Thu. Oct 2 2014

Justin Conrad says growth of Libby Hill's Seafood Import Business leads to spin-off of company

Is New England facing a Newfoundland type cod collapse?

Florida customers see spiny lobster prices double, driven by huge export demand from China

Chuck Spencer leaves High Liner for foodservice broker Key Impact

New England Fishery Council unable to agree, punts cod crisis to NMFS for emergency action  

Ecuadorian shrimp producer OMARSA is first to get certified against ASC's shrimp standard  

Columbia River's commercial fishermen want OR Gov to endorse return of responsible gillnetting

Alaskan Senate contender Dan Sullivan answers tough questions during Kodiak's key fishery debate

Massive Pacific Coast die off of starfish continues, may be harbinger of climate change

Taylor Shellfish says oyster prices could double if acidication forces production inland

Two Maryland distributors pushing invasive blue catfish to save Chesapeake Bay ecosystem

Exploratory fishing finds coldwater shrimp at Grise Fjord - on Ellismere Island, Nunavut

NOAA finds water discharges from Pacific Northwest's legalized pot farms hurt coho recovery

Federal judge upholds Klamath water releases to save salmon

Maine sets new scallop rules designed to help rebuild resource

As expected, VASEP files claim against U.S. anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp

Chile sets aside more funds for small scale aquaculture operations, artisanal sector in 2015 budget

Sea to Table program helping North Carolina restaurants use fresh, local fish

Sysco hires SVP for global communications and government relations

Shetlands fishermen beat out their Scottish peers with landings and value gains

Booming oyster aquaculture for halfshell trade owes a lot to triploid oyster inventor

Wed. Oct 1 2014

Bering Sea canyon coral mapped in huge NOAA science survey

Seafood and restaurant industries dodge a bullet as Gov. Brown vetoes California sfd labeling law   (1)

Thailand to become shrimp importer this year as local production falls to 200,000 tons   (1) 

Russia's "sushi years" come to an end as imported fish supplies run dry and drive up prices  

Begich is keeping support of seafood industry in Senate race in Alaska

NOAA finds Atlantic surf clam stocks in good shape, lifts min size requirements for 2015  

EU protests Russian detention of Lithuanian registered crab vessel, seized outside Russia's EEZ  

USDA completes 300,000 case pink salmon purchase from Ocean Beauty, Icicle, Trident and Peter Pan  

Plenty of blame to go around for the disastrous drop in Gulf of Maine cod  

Fraser sockeye run wraps up about 10% below preseason estimate  

In trying to save Darden, Its board sealed its own demise

Whole Foods set for Louisiana Sea-to-Table series supplied by Inland Seafood

Namibian Hake Assn defends management of hake resource  

Endless 'Boston lobster' is just one of the amenities in $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class  

California approves ban on GM salmon production  

Panel series focuses on challenge of marketing Maryland blue crab vs. imported crabmeat  

October is national seafood month, celebrating a $60 billion slice of US economy (Fish Radio)

Modified atmosphere packaging opens up an international market for Australia's prized Goolwa cockle

Florida stone crab season opens Oct. 15  

Weak restaurant traffic is a concern in global markets

Russian Sea Group posts large H1 sales gain but swings to loss vs. year-ago

Arctic ice melts are forcing Pacific walrus to move to northwest Alaska's beaches in Point Lay

Lobstermen concerned that DFO might lift moratorium on new mussel leases in Malpeque Bay News Summary Wednesday Oct 1, 2014

Tue. Sep 30 2014

The activist-led panic against mercury in fish is harming the American diet (Opinion)

Dongwon announces retirement of Sam Lee as CEO of Starkist, replaced by Andrew Choe

PEI Minister unmoved as PEI fishermen's and processor's groups unite in call for foreign workers  

Russian king crab fishing is strong, with about 70% of quotas taken  

Norway running out of options in China, as salmon market share falls from 90% to 30%  

Russian anti-monopoly service has work cut out for it as fish prices rise throughout Russia

