East Coast Fishery

New Bedford fishermen face ‘devastating’ cod cut
South Coast Today by Mike Lawrence –  March 22, 2016
NEW BEDFORD — The city’s commercial fishing industry — battered by last month’s arrest of magnate Carlos Rafael on federal conspiracy charges, last week’s drug raids on the waterfront and ongoing monitoring costs — took another punch to the gut this week, as government regulators proposed new cuts to cod catches that could take effect May 1.
http://www.southcoasttoday.com/news/20160322/new-bedford-fishermen-face-devastating-cod-cut

Environmentalists, fishermen question new cod fishing rules
Seattle Times By Patrick Whittle – March 22, 2016
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Environmentalists and commercial fishermen both say they are fearful of proposed changes to the federal rules that govern New England’s beleaguered cod fishing industry.
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/environmentalists-fishermen-question-new-cod-fishing-rules/

International

Russian Fish Consumption Down Sharply From High Salmon and Other Seafood Prices
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Eugene Gerden – March 22, 2016
The demand for fish in Russia is steadily declining despite record catches in 2015 according to a recent report issued by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.

Last year Russian fishermen caught 4.4 million metric tons of fish, which became the highest figure for the last 15 years. However, despite a significant increase of production, the average per capita fish consumption in Russia in 2015 declined from 22.3 to 19 kilograms, which is below the minimally recommended figures by the Russian Ministry of Health.

One of the main reasons of steep consumption decline, is the increase of prices for fish in Russia, which have increased between 25-30 percent for the last several months. At the same time the biggest price increase was observed in the case of imported fish.

Price increases are mainly the result of a significant decline in imports, which fell by almost 40 percent in 2015, compared to 2014 to 500,000 metric tons.

The consumption decline was largely driven by a hike in salmon prices, which became priced out of the market. Prior to 2015 salmon was among the most popular fish species in Russia. Now however, the item is considered a premium seafood product for the majority of Russian customers, who now prefer relatively cheap pollock, haddock, crab sticks and caviar butter.

The current situation in the industry is aggravated by high share of low quality and counterfeit fish.

Due to the ever declining domestic consumption, Russian fisherman have not ruled out the possibility of a significant increase of fish supplies to abroad. The increase of imports, however, will be contrary to the recent attempts of the Russian government to create conditions for the increase of supplies to the domestic market and may force it to consider the introduction of restrictions on the exports of Russian fish, that may be in the form of export duties.
http://www.seafoodnews.com/Story/1012264/Russian-Fish-Consumption-Down-Sharply-From-High-Salmon-and-Other-Seafood-Prices

Labeling and Marketing

US Federal Fisheries Meet FAO Guidelines for Sustainability
The Fish Site – March 23, 2016
US – US-based NOAA Fisheries’ self-assessment of US federal fishery management found that overall, the fisheries could be considered biologically sustainable and well-managed, meeting FAO guidelines for sustainable fisheries. Although the assessment, which was led by Dr Michelle Walsh, was conducted by NOAA Fisheries itself, it was independently peer-reviewed by the Center for Independent Experts, who were in general agreement with the assessments methodology and findings.
http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/27374/us-federal-fisheries-meet-fao-guidelines-for-sustainability/

FYI’s

Blessing of Herring Rock: A yearly ceremony to bring fish to Sitka
KCAW by Brielle Schaeffer – March 22, 2016
While commercial fishermen were on the water anxiously awaiting the next herring opening in Sitka, some residents gathered on land for a traditional Tlingit ceremony. The Blessing of Herring Rock happens every year to get the fish to come back to the Sound to spawn.
http://www.alaskapublic.org/2016/03/22/blessing-of-herring-rock-a-yearly-ceremony-to-bring-fish-to-sitka/

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
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E-mail: pspafish@gmail.com; Website: www.pspafish.net
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March 23, 2016