Alaska/Pacific Coast

Board of Fish adjourns meeting on Bristol Bay Tuesday
KDLG by Dave Bendinger & Molly Dischner – December 8, 2015
After a quick review of the Wood River SHA proposals, the board voted on Group 4, tended to miscellaneous business, and gaveled out.
http://kdlg.org/post/board-fish-adjourns-meeting-bristol-bay-tuesday

International

Growth of Online Seafood Sales in China leads to Problems with Product Quality, Labeling, Origin
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SD Youth] Translated by Amy Zhong – December 9, 2015
The boom in sales of online imported seafood in China has led to problems in quality, labeling, and false origin statements from a number of online seafood sellers.  Some who claim to sell imported seafood have no license to import, and are buying and labeling products from local wholesale markets.

The Beijing News has conducted an annual survey of online seafood sellers and it has found that Yummy77, an online food seller, lack the certification to import, though it advertises that its products are from 147 countries.

Quite a great number of food sellers have such slogans as “sourcing worldwide” and “careful selection in places of origin” in their websites. After the marketing model of advertising “supply directly from places of origin”, most online sellers emphasize that their purchasing teams have bought seafood and other meat directly from overseas markets in places like America and Australia. Some sellers even have such words as “import from Denmark” and “Norwegian import” in the prominent position of their websites.

However, the reporter has found that some of these seafood sellers are not even certified to import from foreign markets. For example, Yummy77 promotes its products as pure import, but it is found to lack relevant certificates such as customs code and not even register as a foreign trader, according to the relative departments.

The research reveals that a number of online sellers have adopted the sourcing model, which is to commission domestic processing plants to supply seafood and then label those seafood as foreign seafood. Some even ask wholesalers in the markets to provide their seafood.

Problem 1: sellers claim to source worldwide, but they do not have the certificates.

Such online sellers as Yummy77, SFbest and COFCO’s I Buy Nets promote themselves as buying directly from overseas countries, having purchasing teams to source worldwide and even owning their own brands of imported seafood. For example, Yummy77 said that it has traveled around 147 countries like New Zealand, Chile, Australia and America to buy fresh food there. It even has some sort of slogan like “Worldwide food are delivered to the door of customers without middlemen”.

But based on the reporter’s research, some so-called global seafood sellers are not certified to import.

According to Article 9 of China’s Foreign Trade Law, foreign traders shall register with the relevant governmental department in charge of foreign trade or other authorized institutions. Without the registration, customs shall not clear the import or export of those traders. And some insiders in the business of foreign trading license verification has also told the reporter that companies shall have two basic certificates in order to buy from overseas countries. They are companies’ including import within their business scope in their industrial and commercial registration as well as registering in relevant departments responsible for foreign trade.

The reporter has checked the registration system of foreign traders of the Ministry of Commerce, the information system of General Administration of Customs as well as that of national companies’ credit. And such sellers as SFbest and COFCO’s I Buy Nets have the relevant certificates and have finished the registration.

However, some other renown seafood sellers like Yummy77 have not included foreign trade in their business scope nor have such certificates as customs code or qualification for customs declaration.

There is no information about Yummy77 in the registration system of Ministry of Commerce as foreign trader. In addition, there is a lack of information about Yummy77’s three subsidiaries in the foreign trading section of the Industrial and Commercial Registration system.

The reporter has emailed the company and called Roger, the company’s vice president, for several times on November 30. But Roger has always said that he was busy and hung up the phone in a hurry.

Problem 2: there is a mixture of freshly frozen seafood and those frozen for a long time.

The reporter has sampled some seafood, including Yummy77’s branded salmon. According to the package labels, the salmon are processed by some Jiangsu domestic company called Kunshan Jintai Food.

The reporter has got in contact with the producer in Jiangsu on November 25. And it has provided the seafood processing service for such online companies as COFCO’s I Buy Nets, Yummy77, Yiguo and Benlai. These online sellers give direction about the product size and provide the Jiangsu company with package as well as label, said Wang, the manager of this company. “The seafood are either imported or purchased from some domestic distributors by us. And these e-commerce companies decide which materials to use, seafood’s retail prices, package and labels”, added Wang.

After reading the quotation list of this company, the reporter has noticed that there are great differences between salmon prices based on how long they have been frozen. For example, the price is 76 yuan/kg for the whole salmon which have been frozen only for a short period of time, while it is 58 yuan/kg for those frozen for long time.

“We have given the same quotation list to all e-commerce companies. And the cost is normally about 30 yuan for the newly frozen salmon of about 200g, while it is 45 yuan for those weighing about 300g. But the prices of those frozen for long time are normally around 10 yuan lower than those freshly frozen ones”, said Wang.

Although all salmon are imported from foreign countries, they differ greatly in view of texture owing to the differences in the freezing method and the transportation method. “The freshly frozen ones are delivered from foreign countries in the atmosphere whose temperature stays between 0-4℃. These salmon have clear fat patterns and elastic meat. But those long frozen ones are not so good in terms of taste owing to defrosting at some point in the supply chain. And it is difficult for common consumers to distinguish between these two kinds of salmon with similar appearance, although insiders will never eat the long frozen ones”, said Wang.

