Fri. Dec 6 2019

The Winding Glass: Tuna Case Shows Private Equity and Seafood are Not Always a Good Fit  


Bering Sea TACs Set Amid Council Debate on Sablefish TAC


VIDEO: Ex-Bumble Bee CEO Convicted; Seafood Trade Mission; Farmed Salmon Analysis; Atlantic Halibut  


ANALYSIS: Scallop Prices at 2017 Levels  


ANALYSIS: Lobster Imports Decline in October; Still at the Mercy of Canadian Trade  


Canadian Industry Partnership Obtains MSC Certification for Turbot Fishery  


Research Shows Lights on Small-scale Gillnets Save Turtles and Dolphins


Kingfish Zeeland Secures Strategic Funding for Its EU and US Expansion


Training for Alaska's Seaweed Farmers


Atlantic Capes Fisheries Spearheading Fishery Improvement Projects for Mexican Bay Scallops  


SeafoodNews.com Summary Friday, December 6


Thu. Dec 5 2019

West Coast Dungeness Crab Meat Quality Improving, Still Low in Some Areas  


Food Export Northeast Trade Mission: Spreads US Lobster in Dubai, Introduces Jonah Crab in Spain  


ANALYSIS: Mixed Beginning to December for Farmed Salmon  


2020 Stikine and Taku Rivers Chinook Salmon Forecasts Below Desired Escapement Minimum  


Ecuador Adopts Tuna Action Plan Following EU Yellow Card  


China’s Tilapia Industry Worsens Amid Colder Weather, Trade Issues, Other Factors  


Zhangzidao Challenged by High Scallop Death Rates Again in November  


Russia Plans 60% Fish Industry Growth by 2030  


Detached Kelp Harvests at Cook Inlet to be Reviewed by Fish Board at Seward Meeting


Alantra-backed Unión Martín Partners with Mauritanian Fishing Company SMPI


SeafoodNews.com Summary Thursday, December 5


Wed. Dec 4 2019

Former Bumble Bee Foods CEO Convicted of Fixing Prices of Canned Tuna


Now Retired, Frank Kelty Reflects on Politics and Fisheries in Alaska


Washington Farmer Faces Penalty for Pollution that Killed Threatened Steelhead  


Hatchery Restrictions Pushed at Cook Inlet Fish Board Meeting


FCC Welcomes Northern Coalition Corporation as a New Member


More Chinese Turning to Online Platforms for Seafood Purchases  


SeafoodNews.com Summary Wednesday, December 4


Tue. Dec 3 2019

Learning More About Atlantic Halibut: Fishermen and Scientists Go “Under the Hood”  


Red King Crab Wraps, Outlook Grim for Future Fisheries  


New Report Lists Steps Needed to Create Climate-Ready Fisheries


Blue Star Foods Acquires Coastal Pride Company


ASMFC Seeking Proposals for Pilot Projects Focused on Sustainable Aquaculture


SeafoodNews.com Summary Tuesday, December 3


Mon. Dec 2 2019

Massive Effort Planned to Restore Upper Fraser for 2020 Salmon Return  


Ugly Crab Campaign Aims to Expand Markets, Reduce Waste  


Duke’s Seafood Launches Foundation Aiming to Help Wild Salmon in the Puget Sound  


OPINION: Similar Coasts, Similar Stories -Washington and Chile Share Acidification Research, Action  


Russian Pollock Market Continues Move Toward Consolidation  


SeafoodNews.com Summary Monday, December 2


Panasonic's Continuous Sustainable Seafood Efforts in Its Corporate Cafeterias Win Top Award


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The Winding Glass: Tuna Case Shows Private Equity and Seafood are Not Always a Good Fit

Chris Lischewski, the former CEO of Bumble Bee Foods, has been convicted of conspiring to fix tuna prices in violation of the Sherman anti-trust act following his recent trial in California.  Chris is now going to appeal, and a sentencing date has been set for April.

