Fri. Jun 24 2016

British Vote Sets Off Bomb in Global Economy; US and Canadian Seafood Industry to Suffer   (2)


Yukon River Dip-Net Commercial Fishery Landings So Far Double Last Year's


Senate Proposal Seeks to Completely Ban Shark Fin Sales in US Market


Yesso Scallop Production up 4.9% in China's Changhai Province; Prices Hit Record Highs


Whooshh's Salmon Cannon Shows Promise in Transporting West Coast Salmon Over Impassable Dams


EU Parliment Adopts "Baltic Plan": First Long-term Fishing Plan Under New Common Fisheries Policy


Univ. Washington and NOAA Create Reliable Forecast Tool for Pacific Northwest Waters


New Jersey Fishing Association Opposes Proposal to Ban Shark Fin Sales Nationwide


Peru Says its Fishmeal Industry is No Longer a Global Player After Years of Low Production


Washington State Considers Lifting Ban on Private Salmon Ranching   (1)


Seafood.com News Summary June 24, 2016


Thu. Jun 23 2016

Ecuadorian Shrimp Production at Record Levels in 2016 as Sales to Asia Easily Outpace Exports to US


Gulf Shrimp Landings Up 17% Through May with Texas and Alabama Catches Sharply Higher


In China, Heat Leads to Tilapia Diseases, Prices Drop in Short Term  


Jon Hindar to Resign as CEO from Cermaq; Geir Molvik to Takeover in Interim Role


Pacific Bluefin Tuna: NGO Wants it on the Endangered List, NMFS Offers Plan to Rebuild Stocks  


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday June 23, 2016


Wed. Jun 22 2016

Russian Processors Fear Salmon Shortage with Pink and Chum Catches Expected to Fall Sharply


Thai Union Gets 0% Shrimp Dumping Rate as Commerce Finalizes Duties Early  


AgroSuper's Los Fiordos Earns Four-Star BAP Certification for Chilean Salmon Farming Operations


Fall River's Raw Seafoods Adds Three Industry Veterans to Senior Management Positions


Norway Reverses Position on Sterile Salmon; Allows Nor Seafoods to Stock 1 Million Fish


Oregon Albacore Commission Secures State and MSC Funding to Provide Local Seafood to Students


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday June 22, 2016


Tue. Jun 21 2016

India Opens Shrimp Farming Sector to Overseas Foreign Investment  


Guolian Shifts Focus with Contract to be 'Kitchen' for Yum Brands in China


GMRI Lobster Forecast Says High Landings in Maine Should Begin at any Time Now


U.S Cado Holdings' Sea Queen Pangasius is First to be Recalled Under USDA Catfish Inspection Program


Korean Fishermen Blame Illegal Fishing by China for Sharp Decrease in Their Swimming Crab Catch


Pressures are Mounting from Japanese Users to Reduce Price of Alaskan Copper River Sockeye Roe  


Marine Harvest to Halt Use of Copper Treated Salmon Net Pens in BC


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 21, 2016


Mon. Jun 20 2016

Seafood.com News Summary Monday June 20, 2012


Alaska Approves Hike in Hunting, Trapping, Sport Fishing Fees to Help Offset Budget Cuts to ADF&G


Competing Proteins: Beef Market Slides While Poultry Index Remained Flat Last Week


India Shrimp Exporters Hope 2% US Preliminary Duty Hike is Reversed as Factories Have Tuned to US  


Zhangzidao Struggles with High Debt Loads; Controlling Shareholder to sell Large Stake


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British Vote Sets Off Bomb in Global Economy; US and Canadian Seafood Industry to Suffer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [News Analysis and Commentary] by John Sackton  June 24, 2016

The unexpected vote in the UK to sever its ties to the European Union has rocked currency and financial markets this morning.  It has also darkened the outlook for the US and Canadian seafood industry.  All of us will be poorer because of this vote.

The vote has caused some of the largest currency movements in decades.  This morning, the Euro is down 3.2% against the dollar, the UK pound is down 8.8%, and the Japanese Yen is down 3.8% against the dollar, to its lowest values this year.

The problem:  all of these countries are buyers of US seafood, (80% of US exports from Alaska), and suddenly our customers have woken up poorer this morning.

