Fri. Mar 5 2021

Alaska Fishing Seasons Begin in the Second Year of COVID — Here’s What to Expect  


ANALYSIS: Octopus Prices Firm Amid Supply Issues  


VIDEO: EPA Fines Processor; Ocean Choice Vessel Sinks; Scallop Supply Retreating; Arby’s Fish Check


Alaska Fish Radio: Pacific Halibut Fishery Opens on Saturday  


BioMar Credits Salmon Division for Positive 2020 Financial Results


Tesco Moves to Seascape Tuna Sourcing Approach to Boost Marine Sustainability  


NOAA Proposes Revised Specifications For 2021 Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Fishery  


SeafoodNews.com Summary Friday, March 5


Thu. Mar 4 2021

The Winding Glass: Harvesters lost money in 2020. Can they make it up this year?


ASMI and McKinley Research Launch Surveys Today to Quantify COVID’s Impacts on Alaska Seafood


West Coast Seafood Processors 'Cautiously Hopeful' for the Remainder of 2021


Thai Union Aims for 100% Tuna Supply Chain Transparency by 2025 in New Pledge  


Skretting Invests $6 Million in New Ecuador Shrimp Research Facility  


Alaksa Fish Radio: Fishermen Asked to Identify Top Technology Priorities


Science Center for Marine Fisheries Approves $100,000 in Grants for 2021 Research Projects


SeafoodNews.com Summary Thursday, March 4


Wed. Mar 3 2021

Scandies Rose Hearing: Harrowing Account of Helicopter Rescue of Two Survivors by USCG Pilot


Ocean Choice’s Offshore Fishing Vessel “Succumbs To Damages,” Sinks Following Fire


The Day We've All Been Waiting For—Insights is Now LIVE!


Abalone Wows Onlookers with Recent Performance in Chinese Market  


Commentary: Swap Pebble Land to Feds for a 12-Mile Seaward Boundary, a Win-Win for Alaska


Alaksa Fish Radio: COVID Funds Open for AK Applicants; Deadline Date Confusion


BioMar Enters Partnership in Vietnam Shrimp Sector  


Second North Atlantic Right Whale Death Observed in U.S. Waters in 2021


Norwegian Seafood Export Value Dips in February Despite Uptick in Salmon Export Volume


NaturalShrimp Ramps Up Production at Texas and Iowa Facilities


Blackline Cold Storage Building New Facility at the Port of Houston


France: Le Gouessant Acquires Aqua Feed Supplier Aqualia  


Coast Guard Responds to Diesel Fuel Discharge After F/V Sinks Near Sitka


SeafoodNews.com Summary Wednesday, March 3


Tue. Mar 2 2021

EPA Hits Washington Seafood Processor With $100k Fine for Violating Clean Water Act


Stavis Seafoods Promotes Three Employees to Director Positions


Russia Ready to Increase Pollock Catch During Next Fishing Season  


FedEx Highlights Wild Alaskan Company In New Digital Ad


New England Aquarium Wants NOAA To Reduce Risk of Whale Entanglements By At Least 80%, Not 60%


JAPAN: January Marine Product Exports Increase 60% For Frozen Yellowtail Fillets; Scallops Decrease  


Alaska Fish Radio: Doubled Up Fish Board Meetings Gets Push-Back From Fishermen


Australis Named Worlds First to be Certified by ASC’s Tropical Marine Finfish Standard


EDF Launches “Portraits of Change” on Fishermen and Climate Change at World Ocean Summit


Loryma Develops Vegan Wheat-based Fish Alternative


BAP Updates Farm Standard Featuring New Antimicrobial, Social Accountability Requirements


SeafoodNews.com Summary Tuesday, March 2


Maine 2021 Elver Season To Be Conducted In Same Manner as 2020 Due to COVID  


Mon. Mar 1 2021

F/V Scandies Rose Hearing Focused on Sinking but Also Industry Practices and Culture


SeafoodNews.com Summary Monday, March 1


PODCAST: Industry Faces Logistical Issues; USDA & FDA Comment on COVID Origins and More


MSC Implements Temporary Measures as COVID-19 Continues to Impact Assessment Process


UK Retailer Morrisons Acquires Cornwall-based Wholesaler Falfish


Woman Medically Evacuated from American Triumph near Cold Bay, Alaska


Bareburger Adds Good Catch’s Fish-Free Burger to their Menu For Limited Time


Cargill Launches Seafood ‘SeaFurther’ Sustainability Initiative


States, Fishermen Form Salmon Season Options Ahead of PFMC Meeting  


NOAA Wants Input on Programmatic EIS for Saltonstall-Kennedy Program


JAPAN: In January Imports, Chilean Coho up 20%, Norwegian Mackerel Increased 70%  


Arby’s Sent Out $3.79 Checks to Encourage People to Buy Their Crispy Fish Sandwich  


Eating Seafood Reduces Risk of Premature Birth, Thanks to Omega 3s


National Restaurant Association Cancels 2021 Show


Urner Barry Now Offering Plant Protein Market Coverage


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Alaska Fishing Seasons Begin in the Second Year of COVID — Here’s What to Expect

Alaska’s halibut and sablefish season opens tomorrow, next week ADF&G will hold Sitka’s informational herring season meeting in Sitka — online, of course — followed by herring seasons up the coast and then it's salmon season. Preparations for seafood workers in and outside of the state are underway for gear and plants for a second year of seafood production under pandemic conditions.