NGO's turn to EPA to push mercury standard that would counter FDA advice to eat fish

Webjorn Barstad named new CEO of Havfisk ASA, (formerly Aker Seafood)

DFO funding study of impact of shrimp cuts on Newfoundland communities  

Small Panulirus lobster species found in abundance in Oman and Yemen

Dongwon riding huge drop in tuna raw material prices to deliver solid earnings  

Indonesian tuna boat captain says he now has to stay over a year in Indian Ocean to hit his target  

Rutgers lab churning out baby horseshoe crabs

Australia's tuna harvest is largest since 1991 as export values hold steady on weak Japanese yen  

Plenty of fish in the seas - despite prophets of doom say Western England papers

Super trawlers still face hurdles to fish in Australian waters even with restrictions set to expire

New England's Fishery Council expected to vote on proposed GOM cod restrictions by tomorrow  

Tonka Seafoods hopes to bring back pink shrimp to Petersburg, Alaska  

Oil pollution from boats limited spawning of millions of False Creek Herring, say BC researchers

Tilman Fertitta is taking Bubba Gump Seafood to London

Alabama not opening a state-water recreational red snapper season this fall News Summary Tuesday Sept. 30, 2014

Mon. Sep 29 2014

Silver Bay and Alaska Pacific & Packing competing for use/purchase of Sitka plant site and new dock  

Judges vindicate John Lees in Mar-Lees debacle: new owners incompetence ran company into the ground  

Dogfish are abundant off Maine but processing infrastructure is gone, markets hard to find News Summary Monday Sept. 29, 2014

Maine will need outside workers to grow lobster processing; may follow Canadian model (Opinion)

Iceland Seafood's sales director says sales unaffected by Russian ban, praises Norway's restraint

First shipment of live king crabs stored in bonded warehouse in Qingdao  

Vietnam asks Brazil to suspend its seafood import ban as it works on meeting requirements

Louisiana officials say catches of many seafood items down significantly since BP oil spill

Mississippi opens up more waters for commercial shrimping  

Good news on sturgeon more than offset by concerns over striped bass in Chesapeake Bay

Mekong pangasius producers plan to cut overall farming areas but increase per hectare production  

Aldi is successfully disrupting the UK and Ireland grocery business

Shrimp, barrimundi industries want Australia to adopt Country of Origin labeling law

NAFO shuts all cold water shrimp fishing in 3L (Grand Banks) for 2015, as stocks continue to decline  

Kodiak's first annual Salmon Life Social celebrates how industry benefits community (Fish Radio)

Myanmar shrimp farmers, devastated by disease, desperate for financial support  

Rebuilding Gulf of Maine cod will require protection of older spawners (Opinion)  

Climate change blamed as Nova Scotia's valuable inshore sea urchins being wiped out by disease

Maine based consortium developing soil amendment and pest repellent from lobster shells  

Vietnam's foreign ministry calls U.S. shrimp dumping charges "unfair and unreasonable"  

Fri. Sep 26 2014 News Summary Friday September 26, 2014

China's crab sellers feel pinch from drive to curb corruption  

Lionfish now the most numerous marine invasive species ever, as Florida tries new control measures

Thai Commerce Ministry finds shrimp industry not prepared for end of EU tariff preference  

NPD report suggests poor restaurant traffic growth likely for long time

Cermaq Chile further increases production capacity in Region XII

Canada bans NZ live mussel exports due to parasite; frozen imports not affected  

Even without trade ban, Vietnam's seafood exporters say Russia's import regs are very strict

Chile starts project to try and reduce production costs for Galician mussel seeds  

Letters: Coverage of Pacific council left out discussion of some major issues

Mass fishing partnership and High Liner launch New Bedford Fishing Community Fund with United Way

Whole Foods in NJ, NY, CT to carry Michelin-star Chef Daniel Boulud's line of farmed smoked salmon  

Starboard picks up two major allies in bid to replace Darden board with its nominees

