Indian Shrimp Imports to US Up 20 Million Pounds from 2016; Accounts for 25% of Q1 Volume
The volume of Indian shrimp imported into the US market in the first quarter of the year exceeded 2016 levels by about 20 million pounds. Indian shrimp now represents more than a quarter of all imported volumes in the US market this year. According to shrimp import date from the US Department of Commerce, March imports increased 2.3 percent increase for the month. Overall imports are now down only 0.8 percent. Meanwhile, Indonesian imports were up for the month and for the year. Thailand and Vietnam imports are down sharply for the month while other supplying countries are mixed. Argentine imports remain up. Ecuador’s March imports were for the month but remain generally lower because of higher shipments to Asian and European markets. Ecuador is optimistic that it will sell more than 50 percent of its white shrimp production to Asia.
A former Louisiana official, an Alaskan fishery manager, and a Sea Grant program director are reportedly in the running to head the National Marine Fisheries Service. Robert Barham, Chris Oliver, and LaDon Swann are the three candidates that US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to select from. It's unclear when Ross — or the White House — will make that decision. Chris Olver has received overwhelming support from fishing associations in Alaska and across the country. Most recently a group of seven fishing groups from the Gulf of Mexico sent a letter to Ross in support of Oliver's nomination.
In other news, the number of seafood items refused entry to the US market by the FDA fell in April, which dragged overall rejections for the year. Similar to last month, shrimp and filth remain the top species and reasons for refusals. However, shrimp rejections are about the same through the first four months of 2017 compared to last year. Filth is still the top violation but accounts for 40 percent of this year’s refusals versus the 60 percent share of rejections filth was responsible for in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government's announcement yesterday to not list Atlantic bluefin tuna as endangered, despite data on low abundance, low recruitment, and high uncertainty on population health, rests primarily on the socio-economic objective of allowing a fishery for Canada's 600 licensed bluefin tuna fishermen write Peggy Parker. Canada's decision to not list Atlantic bluefin tuna under Endangered Species Act triggers a Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) directive to institute specific management actions aimed at stock recovery. This will be the first time since the inception of DFO’s listing policy that a decision to not list has been made.
Finally, a legislative committee voted unanimously Wednesday to toughen penalties on lobstermen who fish too many traps or use “sunken trawls,” as part of an industry-supported effort to crack down on lawbreakers. The law would allow DMR’s commissioner to order longer license suspensions for lobstermen who violate the laws on the first offense and, in several cases, permanently revoke the licenses of repeat offenders.
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