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Jul 2 - Massachusetts Delegation Calls for State’s Lobster Industry to be Part of Potential Tariff Relief


Jun 29 - Maine Governor Urges Commerce Secretary to Deny Pew Trusts’ Right Whale Petition


Jun 25 - DFO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Lobster Season Extended to July 4


Jun 25 - Trump Orders Ag Secretary to “Consider” Payments to Lobster Industry for Trade War Losses


Jun 25 - The Winding Glass: Strength of Frozen Lobster Means We Survive the Summer


Jun 24 - MLMC Launches New Maine Lobster Buyer’s Guide For Those Buying Wholesale


Jun 19 - Pew Submits Petition to Protect Right Whales, Calls for Closing of Fishing Off New England


Jun 9 - Researchers Project Habitats of American Lobster, Scallops to Move as Waters Warm


Jun 5 - Trump Removing Fishing Restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument


Jun 5 - Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador Accuse FFAW of Violating Collective Bargaining Act


Jun 5 - ANALYSIS: Canadian Lobster Season Starts Strong as COVID-19 Continues to Limit Demand


Jun 3 - ASP Says FFAW’s Call for Wage Increases ‘Poorly Timed’


May 29 - Study: Lobstermen and Right Whales Could Benefit from Less Fishing


May 21 - Make Your Favorite Restaurant Dish at Home; Restaurants Turn to Meal Kits During Pandemic


May 21 - DFO Announces First Season-Long Fishing Closure in Gulf After North Atlantic Right Whale Sightings


May 21 - China’s Seafood Imports are Recovering Better in the Fishing Off-Season


May 20 - NOAA Awards Grants to 8 Projects in Greater Atlantic Region Through Saltonstall-Kennedy Program


May 18 - DFO Announces Additional Grid Closures in Gulf of St. Lawrence After New Right Whale Sighting


May 15 - MLMC Launches “Cooking Maine Lobster at Home” Hub to Aid Home Chefs


May 14 - Foreign Seafood Suppliers Working to Perform Better in Recovering Chinese Market


May 7 - Maine Lobstermen’s Association Launches Campaign to Save Industry After Recent Ruling


May 6 - Fishermen and Right Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Traps Without Ropes, Buoys Start This Year


May 5 - DFO Announces More Newfoundland Lobster Season Openings


May 1 - RI Allows Commercial Fishermen to Sell Directly to Consumers, Retailers with New Temporary License


May 1 - South Shore Lobster Season to Start On Time as Right Whales Depart Cape Cod Bay


Apr 29 - Cape Cod Bay Lobster Season Delayed Following Right Whale Sighting


Apr 28 - The Winding Glass: Work Together or Hang Separately, It’s That Simple


Apr 24 - DFO: Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Seasons Will Not Open Before May 1


Apr 22 - DFO Announces P.E.I. Lobster Season Set to Begin on May 15


Apr 20 - P.E.I. Fishermen Vote on the 2020 Lobster Season Opening Date


Apr 16 - Survey: Majority of P.E.I. Lobstermen Comfortable Fishing, Still Looking for Season Delay


Apr 14 - Winding Glass: Pandemic Spreads Uncertainty in All Directions for Seafood Sector


Apr 9 - Canadian Lobster Industry Battling Pandemic as Fishing Area Openings Loom


Apr 8 - Virtual Marketing Outshines Others in Facilitating Chinese Seafood Market Revival


Apr 7 - The Winding Glass: Can Seafood Distributors Survive, and What Will This Summer Look Like?


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Massachusetts Delegation Calls for State’s Lobster Industry to be Part of Potential Tariff Relief

Massachusetts politicians are looking to get the state’s lobster industry included in potential financial assistance for its losses during the U.S.-China trade war.

A delegation led by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Representatives Seth Moulton (MA-06), and William R. Keating (MA-09), wrote the Trump administration asking that the Massachusetts lobster industry be a part of any trade relief assistance that may be distributed in response to China’s retaliatory tariffs...

Full Story »

Maine Governor Urges Commerce Secretary to Deny Pew Trusts’ Right Whale Petition

Just over a week after Pew Charitable Trusts submitted a petition to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross calling for fishing regulations in New England to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales from entanglement, Maine’s Governor pushed back against the petition.

As SeafoodNews reported last week, Pew is looking to close areas off of New England to vertical-line fishing gear used by lobstermen and Jonah crab fishermen when right whales are present.

Maine Governor Janet Mills urged Secretary Ross to deny Pew’s petition saying it...