Currency does fluctuate, and changes in exchange rates are a continual business risk...

Full Story »

Yukon River Dip-Net Commercial Fishery Landings So Far Double Last Year's

SEAFOODNEWS.COM By Peggy Parker - June 23, 2016

Higher than expected landings of Yukon River chum salmon are being caught by commercial dip-nets, done by hand over the side of the boat, to protect the iconic Chinook salmon from being harmed. Even with the less efficient dip nets, the catch is more than double what it was last year at this time.

Chinook salmon runs in the Yukon have been at severely low levels for years. Sport and even subsistence catch has been prohibited in recent years.

To date, the Lower Yukon River total catch (both district 1 and 2) is 145,892 chum salmon and 0 chinook salmon.

ADF&G’s weekly update for the area, which lags by about a week current catch levels, describes earlier landings of “beach seine and dip net commercial harvest in District 1 is 50,570 summer chum salmon...

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Senate Proposal Seeks to Completely Ban Shark Fin Sales in US Market

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 24, 2016

A group of East and West Coast U.S. Senators introduced a measure that seeks to prohibit the sale of shark fins in the United States.

The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 was proposed to Congress by U.S. Senators Cory Booker(D-NJ) Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John McCain (R-AZ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) this week.

The proposal will ban the sale of shark fins in the U.S market...

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Ecuadorian Shrimp Production at Record Levels in 2016 as Sales to Asia Easily Outpace Shipments to US

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 23, 2016

Ecuadorian shrimp sales to overseas markets hit new records both for the month of May and for the year, driven by exports to Asia whiles sales to the US declined.

Shrimp exports from Ecuador reached a record high volume at 76.7 million pounds in May, a 16 percent increase from last May, or an additional 10 million pounds.

May exports push Ecuador’s shrimp shipments for the year to 322.3 million pounds...

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Yesso Scallop Production up 4.9% in China's Changhai Province; Prices Hit Record Highs

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [JQKA] Translated by Amy Zhong - June 24, 2016

Scallop farmers in China’s Changhai province are harvesting and selling yesso scallops at record high prices this year.

Yesso scallop prices are up to 6 yuan per kilo (US$0.91 per kilo) for smaller scallops and 22 yuan per kilo (US$3.32 per kilo) for larger sizes. Both of these prices are reportedly sharply higher for the fishery and at record levels.

Additionally, Changhai’s scallop output is up 4.9 percent through May at 59,128 tons. Farmers credit the production increase to a the raft farming model that focuses on reducing disease.

Provincial officials with Changhai said farmed seafood is projected to account for 95 percent of its overall agriculture economy...

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Gulf Shrimp Landings Up 17% Through May with Texas and Alabama Catches Sharply Higher

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 23, 2016

The first month of in-season shrimp landings from the Gulf of Mexico shows catches are higher over last year and the five-year-average with notable increases out of Texas and Alabama.

Commercial shrimp fishing officially resumed in May for most the Gulf States except Texas, which closed its season on May 15. May is traditionally when the bulk of shrimp fishing starts as long as the shrimp stocks meet minimum size requirements...

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EU Parliment Adopts "Baltic Plan": First Long-term Fishing Plan Under New Common Fisheries Policy

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - June 23, 2016

The EU multiannual, multispecies plan for managing Baltic Sea cod, sprat and herring stocks was approved in plenary session of the European Parliment yesterday. This is the first new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regional plan that takes account of interactions between species. It aims to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and offer fishermen better economic conditions in the long run. Parliament and Council negotiators reached an informal agreement on it in March.

The multispecies management approach is much more effective than managing a single species. It takes account of inter-species interactions, such as cod eating herring and sprats and sprats eating cod roe. The new plan - approved by 480 votes to 68 with 39 abstentions - aims to ensure balanced and sustainable exploitation of these stocks and guarantee stable fishing opportunities and livelihoods...

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In China, Heat Leads to Tilapia Diseases, Prices Drop in Short Term

SEAFOODNEWS.COM Translated by Amy Zhong - June 23, 2016

China's tilapia industry is in the grip of a depression. The weekly price report shows an increase in farmed tilapia mortality during mid-June's hot days, resulting in price decreases in the short run.

