BETTER OUT THAN IN !!!

The EU taking sixty percent of our resources is robbery – definitely – it’s robbery. We do not personally object to Danish or EU fishermen – they have only exploited a situation that the EU has created” says one of the founders of the organisations Fishing for Leave, an independent non-party political organization that wants out of the EU.

He talks about large Danish pelagic trawlers who catch large amounts of fish in British waters just off the west coast of Scotland – and statistics show that 40 percent of Danish fishing takes place in British waters.

And British fishermen believe that the Danes and other EU countries have robbed them of their resources – and now they have had enough, they want their fish back.

Brexit stands for a seismic change, and is there anyone who thinks in the hard way, yes, British fishermen such as those here at the harbor in Troon, South West Scotland.

– Do they want Brexit? “Yes, absolutely,” says fishing skipper Gary McKinnon, as he works mending nets.

“Let’s get out of the EU, we have great fishing waters here, let’s manage it in the best way and that requires Britain managing her 200 mile limit for our own benefit” he says.

 

 

 

BREXIT IS 'OPPORTUNITY' SAY SCOTTISH FISHERMEN.

Brexit is “opportunity”, say Scottish fishermen Skippers from other EU countries landed 58 per cent of the UK fish and shelfish catch. Picture: David Cheskin/PA Wire ILONA AMOS 17:0822:47Tuesday 11 October 2016 28 HAVE YOUR SAY European boats catch more fish and shellfish in UK seas than the local fleet, according to new research. A report produced by the NAFC Marine Centre at the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that fishing boats from other EU countries caught nearly 60 per cent of the fish and shellfish landed between 2012 and 2014 from the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which stretches 200 nautical miles out from the British coast. The study, commissioned by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), shows boats from outside Britain net around 650,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish in the UK EEZ every year, with a value of more than £400 million. In contrast, UK boats fishing elsewhere in the EU landed just 90,000 tonnes a year, worth £100m. In Scotland more than half of all catches were landed by EU boats from outside the UK, with visiting vessels netting 386,000 tonnes of fish and shellfish worth £210m. More than half of the hake and saithe, almost three-quarters of the herring, 86 per cent of the horse mackerel and 94 per cent of the blue whiting landed from the Scottish part of the zone by EU skippers were caught by foreign boats. Scottish waters are some of the most productive, and fishing has major social, economic and cultural importance north of the border. Scottish fishermen have described the catch figures as shocking, claiming Brexit offers a unique opportunity to take control of national waters for the benefit of coastal communities and the economy. They say leaving the EU will allow the UK to govern its EEZ, meaning foreign vessels could be banned from fishing within the 200-mile boundary without permission. Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF, said: “This detailed analysis of these landing figures is a bombshell that reveals the truly shocking extent of how our rich fishing grounds have been given away in recent decades. “Brexit provides a sea of opportunity to breathe new life into our coastal communities by ensuring increased catching opportunities and fit-for-purpose management.” He called for the UK and Scottish governments to “take heed” of the findings and work together to get the best possible deal for fishermen. A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are aware of the feelings of the fishing industry and are engaging closely with them and listening to their concerns. “Our priority continues to be pursuing all options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU and are committed to ensuring Scotland’s interests are at the heart of any EU decisions taken on fishing.” Read more at: http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/brexit-is-opportunity-say-scottish-fishermen-1-4255264

Brexit is a big “prize” for the fishing industry and will enable it to become a world-leading seafood exporter like Norway, the House of Lords has been told.09.09.2016

Withdrawal from the EU would enable Britain to regain control of its waters after decades of “common grazing” rights assigned to European neighbours, fishing leaders said.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation, said the referendum result was fantastic news for his industry. It marked the first real opportunity since quotas were imposed in 1983 to return to “being a world leader in sustainable seafood”, he said.

Armstrong said the British fishing industry would like to emulate Norway, which is the world’s leading producer of salmon and the second largest seafood exporter in the world with annual sales of more than £7bn, compared with the UK’s £1bn.

