Fri. Jul 1 2016

No Buyer for Kuskokwim Salmon, So No Commercial Salmon Fishing  


China Fishery and Pac Andes Bankruptcy Filing Puts Plan to Sell Peruvian Fishmeal Assets on Hold


Bristol Bay Races to Two Billionth Salmon Since 1884  


Mexico Raises Per Capita Seafood Consumption 7 Pounds in 3 Years; Credits Production Increases


VIDEO: Seafood News Weekly Story Recap July 1, 2016


Scallop Fishing to Close July 4 for Mid-Atlantic Limited Access General Category IFQ Vessels


Register Now to Comment on Three Alaska RFM-Certified Fisheries


Seafood.com News Summary Friday July 1, 2016


Thu. Jun 30 2016

Urner Barry Relists New Shell Live Lobster Quotations for First Time This Summer  


Letters: IPHC Director Leaman Says NMFS and IPHC Regulations Match Each Other


Louisiana to Close Spring Season Shrimp Fishing July 3  


Seafood.com News Summary Thursday June 30, 2016


Wed. Jun 29 2016

Advisory Panel Recommends Abolishing Newfoundland's LIFO Shrimp Policy, Adopt Proportional Quotas  


Kauffman Resignation Raises Questions About NOAA Law Enforcement, Commissioner Process


Bristol Bay Sockeye Harvest on Track, Port Moller Stock Composition About Mid-Range  


U.S Cado Holdings Expands its Sea Queen Pangasius Recall Under USDA Inspection Program


Alaska's "B" Season Pollock Surimi Production down 35%  


Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday June 29, 2016


Tue. Jun 28 2016

Russia Proposes Controversial Plan to Lift Trawling Ban to Raise Crab Catch 27% by 2018


Valentin Ramirez Named CEO of Chicken of the Sea International's Supplier Tri-Union Seafood


2016 Council Appointments Announced by Secretary of Commerce


Pacific Council Hires Chuck Tracy as Executive Director


Maine Senators Collins and King Support NOAA's Observer Funding Plan for NE Groundfish Fleet


Gulf Reef Shareholder's Assoc. Praises Louisiana for Opposing State-Run Snapper Management


Seafood.com News Summary Tuesday June 28, 2016


Mon. Jun 27 2016

Sea Watch Launches Deep Fried Clam Chowder at Great Chowder Cook-Off; Plans Retail Release This Fall


Seafood.com News Summary Monday June 27, 2016


Fri. Jun 24 2016

Seafood.com News Summary June 24, 2016


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


British Vote Sets Off Bomb in Global Economy; US and Canadian Seafood Industry to Suffer   (5)


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No Buyer for Kuskokwim Salmon, so No Commercial Salmon Fishing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Alaska Dispatch News] By Lisa Demer - July 1, 2016

BETHEL – For the first time since 1960, for as long as the state has managed fisheries, a season's worth of salmon will travel up rivers in the Kuskokwim Delta this year with no opportunity for local residents to catch them commercially.

With no fish buyer signed up for the Kuskokwim region, the usual infusion of millions of dollars into this part of job-poor Southwestern Alaska isn't happening.

Nearly 450,000 salmon of various types have been caught on average commercially in recent years.

Not this year. The state says those unharvested fish could overload spawning grounds and hurt future runs.

"We need to fish," says Timothy "Johnny-boy" Matthew, a Quinhagak fisherman who goes by his childhood nickname.

The sole local buyer in recent years, a branch of Coastal Villages Region Fund, isn't operating its $40 million fish processing plant in Platinum, on the Bering Sea coast in Southwest Alaska.

Coastal Villages Seafoods isn't buying any salmon from village residents at all...

Full Story »

China Fishery and Pac Andes Bankruptcy Filing Puts Plan to Sell Peruvian Fishmeal Assets on Hold

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - July 1, 2016

The announcement that China Fishery Group (CFG) and Pacific Andes applied for bankruptcy protection in the U.S will delay an attempt by the group to sell off its fishmeal assets in Peru.

