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Friday, January 28, 2022

Alaska Alaska Fisheries Report January 27, 2022 KMXT - January 27, 2022 On this week’s Alaska Fisheries Report with Terry Haines: Scientists talk about the challenges and rewards of collaborating on the Ecosystem Status Report. West Coast Oregon Dungeness fleet sets record value in 2021-2022 season National Fisherman - January 27, 2022 The first eight weeks of the 2021-2022 Dungeness season have already set a new $74.5 million ex-vessel value, surpassing the last record grossing season of 2017-2018, according to the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. New research suggests ways to reduce bycatch in commercial fisheries OPB News by Sheraz Sadiq - January 26, 2022 Commercial fisheries have strict limits on the amount of fish they can catch. And often they also have to abide by limits on bycatch of marine animals that get unintentionally caught on fishing lines or nets. A new study from the University of Washington suggests that when it comes to reducing bycatch in the fishing industry, permanently closing off stretches of marine areas may be less effective than dynamic, temporary closures. Ray Hilborn, a marine biologist from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, joins us, along with Heather Mann. She’s the executive director of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, a nonprofit trade association of nearly 30 fishing vessels based in Newport. National All Eyes on Seafood Consumption In 2022 Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - January 27, 2022 It’s time to find the silver lining in all the chaos from the coronavirus pandemic. And based on the report that Datassential’s Kelley Fechner presented at the National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) Global Seafood Market Conference (GSMC) last week, we’re just going to come out and say it… COVID was good for seafood. Boosting consumption and dispelling fear around cooking seafood has been an issue talked about a lot at NFI conferences in the past. And while the seafood industry had PLENTY of issues to talk about at this year’s GSMC, consumption was not one of them. One of the most highly anticipated presentations every year is from Datassential’s Kelley Fechner. And this year Fechner had mouths gaping when she revealed that only 13% of people say that they “don’t know how to prepare seafood.” Fechner even admitted to SeafoodNews that she was surprised at how low that number was. And the seafood industry has the pandemic to thank for that figure. As everyone knows, when the world shut down, people stocked up on supplies and stayed home and cooked. While some may have been afraid to cook seafood in the past, they now had the time and tools to learn how to prepare it. Online recipes and YouTube videos helped people become more comfortable cooking dishes that they used to order out at restaurants. And when restaurants slashed their menus, whether due to supply, cost or other issues, these folks, armed with their newfound cooking knowledge, continued whipping up dishes at home. Retail definitely gets the win here, but foodservice can still pull ahead in the seafood category in 2022. According to Datassential, over a third of consumers are seeking to increase their consumption of seafood. Of course, as we mentioned above, menus shrank during COVID. Datassential reports that menus were reduced by 10.2%, and seafood was certainly a casualty on that front. Some items priced themselves off the menu. Others fell victim to take-out packaging. But with all that said, seafood did have some wins at foodservice. “Stir Fried Shrimp” saw gains with a 23.8% one year change. Tuna Nigiri saw gains with a 13.6% 1 year change, Alaskan Cod saw gains with a 12% one year change and Imitation Crab saw gains with 11.9% one year change. And based on the predicted growth over the next four years there is a lot to be excited about. Pangasius/ Basa/ Swai is expected to see a 12% growth over the next four years, with the most pickup on the QSR and midscale front. Cod, which had 12% penetration on menus this past year, is predicted to grow 14% over the next four years. Haddock, which had 3% penetration on menus, is predicted to grow 12%. One of the big predicted winners in the next few years is Alaska Pollock. Alaska Pollock, which had less than 1% penetration on menus last year, is predicted to grow 21%. Transparency will likely play a part in that. As Fechner told SeafoodNews, the younger consumer is much more interested in where their fish is sourced from. And while it might be easier for a restaurant to just say “whitefish” on a menu because of supply issues and concerns, Fechner believes that transparency is the route that restaurants should be taking in the future. So whether it’s ordering a new stir fried shrimp dish from your local restaurant or cooking up a piece of Alaska halibut you had sent straight to your door, seafood consumption is only going up in 2022. Opinion The Winding Glass: Is it Time to Rethink the Boston Seafood Show? SeafoodNews by John Sackton Founder, SeafoodNews - January 26, 2022 [The Winding Glass is the commentary and opinion column of John Sackton, Founder of SeafoodNews] The Boston Seafood Show is almost certainly going ahead in March despite the headaches of the pandemic. This will be the first show since 2019, as both the 2020 and 2021 versions were cancelled. However, it will be much smaller than the 2019 Seafood Expo North America. That show had 1329 exhibitors from 49 countries. This year current exhibitors on the show’s website last week were 639, including Seafood Processing America. That number is in flux as the show organizers update some cancellations