He told a special Brexit hearing of the Lords EU select committee that the fishing industry was not opposed to sharing British waters with French or other European partners, but it would be “on our terms”.

 

To Fishingnews1.com (lowtide)

Small Prawn Prices Scotland Nephrops Norvicus.

I am just looking at prices being paid for tails in Scotland.

Boats are selling tails for £4.50 /£5.25  kilo. Or  .90/£1.05 whole. Then they get knocked on commissions etc !!

Small whole prawn in Spain I pay €6.75  £5.62  k

OK  3 k boxes .35 k transport .85 k

Fishermen still get £4.00 kilo more to ‘fresh them’

I use 500k +each week  that’s €1500/€2000 a week more for a Fisherman.

 

I am told by suppliers ‘we have no small prawn’ they are all tailed !!

All very strange, maybe Fishingnews can enlighten me.

Saludos Miguel Jiminez  Mercamadrid.

EU result gives hope to Scottish fishermen

THE European Union referendum result last week, which took so many in the country by surprise, opened up hope and ambition for Scotland’s fishing communities.

There is now real opportunity to implement sustainable and rationale stewardship of the country’s fisheries, said the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).

Bertie Armstrong (pictured), SFF chief executive, said:  ‘After many years – in the consistent past words of the current party of Scottish government of being ‘sold down the river’ with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy – we at last have the ability to recover proper, sustainable and rational stewardship through our own Exclusive Economic Zone for fisheries, just like Norway, Iceland and the Faroes.

‘With the Scottish parliament emergency debate taking place today (June 28) aimed at the Scottish government getting a mandate for arguing against the referendum result and attempting to stay in the EU, it must not be forgotten that the whole of the Scottish fishing community – which sustainably harvests seafood from some of the best fishing grounds in the world – does not agree with this stance in the slightest.

‘For Scotland’s economically important fishing industry, we believe the new opportunities presented by the referendum result are overwhelmingly for the better – Scottish parliamentarians must carefully consider all views as they make their decisions on the way forward.

‘With leadership exercised at last from the right place, the ills of the past of overfishing and incoherent regulation could be banished.

‘We are witnessing another form of ‘Project Fear’ when instead we should be working on the details of how we, at long last, make the best out of the new leadership opportunities presented.’

 

Marauding American Lobsters Find Themselves in Hot Water

Discovery of big-clawed U.S. species in Europe prompt push to ban live imports

 

A lobsterman checks a lobster while hauling traps on a boat near Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in August 2013. The state’s congressional delegation is fighting Sweden’s push to ban imports of live American lobsters to European Union countries.

A lobsterman checks a lobster while hauling traps on a boat near Cape Elizabeth, Maine, in August 2013. The state’s congressional delegation is fighting Sweden’s push to ban imports of live American lobsters to European Union countries. PHOTO: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS

WILLIAM MAULDIN

106 COMMENTS

The male American lobster is clawing his way toward hegemony. Scientists say his unusually large crusher claw compared with other species can be irresistible to female lobsters and menacing to less-endowed males.

This means war—or at least a trans-Atlantic trade war.

Homarus americanus

Homarus americanus 

Claw size is at the center of a push by Sweden to ban imports of live Homarus americanus to all European Union countries. The effort began with the release of an 89-page report in December by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, featuring a full-color, half-page photo of an American lobster and 13 instances of the words “invasive alien species.”

Unintended Consequences: How Canadian Lobster Is Losing Its Identity

27.06.2016

They are regulations designed to give consumers better information about the food they're buying, but could spell bad news for the Canadian lobster industry. Two years ago European consumers were shocked to discover that horse meat was being peddled as beef, and this wasn't the only fraudulent food on store shelves.  Low quality olive oil sold as virgin, Chinese honey marketed as local, and many cases of  mis-labelled fish were discovered.  Starting this year there are new labelling requirements throughout the European supply chain to counteract this, including for seafood, and that's how Canadian lobster has been caught in a bureaucratic word trap.