Full Story »

Trump Orders Ag Secretary to “Consider” Payments to Lobster Industry for Trade War Losses

After meeting with representatives of Maine’s lobster industry earlier this month, President Trump issued an executive memorandum to two Cabinet Secretaries — Sonny Purdue of Agriculture and Wilbur Ross of Commerce — and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer calling for payments to lobster fishermen and processors to offset losses created by the administration’s trade war with China. 

The order, sent on Wednesday, June 24, reads in part:

“Sec. 2.  Protecting the United States Lobster Industry. 

(a) The Secretary of Agriculture shall, within 60 days of...

Full Story »

MLMC Launches New Maine Lobster Buyer’s Guide For Those Buying Wholesale

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) is working to ensure that buying Maine lobster is as simple and easy as can be. With restaurants starting to open back up and grocers looking to meet the new customer demand when it comes to seafood, the MLMC has launched a new Maine Lobster Buyer’s Guide for those looking to buy wholesale.

The Maine Lobster Buyer’s Guide is free to download and answers essential questions, like:

-What’s the difference between hard shell and new shell lobster?

Full Story »

Researchers Project Habitats of American Lobster, Scallops to Move as Waters Warm

Lobster and sea scallops on the Northeast U.S. will react as waters warm and create noticeable changes in the habitat of the species, researchers said.

In an update from NOAA, researchers project that American lobster will move offshore while sea scallops will shift to the north in the coming decades. Findings from this study were published in the Diversity and Distribution journal.

Scientists noted that these shifts could lead to fishery management issues as stocks may move out of current management areas...

Full Story »

Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador Accuse FFAW of Violating Collective Bargaining Act

FFAW has been feuding with the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) for the past few months. Now the Seafood Processors of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPOL) are getting involved. The latest drama regarding the groups involves the 14B Committee unanimously agreeing to cease all lobster fishing until June 8.

On June 2 FFAW released a statement on the Committees for 14A and 14B holding an emergency call regarding the lobster fishery on the Northern Peninsula. “As many of you know, the lobster fishery on the Northern Peninsula is...

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ASP Says FFAW’s Call for Wage Increases ‘Poorly Timed’

The issue regarding snow crab price may be settled, but FFAW-Unifor and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) are still going head-to-head—this time over wage increases for plant workers.

FFAW is reportedly calling for a retroactive wage increase of $3 per hour for plant workers. The union is alleging that companies are reaping financial benefits of government handouts and low fish prices. ASP says that the request is “irresponsible and poorly timed,” and that the accusations are “inaccurate, bordering in libelous...

Full Story »

Make Your Favorite Restaurant Dish at Home; Restaurants Turn to Meal Kits During Pandemic

Restaurants have been forced to get creative during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have launched family meal deals to lower the cost and lure back customers during a time when many are filing for unemployment. Others are launching make-at-home meal kits to allow diners to get that restaurant meal they crave right in the comfort of their own home.

99 Restaurant and Pub, which has over 100 locations across the Northeast, just announced that guests can now make their favorite entrees with their new...

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China’s Seafood Imports are Recovering Better in the Fishing Off-Season

This May has witnessed the beginning of China’s fishing off-season, and some seafood prices have started to increase. The imported seafood market has also begun to rebound in the Asian country, which is gradually recovering from the coronavirus, though it is still haunted by some uncertainties in the near future.

Since early May, salmon, for example, has seen noticeable increase of both sales and prices in this oriental market. There is even shortage in some regions due to lower supply...

Full Story »

DFO Announces Additional Grid Closures in Gulf of St. Lawrence After New Right Whale Sighting

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has added new grid closures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence after a North Atlantic right whale sighting.

SeafoodNews reported earlier this month that the DFO closed grids GU42, GU43, GU44, GV42, GV43, GV44, GW42, GW43, and GW44 due to two confirmed right whale sightings in the area. Now, the DFO has closed the following additional grids because of the confirmed presence of the endangered whale: GV52, GV53, GV54, GW45, GW46, GW47, GW52, GW53, GW54, GX45, GX46, GX47, GX52, GX53...

Full Story »

Foreign Seafood Suppliers Working to Perform Better in Recovering Chinese Market 

Chinese New Year is usually the biggest shopping carnival in the oriental market, however, things have been turned upside down this year by COVID-19. The fourth quarter of 2019 set a new record with seafood imports increasing by 13% from the previous quarter to US$4.51 billion. But in the blink of an eye, imports started to plummet, and in this first quarter, the number dropped by 27% to around US$3.2 billion from last year’s fourth quarter...