Surveys show Bering Sea's crab and pollock stocks are at healthy levels (Fish Radio)  

Large Kyokuyo full cycle farmed tuna project underway

Western Pacific council welcomes reduction in size of Obama's Pacific MPA to accomodate fisheries  

Gulf seafood traceability program attempts to distinguish domestic shrimp from imported product  

Russia considering 1.3 billion ruble investment in aquaculture next year

C&S Wholesale hires Chris Brown, former Nash Finch COO, as SVP Independent Sales

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition gives NAFO mixed grade on protection of deep sea ecosystems

Opponents mobilizing to defeat EU-Canadian trade deal in Europe with a negative ratification vote

Gold Star smoked steelhead recalled for possible presence of listeria

Oceana pushing for reform of gillnet fisheries in New England and Mid-Atlantic

Thu. Sep 25 2014

Pacific Council Update: Elec Monitoring for whiting, more halibut for rec anglers News Summary Thursday Sept. 25, 2014

Sealord looks at new hoki options from sending whole fish to China to more NZ local consumption  

Major Japan trading houses focus more on seafood operations, Mitsubishi /Cermaq tieup part of trend  

Confederation Cove Mussel owner strongly objects to Minister Kenney's foreign worker stance

UK Seafood Ethics group - which will audit labor practices - has first meeting

Bonefish Grill picks new ad agency for rebranding campaign

Biloxi's century old shrimping business still at the center of Mississippi's seafood industry  

With high prices, shrimp shipments now account for 78% of India's total seafood exports  

Russian Sea may abandon aquaculture business after losses due to sanctions  

After successful season, Copper River coho heads to major culinary events in Anchorage, Seattle  

15 Senators and Representatives urge FDA to act on petition to change market name of Alaska pollock  

Newfoundland's Shell-Ex to build shrimp shell chitin extraction plant with provincial funding

SeaPak's "Shrimptacular" promotion will encourage more retail seafood consumption nationwide in Oct  

China building its first factory fish-farming ship and will deploy it to disputed Spratley Islands

EPA agrees to delay further regulatory action on Pebble until after preliminary court hearings

Aquabounty's salmon still up against staunch opposition on road to FDA approval (Fish Radio)

BC salmon farmers all determined to meet ASC standard

Farmed salmon finally getting some respect from fish snobs  

Huge increase in pollock biomass found in 2014 trawl surveys, TAC likely unaffected  

Sealord downsizing Nelson wetfish plant, focus is on higher value products

Feds updating CCF fishing vessel modernization program rules

'True' Blue Point oysters from Long Island's Great South Bay making a comeback  

Judge rules businesses don't have to return BP payouts

Kroger leads the pack in customer oriented digital products

Obama designates huge expansion of controversial marine reserve in central Pacific

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Justin Conrad says growth of Libby Hill's Seafood Import Business leads to spin-off of company

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Triad Business Jurnal] by Owen Covington Oct 2, 2014

Libby Hill Seafood Restaurants is spinning off its seafood import and distribution arm, Bay Hill Seafood Sales, with the business to be purchased and run by Justin Conrad, the third-generation head of the Greensboro-based seafood restaurant company.

Conrad, currently president and CEO of the company his grandfather started in 1953, will resign his position leading Libby Hill once the split is complete, likely by the end of November.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ken Conrad, Justin's father, will continue as chairman of Libby Hill, and it's not been determined who will be the company's next president and CEO or when the position will be filled, Justin Conrad said Wednesday.
"This has been a long time coming," Justin Conrad said. "We really see it as a win-win. ...

Full Story »

Is New England facing a Newfoundland type cod collapse?

