Council considers new Island Air lease at Trident Basin and changing way Fish Tax is distributed
KMXT by Maggie Wall - February 13, 2020
The Kodiak City Council has one public hearing and a number of resolutions on tonight’s regular meeting agenda.
Norton Sound Winter Commercial Red King Crab Fishery in Limbo
Fishermen's New - February 12, 2020
The Norton Sound winter commercial crab fish is on hold for lack of buyers, and an area fishery group is calling for closure of the fishery for 2020 for conservation purposes.
FISH FACTOR: Fish bills on move in Legislature; ASMI hosts young buyers
Alaska Journal of Commerce by Laine Welch - February 12, 2020
Alaska lawmakers are making fast work of several fish bills that have wide support from Alaska’s fishermen.
China’s Seafood Exports Hit Hard by the Coronavirus
Urner Barry by Amanda Buckle - February 13, 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has exerted destructive influence on China’s seafood industry in both its imports and exports. This previously hustling shopping carnivals have been slow with consumers mostly holed up at home. Meanwhile, seafood processing plants in China are challenged by various problems in both production and export.
Considering the contagious disease, China’s processing plants have to prolong their leave. Those in the Hubei province are required not to restart operation until February 14. But according to some plants, they are not sure if they can reopen as planned. And even if they do, it is difficult for them to fulfill processing schedules drafted earlier.
Quite a number of plant workers will not be able to return to work on time because of limits on travel. Some villages have reportedly block entry in order to keep the disease out. Many plants are not able to provide individual dormitories for their staffs, which may take a toll on disease prevention.
Moreover, experienced workers are likely to quit with the longer holidays in order to earn a living, and processing plants may have to deal with an obvious increase in labor costs when things return to normal. With fewer workers and longer leave, they are finding it difficult to fulfill orders they have received earlier, which could potentially lead to buyers turning to other suppliers, said the chairman for Hainan Xiangtai.
In the meantime, consumer concern about the safety of Chinese seafood has also made overseas buyers think twice before placing orders. Some aquatic companies like Guolian are processing seafood to satisfy orders they got earlier and buyers continue to place new orders. But buyers seem quite cautious and would like to be kept posted regarding the disease outbreak. Guolian said that it is also evaluating losses caused by this disaster.
In addition to labor, companies are spending more on material purchases and transportation. There is an obvious reduction in China’s international flights and shipping, which means higher transportation costs. Companies are under great pressure financially, and some may even go bankrupt. 71 countries have controlled entry of Chinese commodities, while some of them have even banned Chinese seafood for now. India, for example, announced earlier this month that they will temporarily halt seafood imports from China.
This disaster serves as a wake-up call, which urges Chinese aquatic companies to better develop themselves. Some said that they are building supply chains abroad, while some intend to spend more efforts on product differentiation and branding. In the meantime, it is very likely to bring new changes to Chinese consumption of frozen seafood, which have seen obvious increase in their sales recently.
Russia Floods U.S. With Seafood While Banning U.S. Imports for 6th Year
Seafood News by Laine Welch - February 12, 2020
This is Alaska Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Russia floods the US with seafood but won’t buy ours. More on six year embargo after this --
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Lost in the ongoing news about the hits to seafood from the Trump Administration’s trade war with China is another international trade barrier with Russia that’s been going on far longer.
In August of 2014 Russia placed an embargo on U.S. food products to retaliate for sanctions it and other Western countries imposed over Ukraine issues.
It included Alaska seafood products, which accounted for more than $61 million in sales to Russia, primarily pink salmon roe.
Prior to the embargo, Russia was the second most important export market for Alaska salmon roe after Japan, accounting for more than 76 percent of roe export value.
But here’s the kicker: For the nearly six years that the embargo has been in place, no corresponding limits were placed on Russia selling seafood into the US. In fact, the value of Russian seafood imported by the U.S. has grown nearly 70 percent since 2014. And it all comes into the U.S. almost entirely duty free.
A four page white paper from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute outlines the trade imbalance.
For example, the U.S. imported $551 million of seafood from Russia in 2018, plus $50 million of pollock products from China that was caught in Russia. U.S. crab comprised 84 percent of the value of Russian imports just in that one year.
Alaska and Russia harvest many of the same fish and crab species and many Russian products compete in the U.S. at much lower prices.
The trade report reveals how ASMI worked hard to build markets in Russia starting in 2006, and steady growth boosted Alaska pink salmon prices from 2010 through 2013 which benefitted fishermen.
ASMI believes the trade imbalance will only get worse as Russia aims to nearly double the value of its seafood exports by 2024 to over $8 billion.
Huge investments are underway to increase and modernize its capacity by building more than 20 new processing plants and 90 new fishing vessels by the year 2030. The plan also includes the launch of a new marketing and supply chain strategy called “the Russian Fish.”
Total investments by Russia to its fishery sector between 2018 and 2025 are pegged at nearly $7 billion.
U.S. Imports of Russian Seafood Year $Millions
From NMFS trade data
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. www.oceanbeauty.com
In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.
Labeling and Marketing
GAPP seeks more partners to market Pollock
The Cordova Times - February 12, 2020
Marketing advocates for wild Alaska Pollock are seeking proposals through March 15 for participation in their effort to build awareness and demand for the nutritious whitefish in European markets.
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