sac roe fishery pauses after half of limit caught
EMPIRE, April 10, 2012
After a Sunday
harvest of approximately 3,700 tons, the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery
stood down Monday after an Alaska Department of Fish & Game flyover found insufficient
biomass near Goddard Hot Springs.
VIDEO: H2B Visa woes could cripple domestic seafood
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Video] by John Sackton - April 9, 2012
Changes in the H2B visa program that make it less flexible, more costly, and
raise prevailing wages by 30% or more, could end up driving thousands of jobs
out of the US processing industry, especially on the East and Gulf Coasts.
Here small companies rely on foreign workers who return often to the same
plants year after year; the changes in the program make using these workers
more difficult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sQtODwRPpPE
likely to keep his Alaska
Board of Fisheries seat
doesn't derail last Fish Board hearing.
News, April 10th, 2012
JUNEAU -- Retired Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone's
reappointment to the Alaska Board of Fisheries advanced through his last confirmation hearing Monday with
questions about his residency still an issue but apparently not serious enough
to cause much trouble.
suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday,
bowing to the inevitability of Mitt Romney's nomination and ending his
improbable, come-from-behind quest to become the party's conservative
standard-bearer in the fall.
Russia may expand mandatory catch certification from
Barents Sea to Far East
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by Eugene Gerden April 10, 2012
The Russian government is considering introducing a mandatory certification
of catches of Russian fishermen, in an attempt to gain additional revenue for
the Russian budget, and to make another action against poachers, who
illegally supplying hundreds of tons of fish and seafood to the Asia-Pacific
There is a possibility that the certificates will be
issued to indicate the legality of seafood, caught by Russian fishermen and
shipped to the Asia-Pacific region.
?AndreiKrayniy, head of
Russian Federal Fisheries Agency, comments:
"The system of the compulsory catch certification, which was tested in
the North Atlantic has shown to be effective and we would like to use such
practice in the Russian Far East. We are currently continuing negotiations on
the signing of appropriate agreements with Japan and China”.
?He also added that the adoption of the mandatory certification system
will attract additional profits to the state treasury, which could reach RUB
30 billion (USD$1 billion) per year, as a duty on the imports of Russian
seafood to the Asia-Pacific region. Currently the illegal exports of crabs
alone from Russia is estimated at US $800 million.
?At the same time most of Russian analysts have already criticized the
initiative of the Russian government, believing that it could negatively
affect the profits of the Russian fishery companies. ?According to German Zverev,
president of the Russian Association of Pollock Producers, Russian fisherman
already pay customs duties, as a result of a recent introduction of mandatory
delivery of catches in the customs territory of Russia, which are estimated
at about RUB 5 billion (US $150 million), while the new fee is expected to be
six times higher of the already existing ones.
Zverev also believes that references to the North Atlantic experience are unfounded, due to the fact that neither the U.S. nor Canada, nor Iceland or the Faroe Islands use the system of catch certification.
?Russian analysts also believe that the new measure will not be
efficient against poaching, while one of the most important goals of the
Russian government in the field of the domestic fishery business in the near
future should be the protection of the national pollock
market against the ever growing expansion of Japanese, Chinese and South
As US seafood profits from globalization national marketing
program could save domestic industry
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [commentary by Dick Gutting] April 9,
2012 Richard Gutting writes the import alert newsletter for Urner
Barry's Foreign Trad Data, and is a former
president of the National Fisheries Institute. His opinion piece after the
Congressional hearing on fisheries jobs is reprinted here.
The U.S. seafood market is being pulled in opposite directions —
one towards a low-cost commodity market for imported products --- the other
towards a specialty or niche market for “local food”. This division offers
new business opportunities for individual companies --- and a political
opportunity for our industry to work together. The mass market accounts
for more than 80 percent of seafood sales. It is based upon frozen products
from many countries, which are competing fiercely with each other on price.
The specialty market is limited by production and geography. It depends upon
a high per-pound price for the uniqueness of local product, and has grown in
response to consumer interest in nutrition, the environment, and a healthy
lifestyle. The mass market has been fueled by the global expansion of new
farming systems, upgraded foreign processing under HACCP, lower U.S. tariffs, and more efficient global supply chains. Price
competition is fierce --- driving prices down and raising consumer
demand. Domestic producers and the processors they supply have been
struggling. U.S. fishing fleets have shrunk, growth in domestic farming
has stalled, and processing plants have turned to imports or have been forced
offshore to other countries. NOAA's policy to
reduce fleets with individual vessel quotas is accelerating these trends. Big
companies are getting bigger and multinational --- and smaller domestic
companies are going out of business. Frustrations have been palpable --- but
street demonstrations against NOAA officials and attacking imports with
antidumping tariffs, new labeling restrictions, and allegations of
food-safety violations are not solving the underlying problem of lost jobs,
profits and tax revenues for local communities. More than a decade ago
seafood leaders and marketing experts suggested a solution to domestic
producers. Gain better prices by targeting high-end niche markets with
high-quality products that appeal to consumers who want “local food”. A few
fishermen and farmers have attempted this at farmer markets and local
high-end restaurants and retailers --- with some success. But establishing
programs that make a real difference to fishing fleets and rural communities
have been frustrated by a lack of organization at the grassroots level, and
anger about imports.
Political winds, however, are shifting. A nation-wide coalition of domestic
organizations and companies has coalesced around a plan to market seafood,
which they presented to the U.S. Senate Oceans Caucus last week. You can
watch the hearing testimony below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5dfixn7WO0&feature=player_embedded.
Here's an opportunity for importers, domestic producers
and government agencies like NOAA to work together --- and benefit everyone.
Richard E. Gutting, Jr.