Despite the global economic downturn, a majority of CEOs (93 percent) agree that sustainability will be critical to the success of their companies…. Read more (SeafoodSource.com)
Breaking news in the fishing industry.
Fearing that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will deal a severe blow to the bluefin tuna, an environmental group is demanding that the government declare the fish an endangered species, setting off extensive new protections under federal law…. Read more (NYTimes.com)
According to the Spanish National Association of Manufacturers of Canned Seafood Products (ANFACO), Spain’s exports of canned tuna went up about 2% during the first trimester of 2010…. Read article on Atuna.com (free subscription required)
Pacific Seafoods has been accused of monopoly practices that harm fishermen on the West coast according to a law suit filed on behalf of some fishermen from Oregon. The suit, which is not backed by any state or federal attorney, claims that Pacific has achieved between 50% to 75% market share on major west coast species including dungeness crab, groundfish, whiting, and pacific shrimp. The plaintiffs claim that using this buying power, Pacific keeps prices to fishermen lower than they would otherwise be, and retaliates against both dealers who offer higher prices, and fishermen who land at those dealers.
The company has categorically denied the allegations, saying they are completely unfounded, and will be proven without merit. Pacific and its owner Frank Dulcich, who built the company from scratch into one of the largest vertically integrated seafood companies in the U.S., have been the target of legal actions in the past. Anti-trust suits are extremely complex and expensive, and it is not clear if the fishermen bringing the class action have the resources to carry it through. The price fixing lawsuit against Bristol Bay salmon processors in the 1990’s was enormously expensive, and resulted in a 30 day trial, in which processors were acquitted of any wrongdoing. The suit is the subject of our video today.
In other news, Bon Secour and other Alabama based seafood companies are scrambling to source product, as local fishing areas are shut down. It is not clear how long some of the companies can tolerate the operating disruptions.
The PSP outbreak in Alaska has gotten worse, with a second death reported. This is the first time since 1997 that fatalities have been associated with PSP. The lab data is still being evaluated, so conclusions are tentative, but they point to toxin from crab entrails being the cause. The dungeness personal use fishery opened recently in Southeast Alaska. Commercial crabmeat is not affected, and is monitored closely by state health authorities.
Are New England landings up or down? This seemingly simple question is getting more complex, as yesterday at the regional council, New England regional administrator Pat Kurkul said landings were down 24%. This contradicts data from the auctions that volume is up about 30%. For this to be true the auction share of total regional landings will have gone up from 43% to 75%. This may be an unintended consequence of the sector program – diverting landings from smaller ports.
DFO has extended the snow crab season in Newfoundland until July 8th in some major areas. About 70% of the crab is currently landed, but the pace is behind that of 2009. There have not been widespread reports of softshell crab, and the DFO has a monitoring system in place to close areas where softshell is observed.
John Sackton, Editor And Publisher , Lexington, Massachusetts
In 26 years, Frank Dulcich has transformed Pacific Seafood Group from a minor fish distributor in Southeast Portland to perhaps the dominant seafood player in North America…. Read more (OregonLive.com)
France’s Fleet Development Plan (FDP) shows that the country intends to increase its tuna fishing capacity from 4.638 GT (gross tonnage) to 23.430 GT in the Indian Ocean by 2015…. Read article on Atuna.com (free subscription required)
The polemic decision the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) made in granting certification to the U.S. pole and troll albacore fishery twice has caused conflicts between the two organizations managing such certifications: The American Albacore Fishing Association (AAFA) and the Western Fishboat Owners Association (WFOA)…. Read article on Atuna.com (free subscription required)
The Philippines’ tuna industry says it is suffering from the closure of parts of the Pacific Ocean to tuna fishing six months ago…. Read more (AustralianNetworkNews.com)
A sale of the European canned seafood producer MWBrands is expected to be finalised by the end of the month, according to sources familiar with the negotiations….. Read more (BangkokPost.com)