One immediate impact the filings will have on the industry is the group's attempt to sell of its fishmeal production business in Peru. In late December, Pacific Andes announced it had two potential sale offers for the ...

Full Story »

Bristol Bay Races to Two Billionth Salmon Since 1884

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews]  By Peggy Parker - July 1, 2016

The Fourth of July holiday marks time away from the office and barbeques with friends and family for most of Americans. But in Bristol Bay, it’s all about no sleep, constant alertness, and unlimited energy.

The peak of the world’s largest sockeye fishery will be reached sometime in the next week, according to most indicators.

But an even bigger milestone is that, some time in the next few weeks, a Bristol Bay fisherman will catch the two billionth salmon to be caught in the Bay since commercial fishing began in 1884...

Full Story »

Urner Barry Relists New Shell Live Lobster Quotations for First Time This Summer

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 30, 2016

New shell lobster landings in New England are high enough for Urner Barry to relist its quotations for the item for the first time this season.

The June 28 edition of Urner Barry’s Seafood Price Current listed quotations for new shell live lobsters out of New England between $6.25  - $6.50 per pound for  1 lb chicks to and 1.25 lb quarters. Quotations for larger lobsters up to 1.5 pound halves were relisted at $6.75 - $6.95 per pound.

Quotations in for New Shell lobsters in the Mid-Atlantic were relisted at levels between $7.00 and $7.25 per pound for all sizes...

Full Story »

Mexico Raises Per Capita Seafood Consumption 7 Pounds in 3 Years; Credits Production Increases

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - July 1, 2016

Mexico raised its domestic seafood consumption nearly 7 pounds to about 26 pounds per capita in the last three years, easily beating a six-year goal to boost consumption.

Authorities with Mexico’s National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA) originally planned in 2012 to raise the country’s seafood consumption to the 26 pound per capita level in six years.

But the goal was reached in three years with help from an increase in farmed and wild seafood production. In 2015 Mexico’s combined seafood output reached a record 1.7 million tons...

Full Story »

Letters: IPHC Director Leaman Says NMFS and IPHC Regulations Match Each Other

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Letters] - June 30, 2016



To the Editor, SeafoodNews:



Without commenting on the NOVA, penalties imposed, or other aspects of your article I do wish to confirm that the IPHC and NMFS regulations are consistent concerning the violation that occurred, with regard to the sequence of fishing in multiple Area 4 regulatory areas and the relationship of fish on board to the amounts of unfished quota available in the area being fished.



Sincerely, 



Bruce Leaman


Executive Director


International Pacific Halibut Commission

Full Story »

Louisiana to Close Spring Season Shrimp Fishing July 3

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 30, 2016

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the spring season inshore shrimp fishery in state waters this Sunday July 3.

Fishing will be shut down at 6 pm from the Mississippi / Louisiana state line westward to the western shore of the Freshwater Bayou canal.

Waters off the Mississippi Sound and the Breton and Chandeleur Sounds seaward of the double-rig line will remain open to commercial fishing...

Full Story »

Register Now to Comment on Three Alaska RFM-Certified Fisheries

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] - July 1, 2016

Global Trust/SAI Global, is conducting a stakeholder registration of parties wishing to make comment on the Draft Assessment Reports of the following fisheries currently undergoing re-certification to the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) Certification Program.

The fisheries are:

US Alaska Salmon Commercial Fisheries

US Alaska Pacific Halibut Commercial Fisheries

US Alaska Sablefish (Black cod) Commercial Fisheries

The purpose of registration is to form a list of stakeholders prior to the release of the Draft Assessment Report who will then be notified when the 30 day period for comment on the report is announced and the report is made available. 

It is estimated that Draft Assessment Reports will be posted in mid-September (Halibut and Sablefish) and October (Salmon). As noted, registered stakeholders will receive an e-mailed copy of the reports they have registered interest in receiving.

The Assessment Team appointed to a particular fishery assessment will review each comment submitted by stakeholders...

