Alaska’s salmon hatcheries are economic engines
Cordova Times, Guest Commentary by Mead Treadwell - October 14, 2018
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a big debate a brewing in Southcentral Alaska about fish hatcheries. The Alaska Board of Fisheries is being asked to cap hatchery production of pink salmon in the North Pacific Ocean, the second time they’ve considered this issue this year. While virtually the same number of fish have been released for decades, some people perceive an emergency and want the Board of Fisheries to slash production by 25 percent.
Snow crab harvest quota gets big boost
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - October 12, 2018
Bering Sea snow crab stocks have rebounded, allowing for the total allowable catch to be set at 27.6 million pounds, up from 18.9 million pounds a year ago and 21.6 million pounds for the 2016/17 season.
Groundfish Forum: Global Whitefish Supply Continues to Decline for 2019
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton - October 16, 2018
At last week’s groundfish forum, there were no unexpected developments in global groundfish stocks. On a year to year basis, it was very much business as usual.
But if you look at a three year picture, from 2017 to 2019, total global wild whitefish production has dropped 4%, with cod down 13.4% over the past three years.
This change in the supply picture has had price impacts in several areas.
First, international cod prices (Barents Sea) have climbed 21% since October 2017. Alaska pollock prices have climbed 43% since the B season prices were set in 2017.
How has a 4% drop in global groundfish led to this much of a reaction.
First, the drop in cod is much more than 4%. According to figures from the Groundfish forum, the total drop from the October 2017 forecast to the 2019 forecast for Atlantic cod is 13.4%.
For Pacific cod, the supply drop over these three years is 16%. Given the continued strong demand for cod in the UK, and in the foodservice sector in the US, and in China and Japan, this kind of price reaction is justified.
For Alaska pollock, the price change is even more dramatic: up 43% since 2017. Here the issue has been one of market rationalization where a period of weakness in Europe due to price competition among secondary processors has worked itself through the system, and there is no longer any pollock block inventories to be cleared.
At the same time, shortages of non-pollock surimi fish, such as threadfin bream, have pushed surimi users in Asia back toward Alaska pollock.
A further factor could be the rise in cod prices, which is now causing some customers to reexamine using deep skin pollock fillets in applications where cod and pollock can both prove acceptable.
Given the continued supply trends, strong pricing for groundfish appears locked in for 2019.
The total overall groundfish reduction is only 186,000 tons out of a projected global catch of 7.064 million tons in 2019. But the species where catches have increased, which is mostly saithe, with an increase of 8,000 tons, are dwarfed by the volume of reduction in Atlantic cod (71,000 tons), Haddock (3,000 tons), Pacific cod (18,000 tons) and Alaska pollock (93,000 tons).
The overall trends in whitefish show how sustainable management has come into play for all these stocks, so that when there are declines in survey data and projected stock size, this gets translated into lower quotas and catch limits.
For some of the stocks, ICES recommendations are for even further reductions than anticipated by the groundfish forum. For example, for 2019 ICES would like to see a cut of 13% below 2018 TAC on Barents Sea Cod, a cut of 25% in Haddock, and a cut of 13% in Saithe. In past years, ICES recommendations have not been followed to the letter by managers in the Barents Sea, but the direction of cuts in stocks has been consistent with the ICES advice.
As for farmed whitefish, the groundfish forum does not make its own predictions on tilapia. The FAO reports global production of around 4 million tons, but only a small fraction of this gets into international trade.
For Catfish / Pangasius, the forum is projecting an increase of nearly 14% in 2019, which would be consistent with higher pangasius prices attracting more output. Another positive factor for pangasius is the apparent resolution of Vietnam’s market access to the US, as the USDA has tentatively recommended an equivalency rating for Vietnams food safety systems. This would mean most trade in pangasius to the US market will continue without disruption.
For Salmon, the Forum expects continued growth of 4.85% in 2019, which is not far from the current Kontali estimates of 4% growth in global salmon in 2018.
Stand for Salmon vs Stand for Alaska
KRBD by Leila Kheiry - October 12, 2018
Salmon is the topic of a citizen-led measure on Alaska’s Nov. 6th statewide election ballot. The group supporting the measure, Stand for Salmon, says state regulations to protect fish habitat are inadequate. An opposition group, Stand for Alaska, though, argues the measure would hurt more than it would help.
Labeling and Marketing
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute: Marketing Update
ASMI - October 2018
October National Seafood Month and Alaska Commercial Fishing Day, ASMI Produces Alaska Seafood Utilization Infographic, Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s State of the Science Symposium, ASMI Exhibits at Natural Products Expo East, ASMI Attends Flavor, Quality and American Menus Leadership Retreat
Stay Ahead of the Curve With Urner Barry’s Seafood Import Workshop, Taking Place This Thursday
SEAFOODNEWS.COM - October 16, 2018
Urner Barry is heading to Boston this Thursday for the Seafood Import Workshop, a one-day event for seafood professionals to hear from expert speakers and government representatives about seafood safety, quality and sustainability compliance, and so much more.
“With so many changes going on in the industry, so many of us are focused on execution and continuing to build a thriving company in a challenging environment,” says workshop speaker Michael Lieberman, SVP, Food and Beverage Division Practice Leader at Foa & Son. “But one thing that is often overlooked are the emerging risks associated with food safety regulations, or the risks associated with the political environment we find ourselves in. These are all risks that can have a tremendous impact on successful growth.”
Lieberman will be on hand at the event to present and discuss insurance options and risk management for seafood importers.
“The focus of my discussion will be on risks identification and the quantification of those exposures,” Lieberman explains. “I have found that taking action on an issue becomes clearer if one can have an understanding of how much something can cost if no action is taken. I'll close with clear strategies on how to best manage these risks, either through contractual arrangements with supply chain partners or through strategic placement of insurance. Going through this process in an intimate workshop setting provide a great environment, not only for me to share this knowledge, but for all participants to collaborate on ways to stay ahead of the curve.”
Urner Barry’s Seafood Import Workshop is taking place at the Hilton Boston/ Woburn in Massachusetts this Thursday, October 18. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature government representatives from CBP, USDA, FDA and NOAA. Registration includes speaker presentations, lunch, premium networking opportunities, and a copy of speaker Scott Zimmerman’s book, “A Compliance Guide for Selling Seafood in the United States.” It’s not too late to sign up. Click here to register or call 1-800-932-0617.
“Staying ahead of the curve is a good theme of this workshop,” says Lieberman. “Yes, we are in challenging times. But for those companies who can ‘stay ahead of the curve,’ there is profitability in compliance.”
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