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  Oct 2, 2014

The news from the New England Fishery Mangement council meeting on Gulf of Maine cod was not good.
The stock assessements have shown a collapsing population, that is only 3% to 4% of the target spawning biomass.
At the same time there is evidence that the reduced population is aggregating in certain areas, particlurly the Western Gulf of Maine, allowing inshore fishermen to exploit the aggregations.
This type of collapsing aggregation is similar to what happened in Newfoundland prior to the cod moratorium.  According to work done by Dr. George Rose of Memorial University, before the moratorium the declining northern cod stock had aggregated on the southern end of its range.   Heavy fishing pressure continued, with the managers and vessels not realizing they were fishing on the last remnants of the population.
Several commenters at the New England Council, notably the Gulf of Maine Research institute, have raised this possibiility for New England...

Full Story »

Florida customers see spiny lobster prices double, driven by huge export demand from China

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Keys Info Net] by William Axford - October 2, 2014

The cost of lobster caught in the Florida Keys has surged in price, jumping from about $10 to more than $20 a pound for retail customers at some local fisheries.

Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association, said appetites in Southeast Asia have also spurred the hike in prices paid to fishermen. Many lobsters now are shipped across the Pacific Ocean the same day they're brought up.

"The high prices are very untypical," Kelly said. "Last year we had a high of $18 a pound for live spiny lobster. The price is driven in large part by China and southeastern Asia, where they still have a very robust economy...

Full Story »

New England Fishery Council unable to agree, punts cod crisis to NMFS for emergency action

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Boston Globe]  by David Abel  Oct 2, 2014

HYANNIS — In an effort to halt the precipitous decline of the cod population, the council that oversees the region’s fishing industry recommended emergency action Wednesday to bolster the species in the Gulf of Maine.

They left the details about what to do to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which will decide how to respond by next month. But the recommendation could devastate fishermen across the region and put scores of them out of business. The question of quotas is so contentious that the council hired a police detail in case tensions boiled over.
“The point is it’s an emergency action, and we need to act quickly, given the grave condition of the cod stock, ” said Maggie Mooney-Seus, a spokeswoman for NOAA, which monitors the fishing industry in federal waters.
The New England Fishery Management Council left it up to the agency whether to prohibit recreational fishing in the western part of the gulf, require federal observers on commercial boats in some areas of the gulf, and end a spate of exemptions to reduce the overall catch.
The agency may also cut the quota for cod....

Full Story »

Columbia River's commercial fishermen want OR Gov to endorse return of responsible gillnetting

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Daily Astorian] October 2, 2014

Local commercial fishermen are applauding Gov. John Kitzhaber's effort to write a letter this week directing possible changes to the lower Columbia River gillnet policy.

However, the local association, Salmon for All — representing gillnetters, fish buyers, processors and businesses — wanted to hear stronger direction from the governor rather than the vague language used in the letter.

In the three-page letter, Kitzhaber instructs the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to consider more factors as it continues to implement his August 2012 order that gillnetting be phased out on the Columbia River's main stem...

Full Story »

Massive Pacific Coast die off of starfish continues, may be harbinger of climate change

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Newsweek] By Megan Scudellari - October 2, 2014 - 

A grisly horror show is playing out along the West Coast of North America. Remains of millions of dead and dying sea stars, commonly known as starfish, litter the shoreline from Vancouver to San Diego.

Those stars are the victims of a swift and brutal illness called "wasting syndrome."

No one yet knows the exact causes of the epidemic. Some evidence suggests the outbreak is linked to warming ocean temperatures or other changes in the ocean due to climate change.

Sea stars are, in a way, the canary in the coal mine of the ocean...

Full Story »

Two Maryland distributors pushing tasty but invasive blue catfish and snakehead to help save Chesapeake Bay ecosystem

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Capital] By Diana Love - October 3, 2014 -

Most of what's sold at Congressional Seafood in Jessup is exactly what you might see on a typical menu: salmon, tuna, grouper, bass, cod, haddock and the like.

This year, though, Tim Sughrue, vice president of the company, says he expects to sell about a million pounds of blue catfish, a species many Marylanders may have never heard of.