Full Story »

Kauffman Resignation Raises Questions About NOAA Law Enforcement, Commissioner Process

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] By Peggy Parker - June 29, 2016

Jeff Kauffman submitted his resignation earlier this month as a U.S. Commissioner on the International Pacific Halibut Commission only after months of trying to clear his name and retain his seat.

Despite recent media coverage to the contrary, Kauffman was not charged with going over his quota or fishing in an area he didn’t have quota for. Everyone involved, from the arresting officer to the D.C.-based attorneys, agree...

Full Story »

U.S Cado Holdings Expands its Sea Queen Pangasius Recall Under USDA Inspection Program

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 29, 2016

The USDA posted an expansion to a frozen pangasius fillet recall orignially reported last week by U.S Cado Holdings.

According to the updated notice posted to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service website, U.S Cado Holdings recalled an addition 2,235 pounds of Sea Queen Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) pangasisu fillet products.

U.S Cado Holdings was the first domestic pangasius distributor to voluntarily recall pangasius fillets under the USDA's Catfish Inspection Program, which was officially initated this past March... 

Full Story »


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 29, 2016

Reports out of Japan find Alaskan pollock fillet production is outpacing surimi output during the "B" season of the Bering Sea/Aleutian ISland and Gulf of Alaska fishery. 

Last week total "B" season pollock surimi production was 4,4990 tons, down 35.1 percent compared to the same time in 2015 according to data from NMFS. 

Meanwhile, pollock filet production is up 130.2 percent for skin-off product, which has offset production losses from the "A" season.  However, skin-on fillet production is down 8.1 percent from 2015 figures. Deep skin fillet production is about even the last year according to NMFS...

 

 

 

Full Story »

2016 Council Appointments Announced by Secretary of Commerce

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] By Peggy Parker - June 28, 2016

New and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils were made yesterday, signaling business as usual in some areas and changes that may affect major policies in others.

New and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on August 11.

At the North Pacific Council, Theresa Peterson from Kodiak and Michael “Buck” Laukitis from Homer will fill two of six obligatory Alaska state seats made vacant by Duncan Fields and David Long.  This does not signal a change in policy but may prevent triggering recusals in critical future votes.

In the Mid-Atlantic Council, the biggest upset was that Jeff Kaelin of Lunds Fisheries, who has been active on both the Mid-Atlantic Council and New England Council committees, was not reappointed. That at-large seat went to fellow-New Jersey resident Peter B. Hughes...

Full Story »

Maine Senators Collins and King Support NOAA's Observer Funding Plan for NE Groundfish Fleet

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 28, 2016

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME)  supported a decision by NOAA to fund an estimated 85 percent of the sea days needed for the New England groundfish fleet's At-Sea Monitoring (ASM) Program for the current fishing year.

“The At-Sea Monitoring Program is an important tool that helps us to responsibly manage Maine’s critical ocean resources,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “Maine’s hardworking fishermen shouldn’t bear an unfair financial burden in supporting the ASM program. We applaud NOAA for stepping up to help reimburse our fishermen, and will continue to fight for the Maine groundfish industry moving forward.”

Full Story »

Sea Watch Launches Deep Fried Clam Chowder at Great Chowder Cook-Off; Plans Retail Release This Fall

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 27, 2016

Sea Watch International launched Deep Fried Clam Chowda during the Great Chowder Cook-off in Newport, RI over the weekend. 

Rhode Island's Great Chowder Cook-Off is the original and longest-running event of its kind in the nation and was an effective launching point for Sea Watch's newest product.

The Deep Fried Clam Chowda is formed with a creamy chowder center that is coated in panko crumbs and fried...