and get some new enquiries. Diversified has built up a large stable of shows and conferences, and they have run other meetings successfully in North America this year. For example, their energy storage and solar conference debuted in Long Beach last week, from January 13 to 15. The conference and expo went ahead with 275 exhibitors and 4500 attendees. Another Diversified Conference and Expo will take place in Colorado in February on geospatial design. So, regardless of its ultimate size, this year’s Seafood Expo North America will proceed. The bigger question is whether this trade show will ever achieve the same importance it once had in the seafood industry. The Boston Seafood Show, or Seafood Expo North America as it is now called, has been the flagship trade show for Diversified, and propelled the company into the trade show and conference business. It now runs 50 exhibitions and some 47 conferences, many in connection with its exhibitions. Their business is concentrated in the U.S., Europe and Australia. All these areas have been hard hit by travel bans, quarantines, and the retrenchment in international travel. Out of Diversified’s 50 exhibitions, only eight currently have no planned dates, including Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle. Others feature a mix of in person and virtual events. The other impact of the pandemic on trade shows besides virtual remote activities has been consolidation. Some of Diversified’s offerings now appear to be consolidated from two or three separate events now organized under one roof. So what is the future of the Boston Seafood Show? I have been involved with that show since it was created. I worked with Ken Coons at the New England Fisheries Development Foundation when we proposed the show as a joint effort with the Canadian Consulate in Boston. The very first Boston Seafood Show took place in 1982 at the Park Plaza Castle. My main memory was that it was focused on beer and seafood. The U.S. exhibitors were all seafood companies. But the Canadians invited all the Canadian beer distributors as well, who occupied the upper balcony of the castle. It made for a good mix. The show continued at the castle for another year. Then the Foundation contracted with Denman exhibitions of Nova Scotia to run the show, and it moved to the Hynes Convention Center. We felt the Foundation and the Consulate could not really run a commercial show. The following year I believe Denman sold the show to Diversified, and it became the Boston Seafood Show. There were less than 1000 visitors that first year but the National Fisheries Institute’s 1982 convention in Hawaii drew over 1800 people. NFI’s annual convention was by far the most important North American seafood industry gathering at the time. However, the show we started uncovered a huge latent demand. It was a time of growth in the industry, and companies desperately wanted to exhibit, find and meet new customers and find suppliers. The show grew rapidly, and it shortly eclipsed NFI as the most important must attend seafood event. Diversified monetized this interest very effectively. What had initially been a free form trade event rapidly was put under Diversified’s control as hotels became willing clients. As a result, companies could not simply rent a suite during the show week. Diversified negotiated a monopoly on hotel rooms. The price of exhibit space rose dramatically. Diversified expanded overseas, with the very successful Brussels show, renamed Seafood Expo Global. This show has been suspended for two years, but is now scheduled to open in Barcelona. Diversified was unable to start a major show in China, because at that time (early 1990’s) their rival magazine Seafood Leader had partnered with the Chinese government for a seafood trade show in Qingdao and Dalian. This became the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo. It has been significantly larger and more successful than the Hong Kong show (now in Singapore) that Diversified put together. These two international shows in Europe and China rapidly eclipsed Seafood Expo North America, relegating it to a North American show primarily focused on this market. That was still enough to attract more international exhibitors. Much of the growth in the show in recent years has been through major country pavilions, whether organized by regional or country trade entities. Because the U.S. is such a huge import market, the show was a natural venue for overseas exporters who wanted to establish direct connections. This year, the international component is likely to be very small, as travel restrictions and quarantine requirements make it very difficult to reliably plan a trip. No one wants to get stuck on the wrong side of a border waiting for a test or for a quarantine period to end. To go back to the history for a moment, NFI saw its convention attendance dwindle as its annual convention became more and more of a working meeting for officers and committee members and less a place to make contacts and do business. This changed when NFI started its Global Seafood Marketing Conference in 2012. The idea was to bring together people in the industry to discuss the specific outlook for species and for economic and market trends and combine that with the work of the annual meeting. It became hugely popular, and in fact NFI had to limit the number of attendees to around 500 to keep the conference at a manageable size. But the quality of those attending led to a lot of interest among major retailers and foodservice buyers. NFI held its conference in person in January this year, with somewhat reduced attendance. So as the pandemic wanes, what is the future for the Boston show? One issue is whether companies will feel it