Tilapia ponds of Hainan and the western Guangdong are suffering this month from hot weather and excessive rain. Fish die from lack of oxygen and high levels of ammonia and nitrogen. Heavy rain takes a toll on water quality in the ponds.

Processing plants report limited orders from foreign buyers, while there is sufficient stock of tilapias. So overall processing plants have cut their purchase of raw materials to a great extent, which results in the decline of prices. Most tilapia farmers are waiting for prices to increase before reseeding the ponds with broodstock. 

Farmers are unwilling to sell tilapias at low prices. And processing plants are unable to pay for tilapias in cash at the moment, while traders are not willing to pay farmers before they get the money from processing plants....

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Peru Says its Fishmeal Industry is No Longer a Global Player After Years of Low Production

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 24, 2016

Elena Conterno, president of the National Fisheries Society (SNP) said that Peru is no longer a major producer and supplier of fishmeal to the global market.

At the level of marine ingredients, Peru has lost the lead in the production of fishmeal, Conterno said in a recent 

"Difficult years have meant that substitutes for flour and oil are sought, because Peru has ceased to be a reliable supplier of these products," Conterno said...

 

 

 

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Jon Hindar to Resign as CEO from Cermaq; Geir Molvik to Takeover in Interim Role

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 23, 2016

Jon Hindar announced his resignation as CEO of Norwegian salmon producer Cermaq after serving five years at the position. 

Hindar joined Cermaq in 2005 and worked his up to CEO in 2011. 

“The almost five years as CEO for Cermaq have been an exciting and rewarding experience, but I have found that now is the right time for me to move on to new challenges in my working life”, says Jon Hindar...

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Thai Union Gets 0% Shrimp Dumping Rate as Commerce Finalizes Duties Early

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 22, 2016

The US Department of Commerce finalized shrimp antidumping duty rates for its tenth administrative review ahead of schedule since there were comments submitted since the preliminary rates were announced in March.

Final rates for major Thai exporters Thai Union and Pakfood were set zero percent. Another respondent, May Ao Foods was given a 1.36 percent duty rate. That same 1.36 percent rate was also set as the country-wide rate for 150 other shrimp exporters...

 

 

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India Opens Shrimp Farming Sector to Overseas Foreign Investment

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Jagdish Kumar June 21, 2016

India has announced new rules to allow 100% foreign investment and ownership in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
 
In a move that opens the economy, the Indian government has decided to radically liberalise the foreign direct investment (FDI) regime in the country and allow 100 per cent foreign investment and ownership in aquaculture, including breeding and brood stock...

 

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GMRI Lobster Forecast Says High Landings in Maine Should Begin at any Time Now

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  by John Sackton  June 21, 2016

So far, there has not been the summer surge of lobster landings in Maine, although more and more new shell lobsters are entering the market. 
 
This influx in new shell landings from Maine has Urner Barry planning to begin quotations on New Shell Lobsters soon.
 
Lobster prices typically decline when landings in Maine pick up.  But so far this year, that has not yet happened.
 
The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has a lobster forecast model based on seawater temperatures in the Gulf of Maine.  Warmer temperatures bring lobsters out to molt and feed, and they are much more vulnerable to traps. The model predicts the onset...

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U.S Cado Holdings' Sea Queen Pangasius is First to be Recalled Under USDA Catfish Inspection Program

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 21, 2016

U.S Cado Holdings is the first seafood distributor in the US to recall imported pangasius fillets for not meeting federal requirements under the USDA’s Catfish Inspection Program.

The company recalled 25,760 pounds of its Sea Queen brand of frozen pangasius fillets imported from Vietnamese producer and supplier Golden Quality Seafood. 

The 2-lb packages containing skinless and boneless fillets were produced and packed on March 30, 2016. 

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Norway Reverses Position on Sterile Salmon; Allows Nor Seafoods to Stock 1 Million Fish

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 22, 2016

Norway's Industry and Fisheries Ministry reversed its position that prevents companies from stock triploid, or sterile, salmon and will now allow Norway Royal Salmon's subsidiary Nor Seafoods to release 1 million of the fish to its farm site in Tromso.

Authorities determined that the triploid salmon do not pose a threat to Norway's environment when monitored correctly. Officials determined that Nor Seafoods has proper safeguards in place to monitor its salmon pens to prevent escapements...