Full Story »

"Day of Reckoning": Alaska Gov. Walker Vetoes Millions in Spending, Caps Permanent Fund Dividend 

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker vetoed millions of dollars in state spending yesterday including likely cuts in Permanent Fund dividends, a delay in paying tax breaks for the oil industry and cuts in education programs and road projects. Walker said the state can no longer afford high annual dividends from the $52 billion Alaska Permanent Fund. "We've lost 80 percent of our income in about a year and a half," he said. The governor's Alaska Permanent Fund veto allows for a $1,000 annual dividend this year. Walker's other vetoes, totaling $1.29 billion, slashed government funding in a number of agencies, including education, as well as pausing highway projects and stopping megaprojects like the Knik Arm bridge and Susitna River dam. There were no Fish and Game vetoes announced Wednesday but the department's general fund budget has already been reduced by about 30 percent since fiscal 2015.

Urner Barry relisted live lobster quotations for new shell product in New England and Mid-Atlantic markets. The relisting indicates that Maine landings and the volume of trade are high enough to set the market for the summer. This is the first full lobster summer season that Urner Barry will report quotations for hard shell and new shell lobsters separately. Last August, Urner Barry split its live lobster quotation to better reflect the difference in market prices and availability of hard shell & new shell products.

In other news, we run a letter from Bruce Leaman, the Executive Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission in response to yesterday's story about the resignation of Alaskan IPHC Commissioner Jeff Kauffman. Leaman notes that the halibut regulations issued by the IPHC and NMFS and discussed in the article do match.

Meanwhile, Louisiana's commercial shrimp fishing season in state waters will close this Sunday, July 3. The closure is within the range of when Louisiana’s spring season typically closes. The decision to close the fishery was made after data showed an increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp in the waters.

Finally, the US State Department released the 2016 edition of its Trafficking in Persons report today and confirmed that Thailand was upgraded to the Tier 2 "Watch List". Thailand was ranked on the lowest Tier 3 list for worker abuse and trafficking problems in its labor force, including the seafood industry. The upgrade means the US recognizes that Thailand has taken meaningful steps to improve labor conditions and reduce human trafficking in the country. The report downgraded Myanmar to the Tier 3 list, which can result in sanctions by the US and the international community.
 

Full Story »

Russia Proposes Controversial Plan to Lift Trawling Ban to Raise Crab Catch 27% by 2018 

Russia announced a controversial plan to lift a ban on trawling in order to raise its crab catch to 72,000 metric tons a year by 2018. According to the proposed plan developed by Russian fishery officials with Rosrybolovstvo, red king crab production in Kamchatka would quadruple from current levels to 20,000 metric tons. This increase would help Russia meet its overall production goal by 2018. However, scientists with the Kamchatka Research Institute said lifting the trawl ban could result in long-term depletion of Kamchatka's crab biomass

Thai Union Group named Valentin Ramirez CEO of Tri-Union Seafood, the processing and distribution arm for its Chicken of the Sea International brand.“The appointment of Valentin Ramirez as CEO of one of our key North American subsidiaries reflects our long-term commitment to the market. With his depth of experience and expertise in the industry, Ramirez will be able to significantly contribute to building the Chicken of the Sea brand and the overall business growth of Thai Union Group,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO of Thai Union.

In other news, CP Prima expects to grow its export revenues about 8 percent through higher sales of ASC-certified shrimp to the EU market. The company is planning to expand its ASC-certified shrimp sales to markets in Italy, Cyprus and Scandinavia. "With this certificate, our products will sell better in the international market, especially in Europe," said CP Prima president director Irwan Tirtariyadi.

Meanwhile, Peggy Parker recaps the new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils. The Department of Commerce announced the appointments yesterday. The three-year terms for each council member will start on August 11.

Finally, the Pacific Fishery Management Council hired Chuck Tracy to take over as Executive Director of the Council during its meeting today in Tacoma, Washington. Tracy replaces Dr. Don McIsaac who retired earlier this year. Tracy was working as interim executive director since McIsacc's announcement. He has worked both at the Council and in other state fishery management agencies for 34 years.

Full Story »

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.

Full Story »

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... 

Full Story »

VIDEO: Seafood News Weekly Story Recap July 1, 2016

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] July 1, 2016

Following is a new video segment that recaps of some of the past week's top stories from around the industry.

