On the Waterfront – February 2015

Meetings Being Held on N.S. Lobster Levy

Members of the Nova Scotia lobster fishing industry are being invited to discuss a proposed two-cent per pound fee to help promote and market the industry.
Consultations, led by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, began Jan. 27.

These discussions are an opportunity for members of the lobster fishing industry to share their views on the proposed fee, talk about what the money could be used for and how the fund could be collected and administered. Last March, Nova Scotia hosted a Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit where participants endorsed a Maritime levy of one cent from harvesters and one cent from buyers.

There will be 16 face-to-face meetings west of Halifax and consultations with fishing associations east of Halifax from Jan. 27 to Feb. 18. French language services will be available at five of the meetings.

N.L. Government Invests in Processing Operations

Fogo Island Co-Operative Society will test plant sanitation technology that is new to the seafood processing industry in the province with assistance from the Newfoundland and Labrador Government’s Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program.

The Co-op recently received $54,810 to help install and test an Icelandic system that is expected to achieve cost savings while performing in a more environmentally-friendly manner than standard equipment.

This specific technology uses an air dispersion system that extends throughout the plant. The system produces a sanitizing fog that eliminates bacteria on contact. Once in operation, this technology will be assessed to determine if it could be beneficial to other processing facilities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. The assessment will be completed later this year.

As well, Icewater Seafoods Inc., a processing company based in Arnold’s Cove that specializes in cod and groundfish products, will receive $200,000 from the province to help install new equipment that will significantly boost product yield and quality. This funding will support the installation of Icelandic heading and mincing equipment that is new to the fish processing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The new mincing technology is anticipated to increase mince value while the new heading machine will increase product yield. By implementing these new technologies Icewater Seafoods will produce a better quality product for the competitive fresh/frozen market for cod.

The new equipment is expected to be fully integrated into Icewater Seafoods Inc.’s processing line before the start of the 2015 cod fishing season.

Norway’s 2014 Seafood Shipments Grow to $8.8 billion

Norwegian seafood exporters enjoyed another banner year for the value of their shipments to global markets in 2014.

Exports were aided by a record year for exported cod values as shipments to the EU helped offset the loss of the Russian market.

A report from the Norwegian Seafood Export Council found the value for Norwegian seafood shipments was up 12 per cent to NOK 68.8 billion (USD8.8 billion), a difference of NOK 7.3 billion (USD940 million) compared to 2013.

Norwegian seafood shipments managed to set the record despite a 48 per cent decline in shipped values to Russia, which was a major market for Norwegian seafood prior to Russia levying a ban on imported goods from Norway over the summer.

The Council said shipments to the EU, which accounted for 62 per cent of overall exports, helped offset the Russian decline. For the year the value of Norway’s exported seafood to Europe was up 16 per cent in 2014 to NOK 43 billion (USD 5.5 billion).

Norway’s exported salmon and trout totaled NOK 46.2 billion in 2014 (USD5.97 billion). The average price achieved for fresh whole salmon was NOK 41.06 per kg (USD5.3 per kg). This is a gain of 3.4 per cent on 2013 prices.

Meanwhile, the exported codfish was valued at NOK 12 billion (1.5 billion) in 2014. This was up 20 per cent, or NOK 2 billion compared 2013, setting a new record. The overall volume of Norwegian exports of groundfish was up three per cent versus 2013.

Bluefin Tuna Fetches Big Bucks

A bluefin tuna recently sold for more than $37,000 in the first auction of the year at a Tokyo fish market.

The 380-pound tuna, caught off Japan’s northern region of Aomori, fetched a winning bid of 4.51 million yen ($37,480), said an official at the Tsukiji fish market.

Bluefin is usually the most expensive fish available at Tsukiji, the biggest fish and wholesale seafood market in the world. A piece of “otoro”, or the fish’s fatty underbelly, can cost up to several thousand yen at high-end Tokyo restaurants.

The growing popularity of Japanese sushi worldwide has also stoked demand.

Moncton airport Increasing Lobster Shipments

Officials with the Greater Moncton International Airport are celebrating a record-setting cargo flight.

A 747 cargo jet left Moncton recently for Belgium with a load of 65,000 kilograms (143,300 pounds) of lobster, the biggest single shipment of lobster ever out of the airport.

The airport has been trying to increase the amount of cargo it ships internationally and said this weekly flight to Belgium, which started in April, is a step in the right direction.

The airport extended its runway in 2013 to make way for larger cargo flights, in the hopes of increasing exports by airplane, which had been flat for several years.

Northern Harvest Salmon Obtains Four-Star BAP Status

Northern Harvest Sea Farms Group is the world’s first salmon company to achieve four-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) status, denoting the company’s salmon processing plants, farm sites, hatcheries and feed mills are all BAP certified, the Global Aquaculture Alliance announced in December.

A four-star certification was achieved when Northern Harvest Smolt Limited in Stephenville, Newfoundland, earned BAP certification. It is the first salmon hatchery to earn BAP certification since new BAP hatchery standards for finfish, crustaceans and mollusks were completed in September. (Previously, BAP hatchery standards existed only for shrimp.)