Over the past year of the pandemic in Alaska, the highest increase in cases came last November and December, followed by a sharp decline ...

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ANALYSIS: Octopus Prices Firm Amid Supply Issues

Up until now, it has only been the Spanish octopus market that has been able to firm and even strengthen during the pandemic due to continued demand from the European markets. Unlike the United States, where octopus is largely an out-of-home dining experience, European consumers regularly cook and enjoy the species at home. Retail sales throughout Europe were enough to support elevated raw material costs to the United States despite demand from the foodservice and restaurant sectors coming to a halt in the U.S. in 2020...

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VIDEO: EPA Fines Processor; Ocean Choice Vessel Sinks; Scallop Supply Retreating; Arby’s Fish Check

This week SeafoodNews Weekly Video co-hosts Amanda Buckle and Lorin Castiglione talk about the EPA settling with South Bend Products over Federal Clean Water Act violations at the company’s South Bend, Washington, seafood processing facility. Plus, we talk about the Atlantic Destiny, an offshore fishing vessel owned by Ocean Choice International, suffering from a devastating fire earlier this week; the scallop supply retreating; and the Arby's fish check offer.

This episode was brought to you by Urner Barry's new Insights offering, which is now live...

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BioMar Credits Salmon Division for Positive 2020 Financial Results

BioMar Group reported revenue and earnings for 2020 were slightly up from 2019, driven by the company’s salmon division “where higher volumes secured a year in line with expectations.”

The company had notable growth in volume in the salmon market with a 7% increase in salmon feed volumes compared to 2019.

BioMar credited new product offerings, an agile adaption to the changing market situation and a new production facility in Australia for laying the foundation of solid salmon business development...

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NOAA Proposes Revised Specifications For 2021 Atlantic Spiny Dogfish Fishery

On Thursday NOAA proposed revised specifications for the 2021 Atlantic spiny dogfish fishery based on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s updated risk policy. The notice in the Federal Register also provides projected status quo specifications for the 2022 fishing year, as recommended by the Mid-Atlantic and New England Fishery Management Councils.

As noted by NOAA, the spiny dogfish fishery is currently operating under multi-year specifications for 2019-2021 based on a 2018 assessment update. Under these initial specifications...

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ASMI and McKinley Research Launch Surveys Today to Quantify COVID’s Impacts on Alaska Seafood

Attention Alaskan fishermen and processors — the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) wants ten minutes of your time to help calculate the total dollars spent mitigating the effects of the pandemic on Alaska’s fishing industry last year. The Juneau-based marketing institute is partnering with McKinley Research to launch two surveys today, one each for fishermen and processors. 

The two surveys will be used to answer key questions about what the industry spent to lessen the spread of the virus and whether government economic relief programs... 

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Thai Union Aims for 100% Tuna Supply Chain Transparency by 2025 in New Pledge

In what Thai Union described as a “game-changing” transparency pledge, Thai Union has partnered with global conservation organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to commit to a fully transparent tuna supply chain.

Thai Union, the parent company of major tuna brands Chicken of the Sea and John West, shared that it will work with TNC’s sustainable fisheries experts to implement 100% ‘on-the-water’ monitoring of its vast tuna supply chain by 2025.

The work will include deploying electronic monitoring on all of its partner vessels in our supply chains...

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Alaksa Fish Radio: Fishermen Asked to Identify Top Technology Priorities

Fishermen across the nation are being asked to help identify technology priorities that can be scaled up to benefit all users through a Seafood Harvesters of America survey. Leigh Habegger is group director -

“This survey kind of rose out of the recognition that the fishing industry needs a lot of advancements in the technology department. You know, a lot of times we see vessels using technology that's 10, 12, 15 years old...

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Scandies Rose Hearing: Harrowing Account of Helicopter Rescue of Two Survivors by USCG Pilot

The Mayday call was short and scratchy but came through: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is the Scandies Rose. Scandies Rose. Scandies Rose. We’re 56 39 54 North, 157 01 West. [garbled] We’re rolling over. Scandies Rose, 56 39 ….”

Captain Gary Cobban, Jr. made that call only minutes before the vessel rolled over and sank, taking the lives of five men on December 31, 2019.  It triggered a U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue (SAR) that found two survivors about four hours later.