In this week's news Britain voted to leave the European Union; support to eliminate the USDA Catfish Inspections grew; russia announced a plan to produce more crab and Newfoundland was advised to revise its Northern Shrimp management policy... 

 

Full Story »

Scallop Fishing to Close July 4 for Mid-Atlantic Limited Access General Category IFQ Vessels

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - July 1, 2016

The scallop fishing season Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels
operating in the Mid-Atlantic will be closed on July 4 per federal regulation since 100 percent of the fishery’s allocated trips was met.

NMFS announced the closure for Limited Access General Category Individual Fishing Quota scallop vessels based on a projection that the 2,068 trip allotment will be taken by July 4...

Full Story »

Advisory Panel Recommends Abolishing Newfoundland's LIFO Shrimp Policy, Adopt Proportional Quotas

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 29, 2016

An advisory panel formed by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) recommended abolishing the Last In, First Out (LIFO) Northern shrimp management policy. The Panel also suggested an alternative allocation regime that would include permanent, proportional quota sharing between Newfoundland's offshore and inshore harvesters in all shrimp fishing areas (SFA)...

Full Story »

Bristol Bay Sockeye Harvest on Track, Port Moller Stock Composition About Mid-Range

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] By Peggy Parker - June 29, 2016

Sockeye salmon are starting to show up in the Nushagak and Egigik Districts, major watersheds in Bristol Bay. Fishermen and processors are expecting a more traditional timing of the peak return closer to July 4. 

As of yesterday, a total 1.9 million sockeyes have been landed. Over a million were caught in the Nushagak district and more than 600,000 sockeye landed in the Egegik district...

 

Full Story »

Russia Proposes Controversial Plan to Lift Trawling Ban to Raise Crab Catch 27% by 2018

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden - June 28, 2016

Russia announced a controversial plan to lift a ban on trawling in order to raise its crab catch to 72,000 metric tons a year by 2018

According to a proposed plan by Russian fishery officials with Rosrybolovstvo, the production of red king crab in Kamchatka by 2018 should be increased four times, compared to the current figures  to 20,000 metric tons. At the same time the overall crab catch in Russia during the next two years would increase from 56,000 to 72,000 metric tons per year...

Full Story »

Valentin Ramirez Named CEO of Chicken of the Sea International's Supplier Tri-Union Seafood

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SeafoodNews] June 28, 2016

Thai Union Group (TU) named Valentin Ramirez as CEO of Tri-Union Seafood, the processing and distribution arm for its Chicken of the Sea brand. He will report to the chairman of the board of Thai Union North America, Inc.

Prior to joining Chicken of the Sea, Ramirez served as vice president & general manager for McCormick & Company. He is a graduate of Rice University and also earned an... 

Full Story »

Pacific Council Hires Chuck Tracy as Executive Director

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [SeafoodNews] By Susan Chambers - June 28, 2016

Pacific Fishery Management Council Chairwoman Dorothy Lowman announced today the selection of Chuck Tracy as the new executive director of the Council.

Tracy follows Dr. Don McIsaac, who retired earlier this year.

"My thanks and appreciation for the support from the Council," Tracy said in opening remarks today, including Council staff, stakeholders and Council and committee members in his remarks.

Tracy has worked closely with Lowman, Vice Chairman Herb Pollard and past chairman Don Hansen for the last few months in his role as interim executive director. He also worked closely with McIsaac, both at the Council and in other state fishery management agencies, for 34 years.

One of his past roles at the Council was as the salmon staff officer, guiding the council and industry through some of the most difficult salmon closures on the West Coast in the mid-2000s.

Mike Burner took over as salmon staff officer in 2012, when Tracy assumed the deputy director position...

Full Story »

Gulf Reef Shareholder's Assoc. Praises Louisiana for Opposing State-Run Snapper Management

SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Michael Ramsingh - June 28, 2016

The Gulf Reef Fish Shareholder’s Alliance applauded Louisiana’s Governor and Fisheries Department for opposing a Congressional bill to strip red snapper fishery management away from federal regulators in favor of a state-run program.

