Wed. Oct 22 2014

White shrimp return to Gulf as Sept. landings help mitigate losses from season's late start  

Quirch Foods aims to be billion dollar distributor in 2015; one of largest Hispanic owned businesses

Crackdown on smuggling, international market keeps premium seafood prices high in China  

Key US senators on anti-trust subcommittee urge close FTC scrutiny of Sysco-US Foods deal

Heroism and tragedy as landing craft support vessel working for Marine Harvest Canada capsizes

Angry jumbo squid attack Greenpeace mini-sub in Bering Sea

Legal Sea Foods CEO Berkowitz: "Not all scallop dishes are created equal"  

Alaska's The Salmon Project shares the history of West Coast salmon with free book drop (Fish Radio)

Army Corps approves mussel farm off Nantucket, MA  

$1.4 million bond set for Miami fisherman caught with 246 wrung undersized lobster tails

Atlantic salmon importer SalmonDepot USA acquires SNG UK to expand EU supply network  

Brinker reports 12.1 percent increase in quarterly profit as comps improve at Chili's and Maggiano's

BP again asks judge to delay compensation payments alleging fraud

Marine Harvest Q3 operational EBIT beats forecast, guidance unchanged

From "dead zones" to climate change, restoring Louisiana's fishing industry sees many hurdles

Three UK oyster farms, first to enter ASC assessment, hope to get product certified by Christmas  

Bonefish Grill running lobster specials on Tuesday nights News Summary Wednesday October 22, 2014

Tue. Oct 21 2014

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

Russia will not impose export duties on salmon or pollock  

Alaska's summer salmon prices mostly down this season compared to 2013 (Fish Radio)  

Eating fish may help anti-depressants work

FAO's Food Security group endorses higher seafood consumption among pregnant women, children

Vietnamese shrimp producer Quoc Viet is first to gain certification against ASC's Shrimp Standard  

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

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

Global Salmon Initiative says responsible salmon production must keep up with accelerating demand  

Russian price inflation stokes "monstrous" rise in fish prices for consumers in October

Ex-Im Bank helps Dan's Fish Inc. sell Great Lakes fish and caviar in Baltic states

ASMI now taking submissions for its annual Alaska Fishing Families Photo Contest

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

Florida reviewer likes Bonefish Grill's new "Fall Crush" menu

Gloucester's CSF Cape Ann Fresh Catch begins supplying region's schools with locally caught fish

McDonald's Q3 profit plunges 30% as traffic falls in major markets News Summary Tuesday October 21, 2014

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 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 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 News Summary Thursday Oct 16, 2014

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

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

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 News Summary Wednesday Oct 15, 2014

Snapper overtakes blue cod as NZ's most expensive fish  

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

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

Prevalence of low growth, diseased shrimp hampering sales in China  

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

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

Japan may take Korea fish ban to WTO

Global warming to drive fish toward poles says Canadian Study

Trident's Sitka plant in court for late fish tickets

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

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

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  

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

Gene Lee named interim CEO of Darden

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

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

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White shrimp return to Gulf as Sept. landings help mitigate losses from season's late start

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - October 22, 2014

The return of white shrimp to the Gulf of Mexico in September helped offset losses from weather-related delays that started the season in May. Louisiana led the region in landings, with the state’s catch hitting a five-year-high for the month. However, the harvest remains short of last year’s haul with time running out to make up the difference.

In September Gulf fishermen landed just over 16 million pounds of shrimp an 18 percent improvement from the same time last year and 20 percent above the five-year average...

Full Story »

Quirch Foods aims to be billion dollar distributor in 2015; is one of largest Hispanic owned businesses in US

When Medley-based Quirch Foods, a large national and international distributor of fresh and frozen foods, learned that the storage freezer at one of its customers in Palm Beach County had broken down, company executives acted swiftly.

“We immediately sent them one of our refrigerated trucks and left it with them until their freezer was repaired,” said Frank Grande, president of family-owned Quirch Foods.
“It’s a small business, and without a freezer, they would have lost their frozen food inventory and a lot of money. If our customers do well, we do well,” said Grande, who joined Quirch (pronounced ‘keerch’ — it almost rhymes with ‘ear’) in 2007 as vice president of sales after a 21-year marketing career with Procter & Gamble.
This is one example of Quirch’s attitude toward its customers. Understanding their customers’ businesses, making sure the company meets their needs every day of the year and helping them to be successful are fundamental to Quirch’s business, he added.
“We are in the commodity food business,...

Full Story »

Crackdown on smuggling, international market keeps premium seafood prices high in China

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [CAPMA] Translated by Amy Zhong - Oct 22, 2014

Some Chinese consumers have wondered why premium seafood prices for lobster, crab and geoduck have remained high, despite the widespread crackdown on corruption called the  “eight rules” which has limited government bureaucrats access to expensive meals. In Fuzhou, it seems that paying international prices, a crack down on smuggling, and strong consumer demand have all contributed to keeping seafood prices high.
“Why is the price of high-end seafood still so high with the announcement of President Xi’s “eight rules”? For example, the lobster price is close to 300 yuan/jin (1 jin = 0.5 kilo)”, said Wu, a confused consumer from Fuzhou, Fujian to the reporter from Strait News. Yesterday the reporter paid a visit to the local market and found that the prices of imported high-end food are in accordance with the international market situation. 
The output of such expensive seafood as lobsters and geoducks this year is similar to those of the previous years, but there are a great decrease in the smuggling of these seafood and an increase in the transportation cost, which have led to the high prices of these seafood. 
The current prices of some expensive seafood increase by 10% compared with the same period last year....