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Korean Fishermen Blame Illegal Fishing by China for Sharp Decrease in Their Swimming Crab Catch

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Japan Reports]  June 21, 2016

Tokyo - Korea's catch of swimming crab to date this season has decreased by nearly 70% from a year before, according to a report by Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Korean fishermen insist that the drastic drop has been triggered by illegal fishing activities of Chinese fishing vessels.

According to Korea's Oceans and Fisheries Ministry, the swimming crab catch in April shrank by 69% over the same month of last year.

The ministry said that the cumulative catch in the first four months of this year came to 664 tons, which is less than ...

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Marine Harvest to Halt Use of Copper Treated Salmon Net Pens in BC

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 21, 2016

Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) purchased five boats that the company will modify to use Remote Operated Net Cleaners (RONCs) as part of its move away from copper-treated nets at its salmon farming sites in British Columbia.   

Since November, MHC has spent over $2 million to purchase 12 RONCs. The technology uses high-pressure water and scrubbing discs to safely remove organics that naturally grow on net pens that contain farm-raised salmon.

The RONCs are housed on a support vessel which moors alongside salmon farm cages to pressure wash nets without having to disturb any fish or infrastructure.

The key piece of technology is a five or seven-disc net..

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Support For Repealing USDA Catfish Inspection Program Gaining Strength in House 

A letter signed by 180 Representatives was sent to the House leadership that favors taking up a measure to repeal the USDA's Catfish Inspection Program. A majority of the signees are Republican representatives that control the House. “There’s little doubt that, by and large, the House wants to take this up,” said Gavin Gibbons, Vice President of Communications for the National Fisheries Institue. In May, it was Senate Republicans, led by Arizona Senator John McCain, that fast tracked Joint Resolution 28 in an effort to remove the program from the Farm Bill. The Resolution only needs House approval and a White House signature to disapprove the program from law.

John Sackton comments on the widespread repercussions that last night's vote in favor of removing Britain from the European Union will have on US and Canadian seafood sales. The unexpected vote caused some of the largest currency movements in decades, which left many buyers of US and Canadian seafood products poorer. Additionally, the "Brexit" vote is likely to freeze available liquidity among major financial institutions, which will limit investment in the seafood industry. Lastly, the vote is another sign of weak leadership among the world's political figures that have been largely unable to solve an assortment of state and federal financial issues.

In other news, NOAA said it will refund as much as 85 percent of the costs needed to fund fishery observers for the Northeast's groundfishing fleet. NOAA said any groundfish sector trip beginning on or after July 1 may be eligible for the reimbursement of at-sea monitoring costs through a program the federal fisheries regulator is developing with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Details of that plan remain a work in progress, but it appears fishermen will still have to pay for the monitoring services for which they or their sector have privately contracted and then submit those expenses for reimbursement.

Meanwhile, chum salmon landings out of the Yukon River's commercial dip-net fishery are more than double last year at this time. To date, the Lower Yukon River total catch (both district 1 and 2) is 145,892 chum salmon and 0 chinook salmon. Dip-nets are being used in order to protect the Yukon king salmon run, which has been severely low over the last several years. “Our best opener so far was on June 14th, when 107 dip net boats hauled in over 15,000 fish, which is rather remarkable when taking into consideration the inefficiency of dip nets and fishing a river that is 7 miles wide at the mouth,” said Jack Schultheis, owner of Emmonak-based Kwik-Pak Fisheries.

Finally, a group of East and West Coast Senators introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of shark fins in the U.S. The Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 seeks to: Remove the U.S. contribution of shark fins to the global market; allow for stronger enforcement of the “no finning” ban in the United States;and put the U.S. in a stronger position to advocate internationally for abolishing the fin trade in other countries. The proposal was met with opposition from commercial fishing groups that say the law is unfair to legal, responsibly managed commercial shark fisheries in the US.

Have a good weekend.

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Whooshh's Salmon Cannon Shows Promise in Transporting West Coast Salmon Over Impassable Dams

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - June 24, 2016

Whooshh Innovations successfully tested its "Salmon Cannon" system to move fish 1,100 feet with a 100-foot rise. The company said the test means that live salmon can now safety be moved over long and elevated distances using little water.

Tests are currently taking place at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (USBR) Roza Dam fish passage/fish handling facility on the Yakima River. It was designed to evaluate the efficacy of employing the Salmon Cannon...