Last week Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and Secretary Charlie Melancon took a position against H.R 3094 a bill proposed by Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves. The bill cleared the House Committee on Natural Resources...

Full Story »

China Fishery and Pacific Andes Seek U.S. Bankruptcy Protection Amid Probes 

China Fishery Group and its parent company Pacific Andes Resources each filed for bankruptcy protection in the US as market regulators in Hong Kong and Singapore are investigating the group. China Fishery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections in New York City this week while Pacific Andes filed a separate Chapter 15 petition for companies reorganizing outside the U.S. China Fishery listed as much as $50 million in liability and more than $500 million in assets. Four months ago China Fishery defaulted on $300 million worth of bonds. The filings allow the group to fend off creditors and bondholders from seizing its assets. China Fishery said its decision to seek relief under Chapter 11 followed failed negotiations with Bank of America and HSBC Holdings to extend a January agreement with the lenders to end their legal actions, an arrangement that is set to expire on July 15. One immediate impact from the filings is a hold on the group's efforts to sell off its fishmeal assets in Peru.

Nova Scotia and Newfoundland's Fishery Ministers disagree with the recommendation to eliminate the Last In, First Out management policy for the Northern shrimp fishery. Nova Scotia Minister Keith Colwell said he was disappointed with the decision and will petition Canada’s federal Fishery Minister Dominic LeBlanc to back his position. In Newfoundland, Fishery Minister Steve Crocker supported the recommendation on the grounds that the LIFO policy should have never existed and that a permanent quota sharing policy should be applied to the fishery.

In other news, Alaskan salmon in the Kuskokwim River will not be fished commercially since no fish buyer signed up to process the fish. The sole local buyer in recent years, a branch of the Coastal Villages Region Fund, isn't operating its $40 million fish processing plant in Platinum, on the Bering Sea coast in Southwest Alaska. Without an identified market, the ADF&G won't call any commercial openings in fishing districts in Kuskokwim Bay and the Bering Sea near Quinhagak, Goodnews Bay or up the Kuskokwim River main stem to around Tuluksak.

Meanwhile, a report from the Chesapeake Bay Program found blue crab stocks are continuing to rebound in the Bay. Female stocks are up to 196 million crabs since the start of the season this year. Juvenile crab numbers were also holding steady. "The blue crab population is at a healthy level," said Glenn Davis, a biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and chair of the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee. "Having both juvenile and adult components at or above the long-term average has only happened once since 1994."

Finally, we are running a new video concept today that recaps some of our top stories from the last week.

We will be closed this Monday in observance of the July Fourth holiday in the U.S. We will be back to our normal publishing schedule on Tuesday, July, 5. On behalf of John, Peggy, Linda, Susan and the rest of our staff we wish all of our readers and their families a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Full Story »

Advisory Panel Recommends Abolishing Newfoundland's LIFO Shrimp Policy, Adopt Proportional Quotas 

An advisory panel formed by federal Canadian fishery officials recommended abolishing the Last In, First Out (LIFO) Northern shrimp management policy. The Panel also suggested an alternative allocation regime that would include permanent, proportional quota sharing between Newfoundland's offshore and inshore harvesters in all shrimp fishing areas (SFA). The formation of the Panel and its proposal is a response to findings of a sharply lower shrimp stock biomass and the threat of crippling cuts to Newfoundland's inshore shrimp fishery under the LIFO policy. “LIFO is not a sustainable instrument of public policy," the Panel's report said. "It is unrealistic to expect that Government can indefinitely reserve the option to remove dependent and adjacent interests from a fishery to support those that had the privilege to enter the fishery first, no matter how long ago that occurred."

Thailand will be upgraded from its Tier 3 ranking on the US State Department's list of worst human trafficking offenders. Thailand will move up to a Tier 2 ranking, which puts the country on the Watch List and means that the US acknowledges the steps Thai authorities have taken to combat human trafficking and labor abuse in its seafood industry. "Even though we will be moved to Tier 2, we need to keep solving this problem," said Thai Defense Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan.

