E. O. Wilson Calls for an end to Fishing
CFood – March 2, 2016
A few days ago, The New York Times published a story on renowned scholar and author E. O. Wilson in promotion of his new book: Half Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.

California Sardine Numbers are Low – Why is Oceana Blaming Fishing?
CFood –  March 7, 2016
Last week Dr. Geoff Shester, California campaign director for the nonprofit advocacy group Oceana criticized the Pacific Fishery Management Council for the persistence of low numbers of California Sardines. The lack of a population recovery may cause the commercial moratorium to last until 2017.

Labeling and Marketing

Trident and French Creek Seafoods Take Top Prizes at Seafood Excellence Awards in Boston
SEAFOODNEWS.COM – March 7, 2016
Trident Seafoods and French Creek Seafoods took the top prizes for the annual Seafood Excellence Awards during this week’s Seafood Expo North America in Boston.

French Creek’s won the award in the “Best New Retail” product category for its Kickin’ Seafood Chili.  Trident Seafoods, meanwhile, was awarded with the “Best New Foodservice” prize for SeaFusions Pacific Cod Bites.

The winners were selected from a group of finalists during a live judging by a panel of seafood buyers and industry experts from the retail and foodservice industries. This year’s judges included Jennifer Wandler from U.S. Foods, Sunita Seran from Loblaws, and Stan Harvey from The Cheesecake Factory.

Finalists were previously selected through a screening of products participating in the Seafood Expo North America New Product Showcase. The New Product Showcase features seafood products, condiments and culinary dishes launched in the past year by exhibiting companies.

Products are judged based on several criteria, including uniqueness and appropriateness to the market, taste profile, market potential, convenience, nutritional value and originality.

3MMI – Raw Materials Forecast Pricing Horizon After Chinese New Year
TradexFood – March 7, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
– High employee turnover forces an annual training period for new workers, but the Plants should be running a full speed by now.
– With the recent push for proper Alaska Pollock labelling, raw material prices jumped immediately by 12 percent.

The Conservation Alliance Updates its Guidelines for Seafood Sustainability
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by Peggy Parker – March 8, 2016
Seafood sustainability programs are going beyond simple management and ecosystem impacts to enbrace social and economic justice issues, much as other industries, notably the garment and construction sectors, have in recent years.

Providing retailers and foodservice operators with a step-by-step framework for avoiding seafood that has been caught or processed with slave labor, exploited children, or violated other ethical standards, is included in the updated “Common Vision for Sustainable Seafood”, released yesterday by The Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions. The group is a coalition of 16 environmental NGOs, including the David Suzuki Foundation, OceanWise, World Wildlife Fund, New England Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, FishChoice, FishWise, Shedd Aquarium, Environmental Defense Fund and others.

“Common Vision” is the group’s first update since 2008. Besides addressing next generation issues like human rights violations and labor exploitation, the new framework includes a detailed traceability program that verifies sustainability through the supply chain.

“A decade ago, business leaders reached out to the NGO community for guidance on seafood sustainability” said Caroline Tippett, Director of Seafood Engagement for World Wildlife Fund. “Today, they are reaching out for new recommendations on deepening those sustainable sourcing commitments, addressing social welfare issues, and improving supply chain traceability.”

The Conservation Alliance also released a bank of online resources to complement the Common Vision and support businesses implementing sustainable seafood commitments. The initial set includes resources on social issues and traceability, as well as real-world examples of sustainable seafood commitments. The Conservation Alliance expects to expand this resource bank over time.

The new framework reflects a yearlong effort from Conservation Alliance members and partner organizations, advice and information from experts on social issues, and feedback from industry. The Common Vision represents agreement between all Conservation Alliance member organizations. Industry leaders were among the first to endorse the updated Common Vision.

“The Common Vision has been invaluable as a guide for our organization and the industry to build a sustainable future for seafood,” said Buster Houston, Group Director of Seafood at the Albertsons Companies, which operates Albertsons, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, and more than 20 retail banners. “The 2016 version responds to new challenges facing the seafood industry, making the Common Vision even more essential to enable businesses to accelerate the positive change already in motion.”

The updated Common Vision retains the original’s straightforward six-step framework defining the actions businesses that buy and sell seafood can take to demonstrate leadership and ensure a sustainable seafood supply. Each step includes detailed recommendations that, together, describe a responsible corporate sustainable seafood commitment. Those steps are:

1.     Make a Public Commitment – Develop a comprehensive policy on sustainable seafood that includes time-bound objectives for addressing environmental and social issues and traceability.

2.     Collect Data on Seafood Products – Monitor the sustainability of seafood products and assess labor and human rights risks within the supply chains you source from.

3.     Make Responsible Sourcing Decisions – Support sustainable and improving seafood sources through purchasing decisions.

4.     Be Transparent – Make information regarding the environmental and social performance of seafood products publicly available and report on progress against your sustainable seafood commitment.

5.     Educate Staff, Customers, and Vendors – Educate employees, customers, suppliers, and other key stakeholders about sustainable seafood, including the importance of addressing environmental and social issues and working toward full traceability.

6.     Support Improvements in Fisheries and Aquaculture – Engage in policy and management reform that leads to positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture production, including ensuring implementation of core labor standards.

“Since 2008 the Common Vision has provided a harmonized framework for businesses to guide the development and implementation of their sustainable seafood commitments,” said Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly, Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. ”This updated version reflects where we are as a sustainable seafood community, integrating both environmental and social issues into the framework.”


Marine Life Thrives in Unlikely Place: Offshore Oil Rigs
New York Times by Erik Olsen – March 7, 2016
EUREKA OIL PLATFORM OFF CALIFORNIA COAST — Eight miles off the coast of Long Beach, Calif., the oil rig Eureka, which has stood here for 40 years, is a study in contrasts. From a distance, it looks like just another offshore platform, an artifact of the modern industrial landscape.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
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March 9, 2016