I was struck by the prosecution argument, and also the testimony of Ken Worsham, a Bumble Bee Senior vice president who pled guilty, by the pressures Lischewski faced after the company was bought by...

 

Full Story »

Bering Sea TACs Set Amid Council Debate on Sablefish TAC

The complex process of setting total allowable catches (TACs) for the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands’ (BSAI) two dozen species was highlighted yesterday by lively debate on how much to increase the sablefish (black cod) TAC due to an alarming increase of sablefish bycatch this year. 

The process is usually focused on pollock, by far the most abundant and reliable species in the Bering Sea, and calculating the complex specs to add up to no more and no less than 2 million metric tons, the cap set by the... 

 

Full Story »

VIDEO: Ex-Bumble Bee CEO Convicted; Seafood Trade Mission; Farmed Salmon Analysis; Atlantic Halibut

Join SeafoodNews Weekly Video hosts Lorin Castiglione and Ryan Doyle as they discuss the former CEO of Bumble Bee Foods' conviction in the tuna price-fixing conspiracy; Food Export USA-Northeast's trade missions to push lobster into Dubai and introduce Jonah crab in Spain; a farmed salmon market analysis and a look into a recent Atlantic halibut study.

This episode was brought to you by COMTELL, which will be receiving a complete redesign in 2020. Subscribers who utilize COMTELL to track market quotations...

Full Story »

ANALYSIS: Scallop Prices at 2017 Levels

Prices on Atlantic sea scallops increased this week for all-natural and overnight dry U10 size counts. With little to no landings, this larger scallop that demands a premium over smaller sizes, is seeing prices strengthen even more due to a thinning supply.

Currently, all-natural U10's are pricing at an average of $15.50 per pound, the same price reported at the beginning of December 2017. This is the lowest price for all-natural U10s since 2013 scallops were valued at $14.75...

Full Story »

ANALYSIS: Lobster Imports Decline in October; Still at the Mercy of Canadian Trade

Imports of lobster products into the U.S. declined five percent in the month of October 2019 imports totaled 8.45 million pounds compared to 8.89 in October 2018. The year-to-date figure remains six percent behind last year; reflective of a 6.4 million-pound shortfall.

Imports from Canada declined seven percent in the month of October and remain 6.7 percent lower year-to-date. The live (-35.1%); in-shell, which includes tails and whole cooked, (-4.5%); and meat (-2.6%) categories were all lower in the month...

Full Story »

Canadian Industry Partnership Obtains MSC Certification for Turbot Fishery

On Thursday, four top Canadian industry associations and the Marine Stewardship Council announced that Canadian Greenland Halibut (Turbot) Fishery products will now feature the MSC label.

The sustainability certification applies to Greenland halibut harvested by trawl or gillnet from areas extending from the Northeast coast of Nunavut, along the east coast of Labrador and Newfoundland, as far as south as the Grand Banks, according to a press release from the Atlantic Groundfish Council.

“Obtaining this MSC certification is a testament to the cooperation and collaboration among the four associations..."

Full Story »

Kingfish Zeeland Secures Strategic Funding for Its EU and US Expansion

Established in 2015, Kingfish Zeeland is a global leader in the production of Yellowtail Kingfish via a proprietary recirculating aquaculture system.

Yellowtail Kingfish is a well-known premium fish species, traditionally known from the Japanese and Italian cuisine. The species is supply constrained with negligible local supply across the lucrative US and European markets. Kingfish Zeeland is engaged in commercializing this species across its target territories – offering a locally produced, year-round, ultra-fresh, ASC/BAP certified Yellowtail Kingfish...

Full Story »

Atlantic Capes Fisheries Spearheading Fishery Improvement Project for Mexican Bay Scallops

New Jersey-based Atlantic Cape Fisheries is playing a leading role in a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) to ensure the Mexican Bay Scallop Fishery is sustainably managed.