Full Story »

OpEd: Fishermen and Right Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence: Traps Without Ropes, Buoys Start This Year

In the coming weeks, the 400 or so remaining North Atlantic right whales (NARW) will gradually arrive in our waters, under the watchful eye of several organizations, ENGOs, scientists and governments. The reason for all this interest is the risk of entanglement that may be posed by the fixed fishing gear used to catch crab and lobster. Protecting right whales from the potential threat of entanglement includes avoiding overlap between whales and fishermen and developing technologies to mitigate the risk of...

Full Story »

RI Allows Commercial Fishermen to Sell Directly to Consumers, Retailers with New Temporary License

Rhode Island is helping commercial fishermen stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic with a new temporary license to allow them to sell certain types of seafood directly to consumers and retailers.

“There is a growing demand for local seafood during this critical time, and we’re fortunate that our commercial harvesters are able to meet the needs of residents with the abundant seafood resources available off our coast,” said Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Director Janet Coit. “Rhode Islanders can take pride in knowing that when...

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Southern Massachusetts Lobster Season Delayed Following Right Whale Sighting

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) announced on April 27 the majority of Cape Cod Bay will be closed to fishing through May 7.

“From May 1, 2020 through May 7, 2020, it shall be unlawful for any person to fish, set, store or abandon any fixed gear, including but not limited to lobster traps and gillnets, within those waters under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth in Cape Cod Bay south of 42° 08.42’ north latitude and...

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DFO: Newfoundland and Labrador Lobster Seasons Will Not Open Before May 1

The lobster fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador will not open before May 1, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) announced. The decision will impact lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 3 -14c.

Once decisions are made for specific areas, the DFO said announcements will be made through Notices to Fish Harvesters. Typically, LFAs 3-13b begin fishing on April 20, so fishermen are set for at least a two-week delay. The season in LFAs 14a-14c normally begins in early May.

The delay follows the DFO's decision...

Full Story »

P.E.I. Fishermen Vote on the 2020 Lobster Season Opening Date

The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) will wrap up a membership vote that will decide the opening date of the 2020 lobster season on Monday at noon local time.

Members of the association, who fish in LFA 24 and 26A are set to vote on two potential opening dates, May 6 or May 13.

"I think frustration is probably the biggest thing, frustration and anxiety of people," said executive director Ian MacPherson told the CBC. "Hopefully this will take a little bit away..."

Full Story »

DFO: Gulf of St. Lawrence Lobster Season Extended to July 4

The lobster season in the Gulf of St. Lawrence will close on July 4, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced on Wednesday.

The new closing date is a four-day extension from the previously announced June 30 closing date. Lobster fishing areas (LFAs) 23, 24, 26A & 26B.

"For the most part, this is a positive development in a season that's been very challenging," said Ian MacPherson, the executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association told the CBC.

The extension provides lobstermen...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Strength of Frozen Lobster Means We Survive the Summer

 [The Winding Glass is the opinion and commentary column by John Sackton, Founder of SeafoodNews]

Two things have combined to help both the snow crab and lobster fisheries avoid the worst-case scenarios that were feared back in April.

First, the government stimulus programs and employment benefits have protected consumer spending to a large extent. And what people are not spending going out, they are spending on the seafood they crave when they see it priced aggressively at retail...

Full Story »

Pew Submits Petition to Protect Right Whales, Calls for Closing of Fishing Off New England

In a petition submitted to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Pew Charitable Trusts called for regulations to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglement in waters off of New England.

Pew said it is in favor of closing areas off of New England to vertical-line fishing gear when right whales are in the area.

“Closing some areas to fishing with the most harmful gear could immediately lower the risk to the whales while the federal government develops longer-term rules..."

Full Story »

Trump Removing Fishing Restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument

President Donald Trump announced on Friday afternoon that he will be removing fishing restrictions in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, opening up 5,000 square miles in the Atlantic Ocean for fishing. The order to designate that area of the Atlantic Ocean as a national monument was signed by former President Barack Obama during his final few months in office. 

"We're opening it up," said Trump. "Today I'm signing a proclamation to reverse that injustice, to reverse that order from the previous administration....

Full Story »

ANALYSIS: Canadian Lobster Season Starts Strong as COVID-19 Continues to Limit Demand

The Canadian spring lobster season has been underway since mid-April, with the gulf region commencing May 15. The weather has been cooperating and initial landings have been strong. In any other year this would be a welcome relief. However, we are operating in the time of COVID-19. Restaurants are closed, there is very little demand from the foodservice sector, cruise lines are docked, and sales to the re-opened economies in China and Europe have been slow...

