »

Crab production gaining momentum in Russia, internal struggle continues over IUU fish

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by Eugene Gerden and John Sackton - Oct 20, 2014

Crab production in Russia is gaining momentum, according to Andrew Hornicnyh, head of department of organization of fisheries of Russian Rosrybolovstvo.  At the same time, lobbying by the powerful groups who control the illegal harvest is delaying actions to make this crab part of the legal quota system.
According to Hornicnyh,  total king crab catch in Russia  through the first week in October reached 2,500 tonnes, which is equivalent to 52% of the total quota for the current year, which is set at 4762 tonnes. 
Much of this crab wll be coming to the US in the next few months...

Full Story »

Owner of JP's Shellfish defends actions in unauthorized purchase of Maine lobsters

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bangor Daily News] By Stephen Betts - October 20, 2014 - 

SPRUCE HEAD ISLAND, Maine, John Price, the owner of JP's Shellfish, was snared in a federal and state probe that began with an allegation that more than $1 million worth of lobsters were stolen from one of Maine's largest cooperatives is scheduled to be sentenced next week.

Robert Thompson of St. George, the former manager of the Spruce Head Fishermen's Cooperative, was arrested and accused of stealing more than $1 million worth of lobsters from members and selling them to Price's business.

Price's attorney, Daniel Mitchell, said, however, the lobsters purchased by Price were side sales that were managed by Thompson on behalf of cooperative members who did not want to sell through the cooperative.

Price's attorney provided a letter from the cooperative in which it states that its disagreement with J.P. Shellfish had been resolved, and it would be willing to do business with Price's company in the future.

Mitchell said Price never tried to hide the side purchases that were initiated by Thompson for cooperative members. He said Price kept records of those purchases and paid taxes on them.

Price had been buying lobsters from the cooperative for 20 years and made the side purchases in years when the supply of the seafood was low and he wanted to meet the demands of his customers. The attorney said Price also agreed to these side sales to keep his relationship with the cooperative smooth...

Full Story »

Norway's government sells its Cermaq stake to Mitsubishi

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] - October 20, 2014 - 

OSLO, The Norwegian government has accepted Mitsubishi's bid for fish farmer Cermaq and sold its entire 59.17 percent stake, it said in a statement on Monday.

Mitsubishi has offered 96 crowns per Cermaq share and no other investor has made a counteroffer, despite earlier expectations that a bidding war might push the price higher.

Last Friday Norway's pension fund agreed to sell its stake in Cermaq to Mitsubishi and...


Ken Coons

Full Story »

NPFMC unanimously votes to develop catch share program for Gulf of Alaska pollock and P. cod

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Alaska Journal of Commerce] by Molly Dischner - October 20, 2014

Catch shares in the Gulf of Alaska are one step closer after the North Pacific Fishery Management Council asked for analysis of an alternative structure to reduce bycatch and end the race to fish.

After more than a day of staff reports and public testimony on a possible Gulf of Alaska trawl bycatch management program, the North Pacific council on Oct. 12 unanimously agreed to a motion asking for formal analysis of a program that would allocate pollock and Pacific cod harvest privileges to trawl fishermen participating in voluntary cooperatives.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell, who represents the state on the council, made the motion for action; it was amended by other council members before passing unanimously...

Full Story »

McDonald's US franchisees say September comps were off 3.6 percent

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Nation's Restaurant News] by Jonathan Maze - October 20, 2014 - 

McDonald’s Corp. sales have been weakening throughout the summer, and that didn’t change in September, according to Janney Capital Markets analyst Mark Kalinowski’s survey of the burger giant’s franchisees.

In the survey, published Friday, operators said their same-store sales fell 3.6 percent. That would be the worst monthly performance for the venerable quick-service chain since December’s weather-weakened 3.8-percent decline.

In addition to the sales weakness, franchisees are also facing increased costs for labor, thanks to minimum wage hikes and public pressure to raise wages. Food costs are high as well. The prices for beef and cheese are stratospheric, and both of those commodities are heavily used within McDonald’s restaurants.