The FIP will improve the management status of the fishery to align with the goals for sustainable use in international standards for fisheries, according to a press release from Atlantic Cape Fisheries.

The Mexican Bay Scallop (Argopecten ventricosus), also known by the names Baja Scallop, Catarina Scallop and Pacific Calico Scallop, is a wild scallop that is “diver caught” in the fishing...

Full Story »

ANALYSIS: Mixed Beginning to December for Farmed Salmon

The farmed salmon complex started the month of December with the market heading in different directions for many items.

The Canadian whole fish markets saw a very weak fall; 10-12 pound West Coast Canadian whole fish, for instance, saw a 52-week low on October 15. The market has been climbing the past week and a half as the calendar turns to December. From a historical perspective, December is a very active period for the farmed salmon complex. Both the Northeast and West Coast whole fish...

Full Story »

West Coast Dungeness Crab Meat Quality Improving, Still Low in Som

Washington, Oregon and California released the second round of Dungeness meat quality testing results this week and the results are mixed.

In Washington, one of the two areas sampled was above the 23 precent threshold. The Westport area came in at 23.8 percent, but the Long Beach Area was only 21.8 percent, up from 20.4 percent in early November.

Oregon's test results showed improvement from early November, when all eight areas were below the thresholds. Still, only half of the areas -- Garibaldi, Newport North, Coos Bay North and ...

Full Story »

China’s Tilapia Industry Worsens Amid Colder Weather, Trade Issues, Other Factors

This October has seen tilapia flooding into China’s domestic market in large quantities, and its farm gate prices have started to contract and stayed below 5 yuan/jin (1 jin=0.5 kilo; $0.71/jin USD). With the coming of cold temperatures in early November, the prices have further declined rather than rebounded, and farmers have tried their best to sell their fish as soon as possible.

According to one Guangxi farmer, farmers have to sell even at losses, because of low temperatures...

Full Story »

Russia Plans 60%  Fish Industry Growth by 2030

The total turnover of the Russian fish sector should grow by almost 60% by 2030, up to RUB 888 billion ($13.79 billion USD), according to a new state strategy for the development of the fishery complex in Russia, which was recently approved by the Russian government.

According to the document, the industry is expected to attract up to RUB 613 billion (~$9.6 billion USD) of private investments by 2030, a significant part of which will be allocated to the implementation of a "New Whitefish Industry" state project. The project...

Full Story »

Now Retired, Frank Kelty Reflects on Politics and Fisheries in Alaska

Bering Sea fisheries advocate and former Unalaska mayor Frank Kelty, now retired and living in Southern California, reflected on a 40-year career that spanned the onshore/offshore battle, crab rationalization, and saw a little known community next to Unalaska become Dutch Harbor, the nation's largest fisheries port. Kelty was interviewed by Laura Kraegel, reporter for Unalaska’s KUCB.

Kelty came to Unalaska in the 1960's, looking for work to pay off a $7,000 debt from a car accident in Seattle.  He was hired by East Point, a ...

Full Story »

Washington Farmer Faces Penalty for Pollution that Killed Threatened Steelhead

A Bellingham, Wash., farmer was assessed $7,500 in civil penalties for discharging animal waste into a restored creek, killing native Puget Sound steelhead, a threatened species.

The NOAA Office of General Counsel last month assessed the penalty against Harold Carbee for discharging organic waste into Anderson Creek near Bellingham in May 2018. Anderson Creek supports steelhead and salmon and flows into the Nooksack River, a drinking water source for ...

Full Story »

More Chinese Turning to Online Platforms for Seafood Purchases

E-commerce platforms are playing an increasingly important role in China’s seafood sales. As available statistics show, the country’s online seafood sales reached 27.126 billion yuan ($3.8 billion USD) in 2018, which accounts for 1/3 of its total sales of fresh food. And during the first half of 2019, sales has jumped by 22.9% compared with the same period last year, to 17 billion yuan ($2.4 billion USD).