In other news, Peggy Parker writes about the recent resignation of Jeff Kauffman as the Alaska Commissioner for the International Pacific Halibut Commission and why the matter raises questions about NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement, the appointment and removal process of U.S. Commissioners, and the roles of the State and Commerce Departments on both issues. Recent media reports suggested Kauffman's resignation was the result of violations related to exceeding his halibut fishing quota and fishing in an area where he did not own quota. However, Kauffman's violation was incredibly technical and actually considered a low-tier administrative action by all parties involved. The offense still cost Kauffman far more than the fine he agreed to pay.

Meanwhile, sockeye salmon are starting to show up in the Nushagak and Egigik Districts, major watersheds in Bristol Bay. Fishermen and processors are expecting a more traditional timing of the peak return closer to July 4. Additionally, the latest Port Moller Stock Composition Summary shows run sizes are at mid-range levels in most districts. The total Bristol Bay pre-season forecast is 46.55 million run for a harvest of 29.52 million sockeye.

Finally, PEI's lobster fishermen have to show they are making attempts to reduce the amount of mackerel they are using for bait or risk losing certification against the MSC standard. The requirement was added to the MSC certification standard last year after an assessment of Canada's mackerel fishery raised concerns over the health of the stock. The region's lobster fishery is audited every year against the standard and will be subject to full recertification in 2019.

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Indian Exporters Expect to Ship More Seafood to UK Market After Brexit Vote 

Some Indian seafood exporters say Britain's decision to leave the European Union could increase seafood shipments to the UK market. Exporters in Odisha say they no longer need to to provide validated catch certifications in order to get fish, shrimp, squid, cuttlefish and octopus shipments into the UK market, which was the case under EU law. "We suffered huge losses after EU imposed strict guidelines on exporters. EU also rejected seafood consignments from India on the pretext of hygiene. Great Britain's exit from EU is a blessing for us as we will now easily export seafood to UK," said Ajaya Kumar Dash, president of Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI). "Prior to the formation of the European Union in 1993, we used to export easily seafood, particularly shrimps, to many European countries as there was not stringent laws."

A study released by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said the BP oil spill cost the Gulf of Mexico's commercial sector anywhere between $95 million and $1.6 billion in damages and 740 and 9,315 jobs in 2010. The study analyzed the impacts of the spill during the same period of time that is being used to calculate claims being paid to fishermen. Louisiana's commercial fishing industry was the hardest hit compared to the four other Gulf states with the highest costs affecting the catch of shrimp, oysters, crabs and menhaden. The wide range of the loss estimates cited by the study result from two different model assumptions it used.

In other news, the NPFMC finalized a change to custom processing regulations for the Bering Sea bairdi crab fishery that will provide more flexibility for opertors to process the crab. The Council exempted the region's big three processors from a 30 percent rule so that they custom process more bairdi crab this season. The Council passed a temporary exception to this 30 percent cap last season after 10 percent of the quota had nowhere to go where it could be processed legally.

Meanwhile, we run several stories related to how last week's Brexit vote might impact the global fishing industry. In Canada, Newfoundland's shrimp sales could suffer because of the weakening Great British Pound, while free trade deals under CETA could be derailed. Meanwhile, Ireland says it will fight for its share of North Sea fishing quotas if the UK's exit from the bloc changes exisitng quota arrangements under the EU Common Fisheries Policy.

Finally, the Maine Seaweed Festival in Casco Bay was canceled this year after the event's organizers fear the industry is growing too fast and not maintaining responsible management practices. The seaweed festival started in 2014 and doubled in attendance to about 3,000 last year. “I would like to see more regulation and accountability. We can feel good about what we are promoting and make sure we are doing right by the ocean and its resources,” said Hillary Krapf, who runs a seaweed products and education company called Moon And Tide.

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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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