Alaska/Pacific Coast

Board of Fish considers commercial Yukon pink salmon fishery
KIYU by Tim Bodony – January 12, 2016
A proposal laying the groundwork for a pink salmon commercial fishery near the mouth of the Yukon is on the agenda of this week’s Board of Fisheries meeting in Fairbanks.

Less Fatalities, More Safety For Alaskan Commercial Fishing Industry
KUCB by Greta Mart – January 12, 2016
Commercial fishing in Alaska was once known as one of the deadliest professions. It’s still pretty dangerous, but the number of fatalities each year is trending downward.


Murkowski to place hold on FDA commissioner nominee
Associated Press by Mary Clare Jalonick – January 12, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel on Tuesday approved Dr. Robert Califf to be commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, but President Barack Obama’s nominee may face trouble.

Commerce Department’s Hourly Seafood Inspection Fees to Be Raised 7.5% Starting Feb 1
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Susan Chambers – January 13, 2016
The basic hourly fees for the U.S. Department of Commerce Seafood Inspection Program contracted services will increase by about 7.5 percent, to $112, beginning Feb. 1.

The voluntary program conducted by NOAA is not funded by appropriations and relies entirely on fees and charges to cover its operating costs, according to memo from the program’s Deputy Director, Steve Wilson. While the methods for setting consultative services in 2016 is the same as in 2015, the fee change is an effort to minimize rate changes from year to year and move to a simpler system of one related to contracts and one for non-contracted inspection services.

While the USDC program that includes HACCP and other seafood inspection and analysis is voluntary, it is different from the Food and Drug Administration’ HACCP inspection program. Seafood distributors exporting products to the European Union and China likely need a USDC inspection certificate; other countries may not require it. Participants in the USDC Seafood Inspection Program can use the federal “U.S. Grade A” and “PUFI” (Processed Under Federal Inspection) marks and related statements in their packaging and sales.

“For domestic seafood, stores aren’t requiring it,” said Rod Moore, senior policy adviser to the West Coast Seafood Processors Association. There may be more demand for USDC certificates now since there has been a greater concern about IUU fishing, he said.

The fees for USDC inspection certificates also will increase, from $62 to $65 for contract customers and from $116 to $120 for non-contract customers. The rate for HACCP-QMP contracts did not increase.

The memo also stated the program now is accepting the results of analytical tests from private laboratories if the overall results will be provided to both the Seafood Inspection Program and the National Seafood Inspection Laboratory. The private lab must, however, meet the reporting requirements of the FDA. The USDC program also reduced the schedule of sampling for verification purposes for several commodities that had low rates of analytical problems.

A full schedule of contract rates, non-contract inspection rates, and fees for analytical services such as histamine, domoic acid, sulfites, listeria, etc., are available at the USDC website,


China’s Seafood Consumption Increased and Prices Generally Rose in 2015, Says CAPMA
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [CAPMA] Translated by Amy Zhong – January 12, 2016
China had an excellent year for seafood consumption in 2015, says CAPMA, the semi-official Chinese Aquaculture Product Marketinng Association. In addition, overall prices rose as well.

“There is increase in the seafood consumption due to various factors like weather, festivals and cost, aquaculture output is stable with slight increase and the supply is sufficient of most aquatic products in 2015.”

And the market is bustling with trading value and volumes rising steadily.

“Overall speaking, there is obvious increase in seafood consumption, which contributes to the price rise of aquatic products, thanks to the changes to China’s economic structure and those to its citizens’ consumption. ”

The seafood supply is stable and there is outstanding increase in the seafood prices compared with the previous year says CAPMA.

A review of seasonal trends shows that prices peak in January and February owing to the motivation of the two important Chinese festivals, New Year’s Day and Chinese New Year. But the prices drop during March when demand weakens, while both seafood supply and prices increase in April because of such festivals as Tomb-Sweeping Day and Labour Day as well as the changeable weather.

The prices decline slightly during May because the weather is beneficial to aquaculture and there is a great variety of seafood supplied to the market in large quantities. The coming June has witnessed the increase in freshwater fish prices of some production areas where there is great amount of rainfall, though the general price is driven downward by the busy season of shrimp sales.

Seafood demand is great and the prices increase steadily during July and August owing to the influence of weather and high meat prices. Although there are two significant festivals in September, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day, prices of aquatic products still decrease to a great extent because there are sufficient supply of freshwater fish and great seafood supply with the ending of the closed offshore fishing season. And with the ending of the festivals, the sales reduces for aquatic products and the prices are also in decline.

For shrimp, prices have declined this year with the supply increase.

The average shrimp prices have decreased by about 5.53% in 2015 compared with the previous year according to the market supervision data. According to those data, the supply of Indian Tiger prawns and that of macrobrachium nipponense have declined by around 42.4% and 7.7% in 2015 from those of 2014, while those of white shrimps and giant freshwater prawns have increased by 69.6% and 49.7%.

As to their prices, that of Macrobrachium nipponense has stayed at a high level during the past two years, especially around the Chinese New Year because of the low output. Although its price decreases during March and April, it has risen drastically, close to that of the Chinese New Year after the stormy weather of summer. The average price has increased by about 16% compared with that of the previous year.

With the enlargement of farming areas, the output of white shrimps and giant freshwater prawns increase, while their prices declined this year. In addition, these two kinds of shrimps have entered the market about half a month earlier than the past and it also takes longer for farmers to sell out their shrimps this year.

The sales used to come to an end for giant freshwater prawns, white shrimps, etc. which live in an environment of about 18-32℃ in November. However, this year the increase of aquaculture areas have resulted in the increase of the output. And there is still great deposit of these shrimps in the end of 2015, which leads to the decrease of shrimp prices.

On average, the prices of freshwater giant prawns and white shrimps have declined by around 7.4% and 2.5% from those of the previous year.

Although the crab output is not low, there are limited supply of large crabs and their prices are high.

The overall crab output is satisfactory in 2015 compared with the previous one in the large farming areas thanks to the weather, but there are only a small amount of large crabs. Owing to the influence of markets in production areas and e-commerce, there is dramatic decrease in the crab sales, which has dropped by about one third from that of the previous one.

And the prices are comparatively low for male crabs under 0.3 jin (1 jin=0.5 kilo) each and the female ones under 0.25 jin each. But the prices have increased greatly for large crabs, especially the female ones weighing between 0.3 to 0.34 jin and the male ones between 0.35 to 0.39 jin. The prices almost double thanks to the great market demand.

The seafood prices are mostly stable, however, those of Australian lobsters and Canadian lobsters have fluctuated to a great extent.

The seafood market has been on track and the trading volumes have been on the rise during the past two years. A look of seafood prices in 2015 reveals that the prices are stable for most seafood apart from Australian lobsters. The prices of lobsters like those from Australia and Canada have changed greatly, especially around the holidays when there is short supply. This fluctuation is because of the adjustment in the tariff rates and the effect of holidays on consumption.

Labeling and Marketing

Albertsons Companies Celebrates Safeway’s Year-end 2015 Commitment for Responsibly Sourced Seafood
Just Means – January 12, 2016
We are proud to announce that as of year-end 2015, 77% of Safeway’s fresh and frozen seafood and 99% of private label frozen packaged seafood met our Responsible Sourcing Commitment. Since setting this ambitious goal in 2010, Safeway (including Carrs, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Vons, and Pavilions) has transitioned over 29 million pounds of seafood to environmentally responsible sources. To help reach this major milestone, we partnered with FishWise, an environmental non-profit that promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
E-mail:; Website:
Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday
8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

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January 13, 2016