Seafood processors respond to COVID-19 with added precautions
Risk management and best practices are key to ongoing effort to protect harvested wild Alaska seafood
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman - March 21, 2020
Seafood industry processors say they are in ongoing discussions with local, state and federal partners, continuing to assess risks and implement best practices to abate the spread of the novel coronavirus behind the pandemic.
Alaska’s 2020 commercial halibut season begins with lower catch limits
Seafood Source by Ben Fisher - March 20, 2020
The 2020 Pacific halibut season in Alaska got underway on 14 March, with overall catch limits some 9 percent lower than they were last year.
Keep fishermen fishing: Food producers are essential to our health and survival
National Fishermen by Mail Buoy - March 20, 2020
Food production and delivery are crucial systems for society. The covid-19 virus is causing severe economic and social disruptions worldwide. The president has made it clear to the U.S. population that grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open. However fishermen, farmers and processors need to be able to continue their work to provide consumer with food.
East Coast Fishery
Greater Atlantic Regional Administrator Announces Temporary Waivers on Observers, Monitors
NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving the requirement for vessels with Greater Atlantic Region fishing permits to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor through April 4.
NOAA Fisheries - March 20, 2020
As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NOAA Fisheries is temporarily waiving the requirement for vessels with Northeast fishing permits to carry a fishery observer or at-sea monitor. The waiver will be in effect through April 4, and future extensions of this waiver will be evaluated weekly. For details, please read the letter from the Regional Administrator
Environmental groups urge Americans to eat more fish while hunkering down against virus
Los Angeles Times by Rosanna Xia - March 20, 2020
Environmental groups have long fought for animal rights, rallied against pollution and pushed back on overfishing, but a new message this week urged the nation to eat more seafood as it hunkers down during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tariffs on Chinese goods to remain in place, Trump says
Seafood Source by Cliff White - March 20, 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump will not suspend hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of tariffs his administration has imposed on Chinese goods, despite calls from U.S. business associations to do so to alleviate economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus Outbreak Leads to Rise in Concerns Among Consumers
Urner Barry by Andraia Torsiello - March 20, 2020
Datassential has released its latest wave of coronavirus research, and as the virus continues to dominate headlines, consumers' concerns have grown. Retail shelves have been wiped clean of food and supplies, gatherings have been discouraged or cancelled, and restaurants are facing mandatory closures.
In just the past four days, concerns have risen significantly among consumers. With the acceleration of the coronavirus news cycle, about 71% of Americans now consider themselves “very familiar” with the situation, which is a jump of 13 points in half a week. Americans' personal concern for exposure is up by 8 points. As of this past weekend, 49% of consumers are “very concerned” about the risk and expressed huge concern for their own wellbeing.
The majority of Americans now have a fear of eating in restaurants, and 27% will now definitely avoid eating out entirely, an increase of 8% in just four days. The increase in fear persists mostly among Boomers and Gen X, at 12% and 9% respectively. Also, the concern has now expanded beyond just parents, with restaurant avoidance spiking aggressively among single adults and those without children.
When it comes to restaurants, consumers are most concerned about touching shared objects such as countertops, napkin dispensers, and chairs. This concern also comes from the fact that when dining out these surfaces and shared objects are unavoidable. About 38% of consumers expressed the most concern with touching items others have touched, followed by being near other people at 28%, and staff preparing or handling the food at 15%.
As these concerns grow, consumers are already preparing to hunker down. In response to the spread of the virus, 47% of consumers had already stocked up on supplies for their household by March 14th. However, that means 53% of consumers have not. Among consumers that have stocked up, 68% of households have a high-income, followed by family households at 62%.
Shoppers are stocking up on just about everything, with dry foods leading the pack at 63%. Paper goods is tied with canned foods at a close 62%. About 55% of shoppers stocked up on frozen foods, and 41% bought fresh meat and seafood.
Consumers are also perceiving risk in all manners of acquiring food, including the methods that result in the food being brought into the home. Meal kits are generally thought to be the safest solution, but even they are deemed too risky by 19% of consumers, with about 38% believing meal kits present no risk. Regardless of how food is offered, consumers want additional reassurances to mitigate the perceived risk. Whether it is visibly cleaning or posting safety measures, businesses will have to prove to guests that they offer a safe environment to earn their trust.
Labeling and Marketing
Imitation seafood producers push back against labeling
Bristol Bay Times by Laine Welch - March 19, 2020
Genetically tweaked salmon that grows three times faster than normal fish ... fillets grown in labs from fish cells ... now plant-based seafoods such as "vegan shrimp," or "Toona" are gaining footholds in the marketplace — and confusing customers.
3MMI - China Covid-19 Update, Tradex Business Continuity & Pricing
TradexFoods - March 23, 2020
We are truly living in unique times. The coronavirus pandemic is impacting everyone from our families, to our businesses, to our first responders who are bravely on the front lines. In this week’s episode we give you direct updates on processes in China and update you on current prices.
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