Full Story »

Heroism and tragedy as landing craft support vessel working for Marine Harvest Canada capsizes

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Times Colonist] By Katie Derosa - October 22, 2014 - 

The father of the captain of the fishing vessel that sank off Campbell River said his son died a hero, trying to save his crewmates.

Barry Sewid, 34, and Mike Kelly, 29, both fathers of young children, are missing and presumed drowned after the 20-metre steel landing craft capsized five kilometres north of Campbell River just before 3 a.m.

The sole survivor, Kyle Benoit, told his boss that Sewid called him up from the lower quarters as the boat was taking on water, and pushed him out the door of the wheelhouse, which likely saved his life.

The captain's quick mayday call also triggered an immediate response from a nearby Alaskan ferry, which dispatched a Zodiac to pluck Benoit from the water.

Full Story »

Legal Sea Foods CEO Berkowitz: "Not all scallop dishes are created equal"

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Boston Herald] By Roger Berkowitz - October 22, 2014 - 

The truth about scallops

Ah, the two sides of seafood: It’s unequivocally one of the healthiest proteins you can consume, but it’s anything but inexpensive.

Although cod prices are high, the real price shocker these last few years has been scallops. As a result, there has been a "whole lotta cheating going on."

Ironically, the cheating has been sanctioned by the U.S. government. In a process known as soaking, chemicals (including sodium tripolyphosphate) are added to shucked scallops, which enables them to absorb more water. This reduces the amount of actual scallop meat in every pound that is purchased, keeping prices "artificially" lower.

Unfortunately, many retailers and restaurants ascribe to this practice. Generally, everyone is in the loop on this, except the consumer!

Full Story »

Army Corps approves mussel farm off Nantucket, MA

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Cape Cod Times] by Patrick Cassidy - October 22, 2014 - 

About 85 percent of fresh mussels consumed in the United States are imported from Canada. And while mussel farms exist in the United States, there are none beyond the 3-mile limit of state waters.

That's about to change.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued the first offshore shellfish aquaculture permit on the East Coast for roughly 30 acres in Nantucket Sound, immediately adjacent to the area where Cape Wind plans to build its 130-turbine wind farm.

The permit was awarded to Chatham commercial fisherman Domenic Santoro.

Full Story »

Atlantic salmon importer SalmonDepot USA acquires SNG UK to expand EU supply network

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] October 22, 2014

Imported salmon distributor SalmonDepot USA has acquired SNG UK, the European division of Japanese seafood supplier Shin Nihon Global, as a move to expand its business as a major importer and supplier of Atlantic salmon from the EU. 

SalmonDepot USA is based in Los Angeles and specilizes in importing salmon products from Norway and the Faroe Islands for distribution to the US market. The company specializes in value-added salmon products, with a line of flavor variation sauces and rubs, gourmet puff pastry en croute items, and easy prepared meal options. Among the most popular are microwavable flavored portions in individually sealed pouches, catering to the average American diet...

Full Story »

BP again asks judge to delay compensation payments alleging fraud

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Times Picayune] by Jennifer Larino - October 22, 2014 - 

BP has asked a federal judge to delay a second round of oil spill payments to seafood workers, arguing that there are still problems within the compensation program.

In a Monday filing in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, the British oil giant said "at some point" there should be a second round of up to $500 million in payments to workers hurt by the spill.

BP argued that moving forward would improperly speed up the process and allow error and fraud reported in the initial round of payments to be "perpetuated and compounded."

Full Story »

From "dead zones" to climate change, restoring Louisiana's fishing industry sees many hurdles

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [National Geographic] by Meg Wilcox - October 22, 2014

The Croatian Pride pushes off the dock and cuts slowly through the grey Gulf of Mexico, its engine growling. The air hangs thick and steamy, and the movement of the 40-foot oyster boat brings relief as it breezes past marshy areas where blue herons stand sentinel. The boat’s captain, John Tesvich, is a fourth generation oysterman, but on this early fall day, it’s journalists, not oysters, that he’s hauling.

Reporters are on board the Croatian Pride to learn about Louisiana’s $50 billion plan to restore the state’s rapidly vanishing coastline, a crisis the New York Times Magazine termed “existential,” and the impact those plans will have on Louisiana’s legendary oyster fishery. The discussion jumps, however, from coastal restoration, to the lingering impacts of the Deep Water Horizon spill, to Hurricane Katrina, and finally the Gulf’s “dead zone,” a huge swath of ocean the size of Connecticut that forms every summer and is essentially devoid of life...

Full Story »

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

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] - October 21, 2014

Zoneco Group, the new English name for China's Zhangzidao Group, has founded Capital Seafood International in Nova Scotia. The new seafood processing company will initally focus on processing, packing and exporting live and frozen lobster products to the Asian market, primarily to China.