 

 

 

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Univ. Washington and NOAA Create Reliable Forecast Tool for Pacific Northwest Waters

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 24, 2016

Researchers from the University of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have created a seasonal outlook for Pacific Northwest waters.

The University says the forecast can be used as a tool to predict the productivity of West Coast fishing seasons like sardines and crab. A paper evaluating the forecast's performance was published in June in the interdisciplinary, open-access journal Nature: Scientific Reports.

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New Jersey Fishing Association Opposes Proposal to Ban Shark Fin Sales Nationwide

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 24, 2016

Representative of New Jersey's commercial fishing industry announced thier opposition to a proposal to ban the sale and trade of shark fins in the US.

The Garden State Seafood Association voiced its concern with the proposed Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act of 2016 for undercutting New Jersey's legal and responsibly managed commercial shark fisheries. The proposal will ban the sale of shark fins in the U.S market...

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Washington State Considers Lifting Ban on Private Salmon Ranching

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Kitsap Sun] by Tristan Baurick - June 24, 2016

A long-prohibited method of salmon farming is gaining support among state fisheries managers.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is dusting off the idea of allowing private companies to raise and release salmon for commercial harvests. Known as salmon ranching, the practice boomed in the Northwest during the 1970s... 

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Russian Processors Fear Salmon Shortage with Pink and Chum Catches Expected to Fall Sharply

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - June 22, 2016

The Russian salmon industry is on the verge of serious crisis, due to poor salmon catch this year, which may result in a shortage of fish in the domestic market.

According to predictions of analysts of Rosrybolovstvo, the catch of pink salmon and chum salmon in the Russian Far East and Sakhalin (center of Russian salmon production) this year is expected to be by 2-3 times less than during previous years. This could trigger the growth of poaching and may result in bankruptcies of many local producers and processors...

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Pacific Bluefin Tuna: NGO Wants it on the Endangered List, NMFS Offers Plan to Rebuild Stocks

SEAFOODNEWS.COM (SeafoodNews) By Peggy Parker - June 23, 2016

Pacific bluefin tuna is in trouble and both environmental groups and international managers are trying to save it, albiet from different approches. Earlier this week, an alliance of environmental organizations asked National Marine Fisheries Service to consider listing Pacific bluefin as an endangered species. Yesterday, the agency announced a proposed framework for rebuilding Pacific bluefin tuna stocks. 

NMFS's long-term plan for rebuilding Pacific bluefin spans the Pacific and many international boundaries. It will be presented at the annual Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) meeting next week in La Jolla, CA.

While the 21 member countries of the IATTC will be negotiating catch limits, the scientific advice from IATTC's staff is to extend current catch limits in the eastern Pacific for another two years. But the environmental groups want to ban all removals, immediately. 

A May 2016 stock assessment conducted by the...

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Guolian Shifts Focus with Contract to be 'Kitchen' for Yum Brands in China

SEAFOODNEWS.COM  [Shuichan News]  Translated by Amy Zhong  June 21, 2016

Guolian is more than an exporter of white shrimps now. Guolian has become the 'kitchen' for Yum Brands in China and is changing from a white shrimp exporter to a diversified company selling aquaculture products.  

When the reporter from Zhanjiang Daily visited Guolan's factory, workers were occupied with the preparation of white shrimp. These processed shrimps are to be delivered to Yum! Brands, the buyer in Shanghai.

Guolian has been known as an exporter of Zhanjiang shrimps to all other countries,  a winner of two anti-dumping  lawsuits in America, Chinese mainland’s only supplier of live shrimps to Hong Kong?, and the first listed company in Zhanjiang?
 
Guolian has different labels and now it is working to achieve more international recognition...

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AgroSuper's Los Fiordos Earns Four-Star BAP Certification for Chilean Salmon Farming Operations

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 22, 2016

Chilean farmed salmon producer Los Fiordos has earned four-star certification against the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices program.

This is the highest level of certification offered by the GAA's BAP program and means that Los Fiordos' salmon operation is responsibly managed from the feed mill to the end user. 

Four-star designation was granted to Los Fiordos after the operator received certification for its Piscicultura Curarrehue operations located in the La Araucanía region...