John Rorapaugh, director of sustainable initiatives at seafood supplier ProFish in Washington, D.C., says his company will sell 400,000 pounds of blue catfish this year, in addition to more than 10,000 pounds of snakehead, a fish many local people have heard about but — let's face it — may not have eaten.

The exective chef of upscale restauarant Vidalia said, "Blue cat lend themselves to preparations that are normally for hake or for cod," he said. "It can be freely interchanged. It is a little more toothsome than hake, but is very codlike."

Full Story »

NOAA finds water discharges from Pacific Northwest's legalized pot farms hurt coho recovery

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Dalles Chronicle] October 2, 2014 

Water use and other actions by the marijuana industry in the Emerald Triangle of Northern California and Southern Oregon are threatening salmon already in danger of extinction, federal biologists said Tuesday.

Concerns about the impact of pot farming were raised by the NOAA Fisheries Service in its final recovery plan for coho salmon in the region. The full plan was to be posted on the agency's website.

A copy obtained in advance calls for determining then decreasing the amount of water that pot growers illegally withdraw from creeks where young fish struggle to survive...

Full Story »

Maine sets new scallop rules designed to help rebuild resource

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Press-Herald] - October 2, 2014 - 

The state Department of Marine Resources said yesterday that the scallop advisory council has signed off on proposed rules. They call for the season to last from Dec. 1 to April 11.

Zones one and two will have a 70-day season while zone three will have a 50-day season. Zone three includes scallop-rich Cobscook Bay.

The rules also include numerous closures. There will be a “trigger mechanism” that allows the commissioner to close harvesting for the rest of the season if more than 30 percent of scallops that can be harvested are removed.

The state is...

Full Story »

Chile sets aside more funds for small scale aquaculture operations, artisanal sector in 2015 budget

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Techno Press] October 2, 2014

Chile's aquaculture sector, particularly the country's artisanal fishermen and smaller scale aquaculture operations, were the big winners in the federal government's 2015 budget, which set aside more funding to develop those sectors.

The Ministry of the Economy's proposed US$538 billion 2015 budget, $67.7 billion dollars was set aside for the development of aquaculture fisheries. That means next year's budget is about 12 percent higher for the country's aquaculture sector, specifically for small scale aquaculture operations and artisanal fishermen.

The Development of Artisanal Fisheries is up 25 percent totaling $5 billion while the Fisheries Administration Fund is up about 59 percent at $8.4 billion.

Officials said the interest in developing small scale aquaculture operations will help create more jobs in the country...

Full Story »
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Chuck Spencer leaves High Liner for foodservice broker Key Impact

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] October 2, 2014

Seafood industry veteran Chuck Spencer has been named the Vice President of Non-Commercial Sales for Key Impact Sales & Systems, a broker who represents food manufacturers to foodservice distributors.

Spencer has over 30 years experience in the foodservice industry, some of which was most recently spent in the seafood industry. In 2003 he was a National Accounts Manager for Icelandic USA, then subsequently High Liner following its 2011 acquisition of Icelandic's operations.

In 2013 Spencer was promoted as High Liner's director of corporate accounts...

Full Story »

Ecuadorian shrimp producer OMARSA is first to get certified against ASC's shrimp standard

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] October 2, 2014

OMARSA's Ecuadorian shrimp farming operations are the first in the world to get cerification against the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's standard for responsible shrimp farming. 

The company's Camaronera Cachugran, Camaronera Chongon and Camaronera Puna sites were recognised as responsible and well managed farms following independent, third party assessment conducted by the certification body Institute for Marketecology (IMO).

OMARSA’s ASC labelled products will hit the market next month, with the first products destined for Scandinavia. OMARSA also supplies other countries across Europe, as well as the United States, Canada, South America and Asia...

Full Story »

Alaskan Senate contender Dan Sullivan answers tough questions during Kodiak's key fishery debate

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Associated Press] October 2, 2014

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan was grilled on his positions on fishing issues during a debate Wednesday night with Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in one of the largest fishing ports in the U.S.