Add it up and you get mounting franchisee unrest. When asked for their six-month outlook, 28 of the 32 franchisees rated it “fair” or “poor,” with the others split between “very good” and “good.” None of the operators called the outlook “excellent.”

Full Story »

PEI plans to fill Ocean Choice's shuttered plant with another fish processing operation\

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Guardian] by Steve Sharratt - October 20, 2014

A deal is on its way that will see local interests take over the mothballed Ocean Choice fish plant here and open the doors to new tenants, including a fish processing operation, by next year.

The Guardian has learned the Souris Harbour Authority will take over the former fish processing facility in eastern P.E.I. by the end of the month.

The transfer is expected to bring new “tenants”, including a fish processor that could employ up to 50 people by next spring...

Full Story »

North American bluefin tuna imports up sharply in Japan despite weak yen

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [JiJi Press] - October 20, 2014 - 

Tokyo, Imports of bluefin tuna caught in the Atlantic Ocean off the North American coast are rising in Japan, although many other fishery products from overseas have been hit by the yen's recent sharp depreciation.

In waters off Boston and the Canadian state of Nova Scotia, catches of large tuna weighing 200 kilograms and over have been brisk since August.

Especially in waters off Boston, "Catches have more than doubled from the previous year since September," an importer said.

The number of U.S. and Canadian tuna shipped to Tokyo's Tsukiji market from Oct. 1 to Friday jumped 60 pct from a year earlier to 320, much higher than the level of domestic tuna shipments. 

Full Story »

UK's Iceland retail chain will feature whole cooked Canadian lobsters for US$8 this Christmas season

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Grocer] by Kevin White - October 20, 2014

Iceland will offer shoppers a cooked, whole Canadian lobster this Christmas for £5 (US$8.07) as part of a festive product range that claims to offer the "best value turkey dinner in Britain".

Rolling out from 5 November, this will be the first time Iceland has offered its shoppers a whole lobster. Similar products have retailed at £6.66 ($10.75) at Waitrose over the past 12 months, £8.50 ($13.72) at Tesco, and between £9 ($14.53) and £12 ($19.37) at Ocado [Brandview].

Other products in the Iceland Christmas line-up are "best value" turkey crown that serves up to 12 people for £14 ($22.60).

The retailer also said a family of eight could buy a full turkey dinner, with starter and pud, for £29.39 ($47.44), or £3.67 ($5.92) per head...

Full Story »

No surprises in this year's Groundfish Forum Outlook:  whitefish sector quite stable

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton Oct 16, 2014

The Groundfish Forum has concluded in Rome today, and the organizers have released their annual summary of groundfish harvests expected in 2015.
Totals expected harvest in 2015 for major wild caught species (cod, pollock, hake, hoki, redfish) were 7.078 million metric tons, vs. and estimate of 7.093 million metric tons in 2014.
Cod stocks will decline slightly, by around 100,000 tons mostly in the Barents Sea stock shared between Norway and Russia.  Pollock will increase by about the same amount, driven mostly by a prediction of an 80,000 ton increase in Russia, and potentially as much as a 50,000 ton increase in Alaska.   However, even though the stock will support the larger catch in Alaska, other management considerations, including the 2 million metric ton cap on all harvests, may mean the final pollock TAC is lower than these estimates.
What is remarkable is that of the 11 specific stocks the forum tracks, only North Pacific Hake is expected to be significantly different (i.e 10% or more) from the harvest level this year.   The US harvest of North Pacific Hake (or whiting) is expected to fall from 268,000 tons this year to 200,000 tons next year....

Full Story »
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Cyclone Hudhud damages Indian shrimp hatcheries in Andhra Pradesh; seafood exports being diverted

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - October 20, 2014

India's shrimp hatcheries and seafood shipments took a hit from last weekend's Cyclone Hudhud that made landfall in the major port city of Visakhapatnam.