Shrimps, crabs and fish are the top three seafood items regarding sales value last year, while shellfish has outrun others ...

Full Story »

Learning More About Atlantic Halibut: Fishermen and Scientists Go “Under the Hood”

A three-part study is underway to better understand life history, stock structure, and distribution of Atlantic halibut along the U.S. east coast. The study is being done by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NFSC) and The Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance with support from a Saltonstall-Kennedy grant developed by The Nature Conservancy.

Atlantic halibut was a reliable commercial fishery for nearly three centuries, but today is only commercially viable off the Canadian east coast. Commercial stocks in Canada Commercial stocks in Canada appear to be increasing in...

Full Story »

Blue Star Foods Acquires Coastal Pride Company

Blue Star Foods announced the acquisition of Coastal Pride Company, through its subsidiary John Keeler & Co. Coastal Pride is a seafood company specializing in importing pasteurized and fresh crabmeat primarily from Mexico and Latin America and selling crabmeat to a diversified customer base throughout North America.

The Beaufort, South Carolina-based company has been led by Walter Lubkin Jr., which has developed strong brands. John Keeler and Co.’s CEO John Keeler highlighted the value Lubkin the Coastal Pride has created in their brands, Lubkin’s Coastal Pride, Lubkin’s First Choice and Lubkin’s Good...

Full Story »

Research Shows Lights on Small-scale Gillnets Save Turtles and Dolphins

Placing lights on fishing nets reduces the chances of sea turtles and dolphins being caught by accident, new research shows.

LED lights along the top of floating gillnets cut accidental bycatch of sea turtles by more than 70 percent, and that of small cetaceans (including dolphins and porpoises) by more than 66 percent.

The study, by the University of Exeter and Peruvian conservation organization ProDelphinus, looked at small-scale vessels departing from three Peruvian ports between 2015 and 2018, and found the lights didn't reduce the amount of fish...

Full Story »

Training for Alaska's Seaweed Farmers

Training more Alaska seaweed farmers is the goal of a program next February in Kodiak, Sitka and Ketchikan. The training is phase two of the Alaska Mariculture Initiative that aims to grow a $100 million seaweed industry in 20 years.

“Why we’re doing this is because there is immense interest in seaweed farming in Alaska from coastal communities and commercial fishermen.” 

Riley Smith is development director with the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation which has spearheaded a mariculture push that is taking off.

Mariculture is expanding rapidly..."

Full Story »

Food Export Northeast Trade Mission: Spreads US Lobster in Dubai, Introduces Jonah Crab in Spain

As the Northeast fishing industry deals with effects of tariffs imposed on China and climate change that may shift species as they look for colder waters, Food Export USA-Northeast led a trade mission to Dubai and Spain.

In Dubai, Food Export aimed to open the door for American lobster in what is a lucrative export market. Meanwhile, Jonah crab was introduced to a new market in Spain. The mission's aim was to help combat pressures and help the industry diversify through new export...

Full Story »

2020 Stikine and Taku Rivers Chinook Salmon Forecasts Below Desired Escapement Minimum

The preseason forecasts for Chinook salmon returning to the Stikine and Taku rivers in 2020 were announced last week and don’t reach the minimum for escapement, said Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists.

The terminal run forecast for Stikine River large Chinook salmon is 13,350 fish in 2020, below the lower end of the Escapement Goal Range (EGR) of 14,000 to 28,000 fish. Without reaching that threshold, the run will not provide an Allowable Catch (AC) for either the U.S. or Canada.

The 2020 preseason terminal run...

Full Story »

Ecuador Adopts Tuna Action Plan Following EU Yellow Card

Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Exports, Investments and Fisheries adopted the National Tuna Action Plan (PAN TUNA). 
The plan will work as an administrative tool that allows the country to establish objectives and strategies that will improve the conservation and certification for the sustainability of the country’s tuna fishery.