Full Story »

Study: Lobstermen and Right Whales Could Benefit from Less Fishing

According to a new study from researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) New England’s lobstermen could turn more profit by using less gear and working with a shorter season.

Findings also support a path to transition from pot fishing, using vertical lines that have been linked to North Atlantic right whale entanglements. The study was published in the journal Marine Policy.

"The story the data tells is optimistic," said lead author Hannah Myers, a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a guest student at WHOI...

Full Story »

DFO Announces First Season-Long Fishing Closure in Gulf After North Atlantic Right Whale Sightings

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has announced the first season-long fishing closure in the Gulf of St. Lawrence due to sightings of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. 

The seasonal closure is for grids GV44, GW42, GW43, GW44, GW45, GW46, GX45 and GX46. Pre-notice of the closure was given earlier this week to allow fishermen time to remove their gear from the waters. The closure will begin at 5 p.m. on May 21 and run through November 15, 2020...

Full Story »

NOAA Awards Grants to 8 Projects in Greater Atlantic Region Through Saltonstall-Kennedy Program

NOAA Fisheries has awarded more than $8 million in funding to a total of 30 projects through the Saltonstall-Kennedy program. Of those 30 projects, eight are from the Greater Atlantic Region. According to the government agency, the funding for those eight projects totals approximately $2.25 million.

A majority of the projects in the Greater Atlantic Region focus on “Sustainable U.S. Seafood Production and Harvesting. Two projects focusing on sustainable seafood were picked up from...

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MLMC Launches “Cooking Maine Lobster at Home” Hub to Aid Home Chefs

Maine lobster is a popular dish when dining out. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people are cooking at home than ever before— and that includes seafood! The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) has launched a new “Cooking Maine Lobster at Home” content hub to show that you don’t need to be a gourmet chef to enjoy Maine lobster.

“Fortunately, many Maine Lobster product formats have already been developed that are ideal for consumer use,” Marianne LaCroix, Executive Director of the MLMC...

Full Story »

Maine Lobstermen’s Association Launches Campaign to Save Industry After Recent Ruling

The Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA) is fighting back after a recent ruling determined that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by allowing Maine lobstermen to use gear that has the ability to entangle and kill endangered North Atlantic right whales. MLA president Patrice McCarron announced this week that the organization has launched a campaign to raise $500,000 to save Maine’s lobster industry.

Last month U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled that the “American lobster fishery had the potential to harm the...

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DFO Announces More Newfoundland Lobster Season Openings

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) continues to confirm start dates for Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The DFO confirmed that LFA 3 Cape Charles to Cape St. John (White Bay) will open on May 16, and end on July 15. LFA 4A (Notre Dame Bay West) will open on May 23 and also end on July 15. LFA 4B (Notre Dame Bay East) will run from May 16, 2020 to July 10, 2020.

Find the DFO announced dates for LFAs 5 through 9B below...

 

Full Story »

South Shore Lobster Season to Start On Time as Right Whales Depart Cape Cod Bay

Days after the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) closed fishing through May 7 in the majority of Cape Cod Bay, the department quickly changed its course.

Endangered North Atlantic right whales that were previously spotted in Cape Cod Bay have since migrated and the lobster season, which was delayed one week on April 27 is now scheduled to open as planned on May 1.

The initial delay was put in place due to the sightings of multiple right whales on April 25...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Work Together or Hang Separately, It’s That Simple

Two qualities that gives the seafood industry its unique character are being made up of a multitude of diverse companies of all sizes, and having an immense diversity of species and products.

In the U.S. meat industry, four companies control 84% of beef production, 65% of pork production, 53% of poultry, and one dairy co-op and one processor control 30% and 40% respectively of the national milk supply.

Our companies are not large enough to be dominant in this way. With the exception of a few farmed salmon...

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DFO Announces P.E.I. Lobster Season Set to Begin on May 15

Following weeks of back and forth, the lobster fishery in LFAs 23, 24 and 26 will open on May 15, lasting until June 30, according to an announcement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

“The Government of Canada is taking the necessary steps to ensure that you can continue to operate safely and effectively and we will continue to keep you informed of the latest developments,” the DFO said in a Notice to Fish Harvesters.

The announcement follows the results of a vote from the Prince Edward Island Fishermen...

Full Story »