John Sackton

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Editor and Publisher — SeafoodNews.com

Posts by John Sackton 62 results

Surf Clam Decision a Massive Failure on the Part of Fisheries Minister

The recent decision to award 25 per cent of the Arctic surf clam quota in Canada to a bidder consisting of a small company in Nova Scotia and five unknown indigenous band partners in Atlantic Canada appears to be a massive failure. The decision by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has pitted region against region, has pitted various first nation’s groups against each other, has crippled a multi-million-dollar investment in the fishery by Clearwater and quite possibly will significantly ...

With Pacific Cod Problems, Whitefish Buyers May See a Wild Ride in 2018

After a period of relative stability, the next seafood commodity that may be buffeted by price swings will be whitefish. Cod, the premium product in the complex, is likely to see shortages and rising prices in some specialty markets. But for buyers, there is instability throughout the complex. Haddock, cod, tilapia, pangasius and pollock prices are all out of their normal relationship to each other. Disruptions in the cod market, possible major disruptions in pangasius and the fact that ...

Path for Development of Northern Cod Charted at Biggest Newfoundland Industry Meeting in Years

In late November, one of the biggest seafood industry meetings in years took place in Gander, Newfoundland. Close to 200 harvesters, processors and industry experts discussed the options available to the province as the historic Northern cod stock rebuilds. The meeting, entitled Cod — Building the Fishery of the Future, was put together by the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) housed at the Marine Institute in St. Johns. Alastair O’Rielly (Chair of the Board for ...

Cod, Shrimp and Pangasius See Gains in U.S. Consumption

Cod is the big winner in the per capita U.S. consumption numbers, as it has taken an increased share of the whitefish market over the past five years. The per capita consumption numbers released by the National Fisheries Institute recently showed a drop in overall U.S. seafood consumption from 15.5 to 14.9 pounds. Almost all of the drop was attributable to salmon, where consumption fell .7 pounds per person. The NMFS model, on which NFI bases its numbers, is a disappearance model and is ...

Union Objects to Draft Shrimp Management Plan

After a dismal 2017 shrimp season that saw harvests slashed for the inshore Newfoundland and Labrador fleet, the FFAW/Unifor has strongly objected to a DFO draft rebuilding plan for Northern shrimp, recently unveiled at a meeting in Montreal. At issue is the rebuilding targets and whether they should remain the same as the historical targets, or be adjusted due to the increased presence of cod. If DFO continues business as usual, shrimp quotas for 2018 are likely to be the same as the ...

U.S. Lobster Industry Braces for Christmas Disruption as Canada’s Zero Tariff for EU Goes Into Effect

Canadian live lobster exporters are about to see the elimination of the eight per cent EU tariff on live lobsters, as a result of the implementation of the Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA). The agreement has various provisions, lowering tariffs on Canadian seafood exported to the EU over several years, but the eight per cent tariff on live lobster was eliminated completely the day the pact went into force. This has the potential to disrupt live lobster trading patterns during the ...

Stronger Canadian Dollar Creating Issues For Lobster Industry

The strengthening Canadian dollar is pressuring the lobster industry. In Nova Scotia, the season is currently closed. This means that dealers are selling off live inventory purchased at higher prices. With the Canadian dollar dropping from $1.35 to $1.25 in late July, this is the equivalent of a seven per cent drop in money returned back to Canada, squeezing margins. This caused the Canadian Lobster Council to warn that the country’s lobster processors were under pressure. In New ...

Quebec Private Equity Firm Creates $140-Million Lobster and Crab Group

The Montreal-based private equity firm, Champlain Financial, has purchased Riverside Lobster of Nova Scotia and will merge the company with Cheticamp Fisheries, which it purchased in May 2017. The primary products of Riverside and Cheticamp are lobster and snow crab. The group will be led by Marc Poulin, formerly CEO of Sobeys, who will become the executive chairman of Champlain’s seafood platform. “Both companies are strategically located in the most productive crab and lobster ...

St. Anns Bank, New Marine Reserve, Open to Non-Trawl Fishing, Including Crab and Lobster

On World Oceans Day, Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced that St. Anns Bank, east of Cape Breton, is officially Canada’s latest marine protected area. St. Anns Bank Marine Protected Area is 4,364-square kilometres in size and is located off the eastern coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The area is important for conservation, containing leatherback sea turtles, deep-sea corals, sponges, sea pens and recovering populations of Atlantic cod and Atlantic wolffish. Over 100 ...

Gulf Snow Crab Quota Even Higher Than Expected

The snow crab supply picture from Atlantic Canada is coming into better focus. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) announced in April that the quota in the Southern Gulf, which was 21,725 tonnes last year, will more than double to 43,822 tonnes this year. Combined with the Newfoundland quota of 35,419 tonnes, total Canadian harvests from the two primary producing areas will total 79,241 tonnes of crab, or nearly 175 million pounds of live crab if the entire quota is caught. In ...