According to TUNACONS, a tuna conservation group, Ecuador is the primary producer of tuna in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the second largest worldwide. With around 300,000 tons of catch per year, it has the largest tuna fleet and processing capacity...

Full Story »

Zhangzidao Challenged by High Scallop Death Rates Again in November

When Zhangzidao is mentioned, the first thing that frequently comes to mind is very likely to be “unexpected” but repeated disappearance of its yesso scallops. And this November has seen a similar scallop tragedy for the third time, following the first one in 2014 and the second one in 2018.

According to Wu Hougang, the president, after stocking in mid-October, scallops started to die in large quantities around Nov. 11, and the affected areas have reached...

Full Story »

Detached Kelp Harvests at Cook Inlet to be Reviewed by Fish Board at Seward Meeting

Harvests of detached kelp that line beaches of Lower Cook Inlet are getting a closer look by state managers and issues will come before the Fish Board next week in Seward.

Harvests have occurred since the 1970s but who needs permits, for how much and for what purposes is not clearly defined. Currently, a special permit is needed for commercial takes.

“A commissioner’s permit is needed for detached kelp harvests. It describes where and when it will occur and how much will be taken..."

Full Story »

Former Bumble Bee Foods CEO Convicted of Fixing Prices of Canned Tuna

Christopher Lischewski, former President and CEO of Bumble Bee Foods was convicted on Tuesday for his role in an antitrust conspiracy to fix prices of canned tuna.

The verdict comes after a four-week trial where the jury found Lischewski guilty of fixing prices from November 2010 until December 2013 that affected hundreds of millions of dollars in sales in the United States. The trial took place in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco...

Full Story »

Hatchery Restrictions Pushed at Cook Inlet Fish Board Meeting

Fisheries at Lower Cook Inlet take center stage next week when the state Board of Fisheries meets in Seward.

The seven member board sets the rules for subsistence, commercial, sport, and personal use fisheries in every Alaska region on a three year cycle. This cycle through March will focus on lower and upper Cook Inlet, Kodiak, plus statewide crab and supplemental items.

In Seward, the Board will address 47 proposals for Lower Cook Inlet fisheries.

Six deal with local hatcheries with most asserting that local operations release too many tiny pink...

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FCC Welcomes Northern Coalition Corporation as a New Member

Northern Coalition, an alliance of fisheries-based social enterprises, joined the Fisheries Council of Canada recently.

The six enterprise corporations in Northern Coalition are owned and operated by the indigenous communities of Canada’s Eastern Arctic and Labrador. They are either indigenous birthright corporations, pursuant to respective Inuit land claim agreements in Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut, or are community-based organizations owned predominantly by indigenous residents in Labrador.

“The Northern Coalition Board is pleased to join FCC,” Northern Coalition Executive Director Alastair O’Rielly...

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Red King Crab Wraps, Outlook Grim for Future Fisheries

It’s a wrap for the red king crab fishery at Bristol Bay with a fleet of 54 boats taking the 3.8 million pound catch quota in little over one month.

That’s the lowest catch since 2005 and it could be the last one for the foreseeable future.

Fishing was scratchy with an average catch of 15.6 crabs per pot, down five from the past two years and the lowest catch rate in 14 years. 

The red king crab were hefty, averaging 7.14 pounds, the biggest weight in the history of the...

Full Story »

New Report Lists Steps Needed to Create Climate-Ready Fisheries

A new report by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) identifies key priorities for the world’s fisheries to achieve sustainability in the face of rapidly-warming seas.

The report was released the same week that the U.N. warned us that instead of cutting emissions, humans released more CO2 in 2018 than ever before. According to the annual Global Emissions Gap Report, 55.3 gigatons of global CO2 were pumped into the atmosphere last year, up from 53.5 gigatons in 2017.

Global temperatures are set to rise about 3.2 degrees C by 2100...

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