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 Development Assoc. looking for ways to fund salmon permit buybacks (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 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 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 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 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 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 »

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 »

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....

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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....

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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...

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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 Development Assoc. looking for ways to fund salmon permit buybacks (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....

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