Sullivan, who took flack for initially planning to skip the debate to campaign in rural Alaska, sought to show his command of fisheries issues, the focus of the only-in-Alaska debate that is a tradition among politicians in the Last Frontier. Sullivan mentioned his family's fish camp and the need to cut burdensome regulations. He also mentioned Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who recently endorsed him and campaigned with him in Kodiak.

Fishing is a multibillion-dollar industry in the state and a major employer...

Full Story »

Taylor Shellfish says oyster prices could double if acidication forces production inland

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Grist] by Madeleine Thomas - October 2, 2014

It’s early September and I’m standing with Benoit Eudeline overlooking the gray, evergreen-lined waters of Dabob Bay, an estuary off of Washington’s Puget Sound. Eudeline, the chief hatchery scientist for Taylor Shellfish Farms — the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the country — leads me to a tiny shed not too far from the shoreline. The shed is the lifeline for the hatchery; a command center of monitors and gauges helps make sure that the water being pumped in from the Bay doesn’t kill the millions of budding oyster larvae growing inside.

Eudeline and his team have real reason to worry about these slurpable delicacies. According to some estimates, our oceans are acidifying at rates 10 to 100 times faster than scientists have ever mapped before. By 2050, much of the Pacific Northwest’s oceans are expected to be 100 to 150 percent more acidic — bad news for oysters, the humble bivalves dying by the billions, as the water prevents many larvae from forming their shells...

Full Story »

Exploratory fishing finds coldwater shrimp at Grise Fjord - on Ellismere Island, Nunavut

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [nunatsiaqonline]  by Sarah Rogers - Oct 2, 2014

The Arctic Fishery Alliance — made up of hunters and trappers organizations from Qikiqtarjuaq, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay, and Resolute Bay — and researchers from Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute, recently embarked on a 13-day exploratory fishing project in nearby Jones Sound.
Harvesters and researchers fished with baited whelk pots, or traps, and hook-and-line gear.
On each day of the expedition, the traps captured three species of coldwater shrimp as well as whelks, or sea snails. On some days, the traps yielded hundreds of shrimps and whelks.
The discovery of those two species, and in such large numbers, has Grise Fiord taking the first steps towards opening a local, inshore fishery.
“The excitement in our community is unbelievable, ” said Jaypetee Akeeagok, chairman of Iviq Hunter and Trapper Organization, in a Sept. 29 release put out by the Arctic Fishery Alliance.
“The HTO is already making plans to apply for funding to purchase shrimp traps to further explore the commercial potential of these species....

Full Story »

Federal judge upholds Klamath water releases to save salmon 

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] By Jeff Barnard - October 2, 2014 - 

GRANTS PASS, Ore., A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a federal water agency did not violate the law when it made special reservoir releases last year to help salmon in Northern California's Klamath River survive the drought, rather than save it for farms.

The Westlands Water District and the San Louis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority in the San Joaquin Valley had sued the bureau to stop the releases, arguing the water should have been saved for farms facing the drought. Irrigation has been shut off to farms in the region this year.

As the drought continued this year, the bureau again made special releases for Klamath salmon, which the judge also refused to stop, finding that the potential harm from drought to salmon right now was greater than the potential harm to farms next year.

Full Story »

As expected, VASEP files claim against U.S. anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [VNS] - October 2, 2014 - 

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) has decided to launch a case against the US Department of Commerce (DOC) via the US International Trade Commission (ITC) over its imposition of duties on Vietnam s warm-water shrimp.

According to the DOC’s decision reached during its eighth period of review from February 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013, the high level of tariffs is to be applied to 32 Vietnamese shrimp exporters. The duties will be 4.98 percent for Minh Phu Seafood Co.

VASEP Vice President Nguyen Huu Dung said the tariff levels that DOC is planning to apply to Vietnamese shrimp exporters are irrational. According to Dung, the tariff calculation was based on outdated data, adding that this went against the US ’ Anti-Dumping Duty Law.

Full Story »