is still worthwhile to spend money on booths and large stands. This has been the primary economic driver for Diversified, but it is not clear that companies still need the floor space to meet their customers. Being on the floor during the pandemic will be more difficult than being in a hotel suite. For example, floor meetings will require masks. Although there are plans to allow booths to cook and serve food, it will be more of an issue this year than other years and some will see it as a heightened risk. From a buyers’ perspective, the show is an opportunity to gauge the price and supply situation for their primary products. For example, discussions at the show often lead to some understanding of spring crab prices, even if the actual price ideas between buyers and sellers remain far apart. There is an exchange of information. Each side tries to tell the other the impact of a particular price on the volume of orders. In the old days at the end of the show a major crab producer would simply assemble their team in the suite, go through the conversations they had, and come up with a reasonable idea of a price where they might be able to clear the market. At least that would give them a target. These discussions were important for Japanese buyers as well, whose willingness to place early orders often would set the market tone. Of course, these companies would then have to adjust to the actual pace of landings and competitor offers both on the buy and sell price. Their preliminary price ideas did not always work out. It is hard to know what could replace this. Taking crab as an example, something different today is that there is widespread discussion at the Global Seafood Market Conference and in online and news sites about the current market. There is no reason for anyone to be surprised who is paying attention to the stresses and strains of extreme high prices at a time when demand may be softening. The Boston Seafood Show used to be the only place you could get a feel for this. That is no longer true, not just for crab, but for a whole range of species. On the other hand, personal meetings are important. The seafood industry depends on trust. An order for 10 loads is worthless if you don’t trust your supplier to deliver. And this trust is built up over time by performance and transparency in individual situations. If a producer sees an issue that might affect delivery, it is in the face-to-face meetings that this is addressed. Or because of prior face-to-face meetings the delivery change can be managed and not fracture the relationship. Given the difficulties most suppliers have had with logistics this past year this kind of transparency will be very important to buyers. These kinds of discussions are what make the show valuable for all parties. Even though there are issues around cost and attendance, it is hard to visualize a complete alternative to the trade show. If I could wave a magic wand to improve the show, I would think about the following ideas. Some of them may be laughable on further consideration. Some may have merit. Some are not economic. But the intent is to think how to make the show a better experience for buyers and sellers, not simply conform to the trade show business model of Diversified. *De-emphasize the show floor. It is not an ideal place to conduct business. It is not clear that the money spent on large exhibits is the best value in marketing. Smaller companies must juggle spending time on the floor and time in off-site meetings. With larger companies, the senior people almost never set foot on the show floor. *Cut back on floor hours and cut the cost of space. Companies that pay less for floor space might have more money for receptions and private events and get more done. *Limit sampling to one day. Most of the products cooked at the show are wasted in the sense that the proportion of buyers who are influenced by a sample is tiny compared to the volume of samples given out. It is an inefficient way to introduce products. If all sampling was limited to one day, those interested in an item would have to seek it out to have time to look at it. *Turn the event into Boston Seafood Week. If the heart of the show was not tied so much to the exhibit floor, there may be room for a multi-day series of events useful to buyers. It might mean shorter trips to visit key contacts, or extra days if investigating a new item or some change in buying patterns. *Upgrade the digital integration. Many of us work internally with Slack or Microsoft Teams. Why not set up some closed company channels for each exhibitor where new buyers could ask questions, have private chats, or in other ways efficiently interact by text. Obviously, there are meeting and conferencing apps already being used. But my experience is that most people don’t use these things because they don’t add value. Purchasing a booth should give a company a full suite of digital tools to interact more completely than just schedule meetings. It should include the ability to sign up a list of target customers; to highlight product specs or attributes; to hold live Q&A sessions; even to zoom meetings with buyers who are not physically there. Some trade shows now offer an in-person and virtual experience. My point is that the virtual experience should be upgraded and made a regular part of all seafood trade show events. Obviously, these suggestions would reduce revenue. But they would perhaps mean greater longevity for the concept of the in-person trade show at a time it is under threat. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 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. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.


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