The pilot who led ...

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The Day We've All Been Waiting For—Insights is Now LIVE!

It’s finally here. Urner Barry’s new Insights offering is now LIVE on COMTELL!

Insights is a digital offering exclusively available on COMTELL that allows subscribers and, occasionally, outside guests to READ, WATCH, and LISTEN to impactful market content in a way like never before.

Through Insights, our expert editorial team, market reporters, analysts, and curated guest contributors will be generating unique content for the protein industry. This in-depth coverage will be available to COMTELL subscribers 365 days a year...

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Alaska Fish Radio: Pacific Halibut Fishery Opens on Saturday

This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch –

The Pacific halibut fishery opens tomorrow/Saturday and increased catches combined with a cautiously optimistic outlook for the near future have fanned interest in buying shares of the fish. 

Total halibut removals for 2021 were increased by 6.5% to 39 million pounds for all users and as bycatch in fisheries of the West Coast, British Columbia and Alaska. That is higher than the total take for the past three years. Doug Bowen runs Alaska Boats and Permits in Homer...

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Tesco Moves to Seascape Tuna Sourcing Approach to Boost Marine Sustainability

UK retailer Tesco announced it has joined the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in advocating for a Seascape approach to marine sustainability. The approach is designed to ensure whole marine ecosystems are maintained in a healthy, productive way.

A press release said that the retailer will adopt the Seascape approach for its tuna sourcing and will set out a roadmap to transition to ecosystem-based fisheries management by 2030.

Through the Seascape approach, Tesco will work in partnership with its own brand suppliers from this year to...

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The Winding Glass:  Harvesters lost money in 2020. Can they make it up this year?


2020 has turned out to be a great sales year for the seafood industry, as frozen seafood became one of the primary beneficiaries of changing consumer behavior during the pandemic.

Frozen seafood sales at retail rose 30% over 2019.

But many harvesters, especially those whose seasons started in the spring and early summer as the pandemic took hold did not see prices reflecting these results.

In Bristol Bay, the base ex-vessel sockeye price offered by packers was $0.70 per lb, down 65 cents from 2019’s offer of $1.35.  According to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA), this cost the fleet $130 million, or roughly $75,000 per vessel.

Packers have generally offered a retro payment on top of the base price, once the sales value of the sockeye pack is known so there may be an additional payment.  But it is not contractually guaranteed, and harvesters know that many other Alaskan fisheries had and are having difficulties.

But throughout the fall, members told the association that something had to be done about pricing.

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West Coast Seafood Processors 'Cautiously Hopeful' for the Remainder of 2021

The West Coast Seafood Processors Association (WCSPA) said seafood processors are hoping to see improvements in 2021 as the vaccination process rolls out nationwide and restaurants begin to reopen.

Both fishermen and seafood processors are often the backbones of coastal communities, the WCSPA explained. The industries provide economic stability and generate thousands of local year-round jobs.

On the west coast, fisheries including groundfish/rockfish, pink shrimp, Dungeness crab, salmon, albacore tuna and Pacific hake (whiting) are critical to keeping workers in processing facilities and...

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Skretting Invests $6 Million in New Ecuador Shrimp Research Facility 

Skretting will put $6.1 million into its new Skretting ARC Guayas Research Station located next to its completed Skretting Ecuador feed manufacturing plant.

The research and development facility, centrally coordinated by Skretting ARC in Norway, will comprise fully equipped laboratories and state-of-the art experimental units to carry out trials under controlled conditions. In addition, green-water tanks will ensure maximum applicability under production conditions, the company said.

“We are committed to supporting the growth of the shrimp industry globally,” said Alex Obach, Skretting R&D Director...

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Science Center for Marine Fisheries Approves $100,000 in Grants for 2021 Research Projects

The Science Center for Marine Fisheries (SCEMFIS) approved four research projects with $100,000 in funding to kick-off 2021.

The projects focus on improving data collection and scientific surveys in important finfish and shellfish fisheries was approved during the Center’s winter meeting.

The projects will include efforts to improve menhaden tracking and tagging; analyzing the age and length composition of the chub mackerel population; improving clam dredge performance; and improving collection methods for surfclams and quahogs.

Each project was approved by the SCEMFIS Industry Advisory Board (IAB)...

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Ocean Choice’s Offshore Fishing Vessel “Succumbs To Damages,” Sinks Following Fire

Ocean Choice International has confirmed that all 32 crew members on board the Atlantic Destiny, one of their six offshore fishing vessels, are safe following a fire onboard late Tuesday evening. However, the company also announced late Wednesday morning that the vessel “succumbed to damages” and has sunk.

The Atlantic Destiny is based in Riverport, Nova Scotia. On Tuesday evening the ship was approximately 222 kilometres south of Yarmouth when it caught fire, lost power, and began taking on water. Fortunately rescue crews from the Canadian and...

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