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Fall River's Raw Seafoods Adds Three Industry Veterans to Senior Management Positions

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  June 22, 2016

Raw Seafoods, Inc. today announced a number of new hires to add more depth and resources to the leadership team in response to strong growth in recent years, and to position the company for continued success in both the retail and foodservice sectors in North America.
 
Jim LaBelle has joined the company as Vice-President of Marketing and Program Development. In this new role, LaBelle will lead all marketing and brand building activity for the company, as well as play an important role in developing programs and partnerships with leading retail and foodservice customer partners. LaBelle worked for many years in marketing and sales leadership roles for High Liner Foods and Fishery Products International in both the retail and foodservice channels.
 
Mark Ross has been appointed to the position of Director of Retail Sales. Ross will lead the company’s efforts in selling Raw Seafoods brand commodities and J. Scott Foods Brand
value-added seafood into major retailers throughout North America. Ross previously held senior sales positions with Trans-Ocean Products.
 
Tom Vasile has also joined the company...

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Oregon Albacore Commission Secures State and MSC Funding to Provide Local Seafood to Students

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 22, 2016

The Oregon Albacore Commission secured a Farm to School Grant from the Oregon Department of Education with additional help from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to support a boat-to-school culinary program for students.

The program will educate students in Oregon’s Seaside School District about the state’s sustainable seafood and fisheries. The program also aims to increase awareness of the health benefits of locally sourced wild seafood.

Students will also be taught about five of the state’s major fisheries, starting with salmon October...

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Pressures Are Mounting from Japanese Users to Reduce Price of Alaskan Copper River Sockeye Roe

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 21, 2016

The first shipments of Copper River salted salmon sack roe have been sold in Japan at prices of Y 4500 / kg for No. 1 grade, Y 4100 / kg for no. 2 grade, and Y 3700 for No. 3 grade.  Most sales were of number three grade.  These shipments arrived at the Sendai market two weeks ago.
 
These are all non-frozen airfreight prices, which are higher than frozen roe prices.
 
However, there is pressure from Japanese buyers to reduce prices, despite the lackluster ...

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Ecuadorian Shrimp Production at Record Levels in 2016 as Sales to Asia Easily Outpace Exports to US 

Ecuadorian shrimp sales to overseas markets hit new records both for the month of May and for the year, driven by exports to Asia whiles sales to the US declined. Shrimp exports from Ecuador reached a record high volume at 76.7 million pounds in May. The country's shrimp exports are up now 15 percent through the first five months of the year, a 42 million pound increase compared to 2015 levels. Exports to Asia accounted for 51 percent of Ecuador’s shrimp sales through May at 166 million pounds. At the same time, Ecuador’s shrimp exports to the US market fell to 60.5 million pounds. Ecuador’s combined shrimp shipments to the US and EU markets are now lower than its overall sales to Asia.

The Prince Edward Island Fishermen's Association (PEIFA) will not ask the federal government to extend the spring lobster fishery despite a slow start to the season. "Even though catches have been down, there's been an offset in prices and it would perhaps be better to end the season on the planned date," said PEIFA Executive Director Ian MacPherson.

In other news, the first month of in-season shrimp landings from the Gulf of Mexico shows catches are higher over last year and the five-year-average. Gulf shrimp catches are up 17 percent to 23.5 million pounds, about 3.5 million more pounds of shrimp versus last year. Higher catches out Texas and Alabama are the key contributors to the Gulf catch so far.

Meanwhile, European Union scientists have given Sweden until July 31 to address U.S. and Canadian objections to Sweden's claims that North American lobster is an invasive species that should be subject to an import ban. The deadline was issued during a scientific forum that met this week to discuss Sweden's claim that North American lobsters are invasive. The forum asked Sweden to update its scientific justification for labeling the North American lobster as an invader. U.S. and Canadian scientists object to Sweden's claim saying there is no proof of an invasion despite decades of imports, or that offspring of the two species can spawn a second-generation hybrid.

Finally, Linda Behnken was named interim commissioner on the International Pacific Halibut Commission. She is replacing Jeff Kauffman who announced his resignation this week. Behnken is currently executive director of the Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association. She has also served on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, and is a board member of the Alaska Sustainable Fisheries Trust, which advocates for fisheries sustainability and marine resource health.

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