Capital Seafood represents Zoneco's first investment in Nova Scotia. The company said it will work closely with the region's lobster industry to secure product across the province.  Initial plans will have the company ship 1.25 to 1.5 pounds sized lobster to China...

Full Story »
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Key US senators on anti-trust subcommittee urge close FTC scrutiny of Sysco-US Foods deal

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] By Diane Bartz - October 22, 2014 - 

The top two lawmakers on the Senate's antitrust panel have urged regulators to scrutinize food distributor Sysco Corp's planned purchase of rival U.S. Foods for $3.5 billion.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Reuters, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Mike Lee, the chairwoman and ranking member of the Senate's antitrust subcommittee, said the deal being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission "raises important competition issues the commission should carefully review and closely scrutinize."

In the letter, sent on Friday to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the lawmakers said they took no position on whether the FTC should try to block the deal.

Full Story »

Angry jumbo squid attack Greenpeace mini-sub in Bering Sea

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fox News] By Brian Mastroianni - October 22, 2014 - 

It is like a scene from an old wives' tale about the giant, tentacled kraken dragging shipping vessels to their doom — two Humboldt squid, flashing an angry red, attack a Dual Deep Worker submersible containing two Greenpeace USA divers on an expedition in the Bering Sea.

In a Vine video shot by one of the divers, the two large cephalopods, also commonly referred to as “jumbo squid” or “red devils,” rush at the submersible while spewing vision-obscuring clouds of ink.

The video feeds the perception that the large mollusks – smaller than the elusive giant squid, but still weighing up to 100 pounds and measuring as long as 6.2 feet — are aggressively violent and dangerous to humans.

Full Story »

Alaska's The Salmon Project shares the history of West Coast salmon with free book drop (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] October 22, 2014 

A book that highlights salmon history will be widely distributed throughout Alaska from now until spring. Starting this week the nonprofit group, The Salmon project is holding its first ever book drops in hopes of sparking conversation and insight to many communities in Alaska and beyond. 

“The book is called the King of fish- The thousand year run of salmon, and it is written by David Montgomery.” 

The Salmon Projects executive director Erin Harrington- 

Full Story »

$1.4 million bond set for Miami fisherman caught with 246 wrung undersized lobster tails

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Miami Herald] by Patrick Riley - October 22, 2014 - 

A Miami man's haul of 267 wrung lobster tails, 246 of which were undersized landed him in jail over the weekend with a bond set at $1.4 million.

Keys Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol at 4 a.m. Saturday near Fiesta Key Marina when he spotted Jorge Vargas, 59, pulling traps onto a white Carolina skiff, wringing lobster tails and placing them into a mesh bag, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Guerra watched as Vargas threw bag after bag filled with wrung lobster tails onto the shoreline and returned to the bay for more, according to authorities.

Vargas was cited for possession of undersized lobster, possession of over the limit lobster and possession of wrung lobster tails. He has baan cited before for large illegal hauls of lobster tails.

Full Story »

Brinker reports 12.1 percent increase in quarterly profit as comps inch up at Maggiano's and improve at Chili's

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Nation's Restaurant News] - October 22, 2014 - 

Brinker International Inc. reported Tuesday that fiscal Q1 net income was $32.7 million, up 12.1 percent over year-ago and sales were $711 million, up 3.8 percent over year-ago.

Systemwide comps were up 2.4 percent including 0.6 percent at Maggiano's, 2.6 percent at corporate owned Chili's units and 1 percent at franchised Chili's units.

Brinker owns and franchise 1,574 Chili’s restaurants and 48 Maggiano’s units.

Full Story »

Marine Harvest Q3 operational EBIT beats forecast, guidance unchanged

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Reuters] - October 22, 2014 - 

OSLO, Marine Harvest posted higher-than-expected third quarter core earnings today and confirmed its full-year harvest volume guidance.

Operational earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to 912 million crowns ($139 million) from 836 million crowns a year earlier, beating forecast for 872 million crowns in a Reuters poll.

The figure is also higher than its preliminary operational EBIT of 870 million crowns reported on Oct. 14.

The group kept unchanged its forecast for a total harvest volume of 414,000 tonnes in 2014,

Full Story »

Three UK oyster farms, first to enter ASC assessment, hope to get product certified by Christmas

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] October 22, 2014

Jersey Sea Farms, Jersey Oyster Ltd and Seymour Oysters-- all based in the UK have--become the first in the world to enter assessment against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's Bivalves Standard for responsible aquaculture. The operations have set a goal to bring ASC-certified product to the market for this upcoming holiday season.

Each of the Jersey, UK-based farms will be reviewed by independent certifiers to see if their oyster farming practices meet the ASC's global standard for responsible production. 

“From day one, we knew that we wanted to achieve ASC certification," said Tony Legg, Jersey Sea Farms’ owner. "We made the decision to get involved with the ASC program at an early stage by taking part in the pilot audits. By gaining certification against the ASC Bivalve Standard we can show our customers that the farm operates with the highest regard for the environment and local communities...

Full Story »