Report calls for Nechako chinook hatchery
Alaska Highway News by Mark Nielsen / Prince George Citizen - December 4, 2018 08:16 AM
The authors of a report into the state of the salmon runs reaching the Nechako and Upper Fraser regions say a close look should be given to establishing a full-fledged hatchery on the river to help bring the number of chinook back up to a healthy level.
Prohibition on retention of P-cod in effect in central GOA
Cordova Times - December 3, 2018
The National Marine Fisheries Service has put in place a temporary prohibition on retention of Pacific cod by catcher/processors using trawl gear in the central regulatory area of the Gulf of Alaska. The rule will remain in effect through Dec. 31.
BOF Bristol Bay Finfish: Here’s how each proposal fared
The Alaska Board of Fisheries considered 47 proposals at the Bristol Bay Finfish meeting in Dillingham last week. The board passed 12.
KDLG Avery Lill - December 3, 2018
You can find audio of the meeting here and proposals here.
Proposal 18: allow users to subsistence fish for salmon near Dillingham at any time – PASSED 6-1 with proposed language from RC55
Labeling and Marketing
ANALYSIS: Will Retail Features Keep Increasing Heading into the Holiday Season?
Seafood News by Urner Barry - December 5, 2018
After the traditionally slow pre-Thanksgiving period for seafood promotions, things look to come back with a roar for the holidays. Most of the major seafood retail items, except for salmon and tilapia, are trading at lower prices than last year in December. And both salmon and tilapia have positives that may support more retail promotions over the holidays. For salmon, it is the higher prices of whitefish, that make it a more attractive staple. For tilapia, it is the heavy buying ahead of Chinese tariffs that has positioned sellers to be able to promote this fish during the holidays and Lent.
As we head into the holiday season Urner Barry’s market reporters take a look at past retail features for tilapia, salmon, scallops, and shrimp:
Cyclical imports of tilapia frozen fillets start seeing a dramatic increase in November and peak in January. Added demand leading into the holiday season, coupled with traders securing product ahead of Chinese New Year and for Lent, all attribute to the rise and subsequent fall of import volumes during this time of the year.
When looking at retail features from the past two years beginning the week of Thanksgiving and running through Christmas, features have increased from 96 in 2016 to 109 in 2017— a 13.5 percent increase.
While import volumes and wholesale prices have increased month over month since April, and are expected to continue increasing as traders secured orders prior to the 10% and 25% punitive tariffs being implemented, it is a question of whether retail features will follow suit for the 2018 season.
When costs increase overseas, it is likely those higher prices will be passed along to the consumer. And with the current trade war affecting seafood exported out of China, with tilapia being the highest volume seafood export from the country, it does not seem likely that retailers will be able to promote the product as they have in recent years if the 25% tariff goes into effect.
While many importers took action to secure inventory ahead of the higher tariffs, opting for early shipping options, few are overbought but many hold higher inventory levels compared to previous years during this timeframe. With the recently announced 90-day hiatus of the 25% tariff, the industry is hopeful this action is the first in completely dropping the higher tariff in 2019. If this turns out to be the case, added cold storage fees for larger inventory holdings are a welcomed trade off, perhaps resulting in a continued trend of tilapia promotions leading into the 2019 Lenten season.
In retail, farmed salmon tends to have a dominant presence at the seafood counter, and it typically—and historically—increases when it comes to the holiday push.
Looking back to 2016, pricing at the end of November was $5.40 for fresh 2-3 pound Chilean Atlantic Salmon fillets, a bellwether size for farmed salmon. However, that same size increased $0.30 through the end of December. In 2017, pricing around that same time for 2-3 pound Chilean Atlantic Salmon fillets was $4.45. By the end of December the price climbed to $4.85, also a $0.30 increase.
That 14.6 percent drop in price from 2016 to 2017 equated to a five percent increase in features in 2017. In 2016 there was a total of 139 Atlantic salmon features from Thanksgiving through the end of December. In 2017 there was 146 features.
Currently the market sits at $4.85 on 2-3s, which is roughly in between 2016 and 2017’s prices.
Overall, salmon is a staple and there isn’t another species you can swap in for it. In addition, with cod prices higher, salmon may become more attractive as a retail promotion.
In 2017 prices for 10-20 mid Atlantic sea scallops retreated with an improved supply situation. That resulted in a substantial retail push last year, with scallops being featured 118 times from September to December compared to just 58 times in 2016. Retail features jumped over 103 percent from 2016 to 2017, and this year appears to be on the same track. From this past September to the end of November, there have been 128 retail features.
For most of 2018, prices for 10-20 Mid Atlantic sea scallops trended well below the prices seen in 2016 and 2017 . However, things changed in late September and early October when prices pushed past 2017 prices, trading approximately 7.6 percent higher. Improved supply situation and lower prices have been a catalyst for improved retail presence.
Retailers appear to be embracing shrimp and the value it offers. Buying opportunities are up and ad prices are lower in both the third quarter, and year-to-date.
The number of ads in our index increased by roughly 22,000, or 13.5 percent during the third quarter. Ad prices in the same period averaged $0.22 or 2.8 percent below the same period a year ago. Meanwhile year-to-date buying opportunities are up approximately 86,000 or 17.1 percent.
Alaska Marine Science Symposium set for Jan 28-31
Cordova Times - December 4, 2018
Keynote speakers are still to be announced, but online registration is now open for the 2019 Alaska Marine Science Symposium, the state’s premier marine research conference.
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