ANALYSIS: West Coast Halibut Roundup
SeafoodNews.com by Liz Cuozzo, Urner Barry - November 20, 2018
The fresh West Coast halibut season came to a close on November 7th. The last published UB average price for 20-40 lbs. FOB Seattle was $8.50, finishing the season 4.55% higher than 2017 prices. Although prices finished slightly higher than last year, overall prices are off from a high of $9.75 recorded back in March 2017. For most of this season, prices have been trending lower than the three-year average, however, toward the end of this season as landings weakened, prices pushed higher.
Supply comes from Alaska and West Coast waters plus imports from Canada’s British Columbia fleet. Going back 20 years, peak imports from Canada occurred back in 2002 with 25,137,222 pounds compared with 2,623,022 pounds this season (*Oct. and Nov not yet recorded), an 89.56% decline. However, imports before and shortly after 2002 have been consistent at about 13.5 milion lbs per year. The drop beginning in 2005 reflects lower available supply for both countries. And now the 2018 season is shaping up to be lowest imports year on * record.
The stock assessment, and scientific advice on quotas for the 2019 season will be presented at the International Pacific Halibut Commission Interim meeting set for Nov. 27-28 in Seattle. Final quotas will be determined at the annual IPHC meeting in late Janaury 2019.
Most of the decrease in imports has been the result of the IHPC restricting quotas in order to protect the fishery. With sharply lower catch limits and landings this past season, prices were still lower than 2017 prices. One factor for the lack of interest is that many restaurants had taken halibut off their menus when boat prices were receiving $7 per pound in 2017. Another factor hurting the fishery has been the abundance of East Coast halibut flowing into the States from Canada, which is a year-round fishery. 2018 is shaping up to be a record year of imports for East Coast halibut from Canada. Imports Jan-Sept stand at 7,630,965 pounds compared to 2017 import numbers of 7,187,664 pounds; a 6.16% increase year over year.
MSC: “Life Below Water” lagging behind other Sustainable Development Goals
Saving Seafood by Madelyn Kearns - November 13, 2018
In an effort to spotlight marine conservation and the millions of livelihoods that depend on seafood around the world, the Marine Stewardship Council and research consultancy firm GlobeScan have teamed up with Nomad Foods Europe to host a text-based discussion surrounding “Life Below Water” – one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ongoing China-U.S. Trade War Likely to Bring Changes to Global Seafood Industry
SeafoodNews.com by Amy Zhong - November 19, 2018
Chinese seafood exports to America have grown this year, despite the trade war. However, the trade war with the U.S. could have global impacts, writer Amy Zhong reports from China.
Chinese seafood exports to the U.S. were US $3.22 billion during 2017, while the exports have risen by 5.75 percent to reach US $2.161 billion within the first eight months of this year compared with the same period last year. But things are starting to shift. The U.S. used to be the largest market for Chinese tilapia, but not any more.
Against this backdrop, a seafood processing seminar was hosted in Dalian in October and participants gathered to talk about issues like global seafood trading and brand building.
China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 created great opportunities for its aquatic processing industry but it has begun to shift attention to the domestic market with the recession of foreign markets, trade conflicts and increasingly great domestic demand. Thus, the Dalian seminar was of great importance in areas such as opportunities and threats the aquatic industry encounters in domestic and foreign markets.
The country used to rely on foreign buyers in its seafood sales from 1981 to 2005, Cui He, the president for China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance, was quoted as saying in a recent FishFirst article. Its export ballooned from 2005 to 2013, while its imports also grew between 2013 and 2017. The country’s seafood trading volume exceeded 10 million tons in 2017, which makes it a market larger than any other in the world, according to the story. That means an increasing number of aquatic suppliers have placed more importance on this market with great potential thanks to its steady export opportunities and rapid import increase. Countries like Norway, Canada and Australia have said in the past that China is the main target in their seafood promotions.
Japan, the U.S. and Europe are the three main buyers of China’s seafood, according to the country's statistics, while other important buyers include South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Japan ranks first among all of China's seafood buyers while the U.S. also is significant, buying a lot of China's white shrimp and tilapia.