The year's most powerful Cyclone hit the major port city known as Vizag last Sunday evening with sustained winds of 115 mph. Damage has been estimated at over $1.6 billion across the Andhra Pradesh region...

Full Story »

WWF report on illegal Russian crab is mostly focused on older data; says current conditions improving 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton - Oct 17, 2014

The World Wildlife Fund has released a report (link) charging that there remains a significant problem with illegally harvested king crab in Russia.
To make this case, the WWF relies on customs data over the past ten years - during which time there was a well known and highly publicized illegal fishery, which resulted in trials and arrests of some of the principal operators.
However, the Russian government has been attempting to crack down on this level of IUU fishing for years, and WWF admits that this has had some success.  WWF's own data show that their estimates of IUU crab harvest in Russia in 2013 was the lowest in 14 years...

Full Story »

India to rush mass production of low cost WSD shrimp disease detection kits

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [New Indian Express] by M Raghuram - October 17, 2014 - 

Mangalore, Thanks to a new initiative of the College of Fisheries at Mangalore, a new low cost disease detection kit is ready for mass production and would be made available soon.

With the help of this kit the shrimp farmers can ensure their farm broodstock is disease free and their produce is fit for export to the high value European, US, Gulf and Canadian markets.

The College of Fisheries, affiliated to the Bidar-based Karnataka Vetirnary, Animal Sciences and Fisheries University, has passed on the research material on this revolutionary kit under technology transfer for a mass production unit to an MNC...

Full Story »

Sysco considering divesting assets to satisfy FTC concerns

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Sun-Times] - October 17, 2014 - 

Sysco Corp. is reported to be trying to craft a package of asset sales sufficient to satisfy FTC concerns of concentration in the pending merger with U.S. U.S. Foods.  

Three big regional players, Reinhart Foodservice, Performance Food Group and Gordon Food Service, have been negotiating with Sysco to buy certain divested assets.  

The proposed tie-up is seen as problematic because Sysco and US Foods are the only companies with the geographic reach to offer nationwide contracts to deliver a wide range of goods to customers ranging from hotel chains to fast food restaurants...

Full Story »

Aleutian king crab harvesters prepare for fishery's largest ever stock survey (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] October 17, 2014 

Alaska’s golden king crab fleet plans to undertake the biggest survey ever on the entire range of the Aleutian Islands golden crab stock. It covers an 800 mile span from Dutch Harbor to Atka.

"It’s a huge area." 

John Hilsinger is science advisor for the Aleutian King Crab Research Foundation, a harvester group. 

Through 2006 state managers tracked a small area of the Aleutians but there’s no budget now to assess the far flung crab stocks. This will be the first time such an extensive survey has been undertaken...

Full Story »

Devi Seafood wins prestigious Sysco "Supplier of the Year" award

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - October 17, 2014 -   

Sysco Corporation recently honored its top suppliers as part of the 2014 Sysco Supplier Excellence Awards program. The awards, presented at an industry dinner in Houston, recognize Sysco suppliers' commitment, service and marketplace support by category and area of accomplishment.

Devi Seafood was named Supplier of the Year, Sysco's top supplier recognition, for the highest level of performance in areas such as sales growth, profitability, Sysco Brand sales and overall support of Sysco and its customers.

This marks the first time in the program's 20-year history that a seafood supplier earned top honors.

Full Story »

M. Slavin promotes Florida stone crab as season kicks off to slow start but with good demand

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - October 17, 2014

The Florida stone crab season got underway this week and The New York Fulton Market's M. Slavin & Sons is reporting good demand for the product in the early going and is promoting the season's new catch through a social media campaign.

According to M. Slavin's press representative Joe Calderone catches so far are coming in slow but suppliers have indicated good demand for what's coming in. 

M. Slavin will be promoting the new season on social media. The company will be posting updates on catches throughout the season and will feature recipes that utilize the product.  The campaign will end with a sweepstakes where Slavin will give away 5 pounds of stone crab claws...

Full Story »