Northern Harvest Sea Farms’ processing plant, marine sites, and Skretting Canada feed mill in Bayside, New Brunswick, had previously attained BAP certification in October 2012. Additionally,

Northern Harvest’s Bar Island site was Atlantic Canada’s first BAP-certified salmon farm. Certification of Northern Harvest Smolt Limited hatchery now distinguishes Northern Harvest Sea Farms as world’s only four-star BAP certified salmon aquaculture company.

Clearwater Receives Innovation Award

Clearwater Seafoods received the Rabobank Innovation Award presented on December 4 at a reception hosted by the financial institution in New York City.

The Innovation Award is one of three awards presented by Rabobank North America Wholesale to leading food and agriculture companies for their dedication to innovation, sustainability and leadership.

“It’s a great honour to be recognized for our commitment to innovation,” said Ian Smith, CEO, Clearwater Seafoods.

“Innovation has played a key role in the success of Clearwater’s growth strategies from advanced technology, to sustainable harvesting and new product development.”

“Since starting anew with Clearwater in 2012, we continue to be impressed by management’s ability, with a scarce wild catch resource, to grow revenue, EBITDA and shareholder value, through innovation in not only harvesting, but product development and marketing as well,” said Rajiv Singh, CEO, Rabobank North America Wholesale.

“We are thrilled to partner with Clearwater and happy to award them for their impressive achievements.”

McDonald’s Japan to offer snow crab sandwich

McDonald’s Japan put snow crab on its menu, starting December 17.

According to Japanese news outlet Kotaku, the world’s largest fast-food chain will market the crab sandwich as a burger. It is modeled after a crab croquette, which are already served across many Japanese food outlets.

McDonald’s iteration of the croquette is made with snow crab and topped with mushrooms, lettuce and a tomato sauce served on Ciabatta bread.

East Coast Herring Roe Prices Down

Eastern Canadian herring roe prices settled lower in Japan, largely due to the large volumes of herring roe from Alaska and B.C., Seafood.com reported recently.

Overall, prices were down about $0.45 to $0.50 per kg, compared to last year. This translates into prices of about Y 1300 per kilogram for Japanese processors, a level they had sought.

This price will allow them to keep customer prices stable for the herring roe gift pack season, which is currently ongoing.

Canadian dollar prices were $4.65 – $4.70 per pound for top grade roe.

The total volume from Eastern Canada is expected to be around 2,000 tonnes, which is down for the second straight year.

More Fisheries-Related Fines Handed Out

Henry Pender of New-Wes-Valley has been fined for violating Shrimp license conditions.

Pender was convicted in Gander Provincial Court on November 20. He was fined $4,000 for failing to fully and accurately complete his DFO fishing logbook on a daily basis. He was also fined $4,000 for fishing in the Funk Island Deep closure area in 2012 and 2013.

Evan Clarke of New Melbourne, Trinity Bay has been fined for violating capelin license conditions.

Clarke was convicted in Clarenville Provincial Court on November 13 for exceeding the length of seine permitted to be used in the capelin purse seine fishery. Capelin licence conditions permit a seine of 80 fathoms in length (~146 m) while Mr. Clarke used a seine measuring 113 fathoms (~206.5 m), a difference of 33 fathoms (60 m). He was fined $2,000 to be paid within 12 months.

Timothy Fudge of McCallum has been fined for violating groundfish license conditions.

Fudge was convicted in Head of Bay D’Espoir Provincial Court on November 25 for exceeding his incidental catch limit of Atlantic Halibut in NAFO area 3Ps. He was fined $1,000 to be paid within 30 days and forfeited 92 lbs of Atlantic Halibut, valued at $420.

Duncan Sharpe of Gander, Kevin Blackler of St. John’s and Richard Worthman of Heart’s Delight were convicted for improperly harvesting seals in accordance with humane harvesting requirements under the federal Fisheries Act.

Sharpe and Blackler were convicted in Gander Provincial Court on October 21. They have each been fined $1,250 to be paid within six months and forfeited 11 Harp seals. The offences occurred on April 30 in the Twillingate area.

Worthman was convicted in Harbour Grace Provincial Court on November 5. He has been fined $1,000 to be paid within six months, and forfeited a clubbing device and seal pelts valued at $154.25.

EU Raises 2015 Cod and Haddock Quotas

Britain’s fishermen will be allowed to increase their catches of cod and other key fish species this year, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The quota for cod catches for 2015 will increase by five per cent over last year, though scientific advice suggested that it should be cut by 20 per cent.

UK fishermen will also be allowed to catch 15 per cent more prawns than last year and 15 per cent more plaice in the North Sea, while the haddock catch has been increased by six per cent.

International Heritage Boat Conference Receives Funding

The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador is better positioned to promote the province’s wooden boat history and advance economic development efforts through strategic partnerships as the result of a $25,000 provincial government investment.

The funding will be used by the museum to host and implement initiatives related to the International Heritage Boat Conference to be held in Trinity Bight in October 2016.

In addition to international exposure for the museum and the province, the conference will provide an environment for wooden boat specialists to come together to share their expertise and perspectives on marketable products for both the tourism and education sectors.

The Wooden Boat Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador was incorporated in 2007. The museum archives, conserves, exhibits and transmits the province’s wooden boat history and its contribution to the province’s economy and way of life. The museum’s headquarters is located on Highway 80 in Winterton, approximately 71 kilometers north of the Trans-Canada Highway. The museum exhibits in Trinity and Twillingate with plans to expand to other regions of the province.

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