Although there seems to be no drastic change to the global seafood market at present, China has played a role of great importance in the processing industry. The trade war does take a toll on some export-oriented seafood companies in Dalian and Qingdao, but it also pushes them to upgrade their systems. In short, more seafood trading stimulates the development of China’s seafood processing sector.
China's statistics have shown a reduction in China's reliance on U.S. seafood buyers since 2014. The U.S. anti-dumping policies on shrimp and catfish have influenced China's processors since the mid-2000s. Lately, the two countries have become competitors in sourcing such seafood as Ecuador’s white shrimp after 2014, with Ecuador selling more white shrimp to China recently. China also has purchased more basa from Vietnam than the U.S. as well.
Recently, the U.S. has removed cod, pink salmon and pollock from its import list that are subject to higher tariffs. Cod has been delivered to China for further processing before being re-exported to Europe, the article said. At the same time, tariffs are having less effect on China's seafood purchases from the U.S. than its sales to the U.S. Tilapia sales have hurt the most: The U.S. was once the largest buyer, but due to the trade war, it is now looking to other countries for substitutes.
SeafoodNews reporter Amy Zhong also writes that Chinese trade journals say that the U.S.-China trade war could also change the global seafood industry. Seafood businesses worldwide are uncertain whether China can maintain its status as the seafood processing center, since some companies have been forced to relocate to other regions, like Africa. However, China has begun developing business in more countries included in its One Belt, One Road initiative, which in turn has encouraged China to upgrade its seafood industry.
Wang Zhanlu, the director for WTO Division of Agricultural Trade Promotion Center, was quoted as saying countries usually control the agricultural trade more strictly with higher tariffs, but China is comparatively open and is second only to the U.S. in terms of its agricultural imports. In 2017, seafood ranks first in the country’s agricultural exports and accounts for 27 percent of the country's agricultural export total. Meanwhile, seafood imports account for about 17 percent of its imports.
Zhong writes that according to seafood trade expert Leng Chuanhui, Japan consumes about 8.4 million tons of seafood every year, while it produces around 4.7 million tons on its own. Most of Japan's seafood are wild harvests, while some are raised in fresh- or saltwater aquaculture. The country buys about 3.7 million tons of seafood from other countries, while its main export markets are Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, while 14.2 percent of its seafood import is from China.
Professor Qin from Guangdong Ocean University was quoted as saying that oysters have also become more popular in China. Global production was only 5.32 million tons worldwide in 2017, while the trading volume was about 70,000 tons. But China’s production rose by 4.7 percent in 2017 compared with that of 2016 to reach 4.87 million tons. Its oyster market value grew by 25 percent to reach 25.4 billion yuan (~$3.7 billion USD) that year. Most of the Fujian, Guangdong and Shandong oysters are currently destined for barbecues, but likely will be more finely processed in the future.
Dead fish to fuel Norwegian Hurtigruten cruise liner
CNN by Tara John - November 20, 2018
(CNN) — The cruise industry is booming, thanks to its promise of spectacular views, exotic locales and floating luxury. But as the appetite for ocean travel rapidly grows, there's been growing concern about its environmental impact.
Labeling and Marketing
Symphony of Seafood: Trident’s Protein Noodle takes the plate
National Fisherman by Jessica Hathaway - November 19, 2018
Trident Seafoods’ Protein Noodle has taken the new product competition by storm this year. The Alaska Symphony of Seafood announced its winners from the show floor of Pacific Marine Expo, awarding the gluten-free pollock-based noodle first place in the Retail category as well as winner of the Seattle People’s Choice award.
What's really in frozen fish fingers?
Fish fingers are a simple way to get some fish but why do some have sugar?
The Irish Times by Rose Costello - November 19, 2018
If Captain Birds Eye is looking particularly pleased with himself these days, it’s not just because he has been reincarnated in the form of a handsome Italian watersports enthusiast. It may also be because the old sea dog can boast that his fish fingers are helping the seas to recover.
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