In addition, the reporter has noted that the prices of Yummy’s salmon of 300g is about 1.6 times of those at the same size, from the same producer but sold on different e-commerce platforms. Meanwhile, many domestic online seafood sellers have omitted the information about whether the seafood is long or freshly frozen in their labels.

Problem 3: Seafood’s places of origin are up to online sellers who make their own labels. Apart from giving processing plants orders about label information, some online sellers have chosen to process their seafood in such seafood market as Jingshen market of Beijing.

On November 26, the reporter has paid a visit to Jingshen market and seen that cartons of salmon, flounders, etc. with import labels have been unloaded from trucks and then delivered to different stores. A seafood distributor, who is inspecting the seafood, has told the reporter that he has supplied imported seafood to a great number of online stores, some of which are well-known brand. “The customers tell us the sizes they need and then we cut the salmon into the required sizes. Later the salmon are transported to the warehouses of these online sellers or picked up by the logistic staff from these companies”, said the distributor.

This seems to become a kind of model: online sellers promote their products as work of careful selection from a variety of foreign seafood in their websites. But as a matter of fact, these products have come from domestic processing plants or wholesale markets with the labels designed by these sellers themselves.

The reporter has visited several large stores in Jingshen market by random. According to these stores, they all have cooperated with some known online sellers and they are dedicated to the seafood import. “The places of origin, package and labels can all be altered in accordance with the requirements of online sellers. We supply the processed seafood like salmon at some consistent prices. But online sellers could label their seafood from various places like Norway, Denmark and Australia as they like”, said Wang, an anonymous wholesaler.

According to some insiders, this model has posed great challenges to the products’ qualities since online seafood sellers could write the label information as they like.

Note: A section is deleted because it is about other meat like beef and lamb. If it is needed, please let me know. Source: http://sd.youth.cn/2015/1201/2982503_5.shtml
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1001054/Growth-of-Online-Seafood-Sales-in-China-leads-to-Problems-with-Product-Quality-Labeling-Origin

OPPOSITION GROWS
Japanese consumer group opposes GE salmon
Cordova Times – December 9, 2015
A Japanese consumer’s group with 350,000 members has joined with the Center for Food Safety in Washington D.C. to oppose the commercialization of genetically engineered salmon.
http://www.thecordovatimes.com/article/1550opposition-grows

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands; 2016 and 2017 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish
A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/09/2015
NMFS proposes 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications, apportionments, and prohibited species catch allowances for the groundfish fisheries of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) management area. This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2016 and 2017 fishing years, and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the BSAI in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/09/2015-31003/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-bering-sea-and-aleutian-islands-2016-and-2017?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Gulf of Alaska; 2016 and 2017 Harvest Specifications for Groundfish

A Proposed Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 12/09/2015
NMFS proposes 2016 and 2017 harvest specifications, apportionments, and Pacific halibut prohibited species catch limits for the groundfish fishery of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to establish harvest limits for groundfish during the 2016 and 2017 fishing years and to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Fishery Management Plan for Groundfish of the Gulf of Alaska. The intended effect of this action is to conserve and manage the groundfish resources in the GOA in accordance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/12/09/2015-31002/fisheries-of-the-exclusive-economic-zone-off-alaska-gulf-of-alaska-2016-and-2017-harvest?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

FYI’s

Researchers Experiment with Turning Pollock Skins into Dog Treats
KMXT by Kayla Desroches – December 8, 2015
Like many pet owners, you may toss your dog tidbits from your plate – a fatty piece of meat here, a bit of fish skin there. Well, a couple of University of Alaska Fairbanks researchers are experimenting with turning some of Alaska’s finest scraps into dog treats.
http://www.kmxt.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6909

United Fishermen of Alaska Seek New Executive Director
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – December 9, 2015
The United Fishermen of Alaska, which represents 35 Alaska commercial fishing organizations in Juneau, is seeking a new executive director.  The UFA is the most widely recognized voice of the fishing industry in the State capitol.

Their mission is to promote and protect the common interest of Alaska’s commercial fishing industry, as a vital component of Alaska’s social and economic well-being.

The UFA, under the direction of its board, also endorses various political candidates that are supportive of the fishing industry.

The open Executive director position is for the chief administrative officer of the organization. The Executive Director has the full authority and responsibility for managing the affairs of UFA, its office, and all programs established under the guidelines as determined by the Board of Directors.  The Executive Director’s duties and responsibilities include: (1) UFA office administration and personnel management, (2) planning and coordinating UFA’s semi-annual meetings; (3) serving as UFA’s primary spokesperson in communicating with the press, the Governor’s office, state and federal legislators, and regulatory agencies; and (4) directing UFA’s lobbying activities

The application deadline is Dec 31, 2015, and inquiries or applications should be emailed to ufa@ufa-fish.org
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1001112/United-Fishermen-of-Alaska-Seek-New-Executive-Director

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
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December 9, 2015