Both the scientific and the commercial name of seafood must now be on the label. Unfortunately the lobster caught in the cold North West Atlantic waters is "Homarus Americanus", translated as American lobster.  Efforts are being made to get "Canadian lobster" instead on the label, but lobster processors have to start ordering their packaging now and most are in a dilemma.  Some European countries, France, Spain, UK, Holland, Belgium, Croatia  and some others are OK with Canadian lobster.  Germany and Sweden are close to agreement, but Italy remains a problem. The committee designated to make this change in Italy has been disbanded. There are commercial and diplomatic efforts being made solve the Italian problem, but many processors say time is running out. Their concern would be shipments of live or frozen lobster turned back at customs because of mis-labelling at enormous cost to the Canadian exporter, but if they give in to this fear they risk years of work and millions of dollars used to promote and market "Canadian" lobster.  They've even been told that the use of "Canadian" meets international labelling standards, and certainly isn't fraudulent. 


There's a lot more at stake.  Canadian lobstermen can only fish in certain seasons, ensuring that lobsters are full of meat and hard shelled. U.S. fishermen can go year round, and often bring in lobster that are molting, with soft shells, and less than full claws and tails.  It's an important distinction that isn't lost on knowledgeable consumers. As well fishermen here have been voting whether to designate a cent a pound from their catch to marketing, to shore up the price at the wharf. The combination of the 2009 financial collapse, and record catches along the East Coast has depressed prices for years.  Europe has been held out as a bright spot in this gloomy outlook. Seafood is seen as a big winner in CETA, the free trade agreement between Canada and Europe that would lower import tariffs on Canadian seafood making it more competitive. CETA could be implemented within a year, and that's why the Canadian lobster industry doesn't want to stumble now.   There are risks in CETA for Canada, higher drug costs, the ability of big European construction firms to bid on infrastructure programs, and so on.  If the benefits of the deal are lost because processors now give in to the current confusion, there will be losers from the wharf through to the executive suites of the processors. These are Canadian lobsters. Let's call them that.

 Brexit 'could cost fish exporters £100m'

 

UK fishermen continue to benefit from easy access to the EU market, with 85% of all UK shellfish exports worth £360 million heading for European shores in 2015, according to Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

Since 2012, the UK’s scallop exports to France have leapt by almost 18% to the highest level since records began. Langoustine exports to Mediterranean countries such as Spain were worth £80 million and salmon exports, to all 27 EU member states, worth £220 million to the economy in revenue in 2015.

Truss said UK fishermen currently have easy access to Europe, free from tariffs or other unnecessary red tape, but she said outside the EU the potential loss to fish and shellfish exporters could be up to £100m, with an average tariff of 10%.

Truss said: “With the UK exporting twice as much seafood to Europe than to the rest of the world - from scallops to France and langoustines to Spain - £360 million of British seafood is heading for Europe’s markets, making a splash on their menus.

“UK fishermen continue to reap the benefits of easy access, tariff-free, to the world’s largest single market of 500 million consumers. That is why it’s great to see UK companies flying the flag for our fishing industry in Brussels this week and using the opportunity to take advantage of easy access to the EU market.

“Exports of all UK fish and fish products to the EU were worth over £900 million to our growing economy in 2015, almost 70% of our total exports for the sector. In total, 60% of our food and drink exports go to the EU, worth over £11billion to our economy.

“As part of the EU, the UK has automatic access to member state waters. By leading on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the UK Government delivered a better deal for UK fishermen, securing changes including ending the wasteful practice of discarding, giving power back to countries and fishermen through regional fisheries management, and a legal commitment to fish sustainably.

“Sustainable fishing has led to stock recovery, allowing significant quota increases for 2016 in iconic species like cod and haddock in the North Sea and plaice in the English Channel.”

For Spanish fishermen, sea's bounty includes plastic

 

At sunrise in the fishing port of Villajoyosa in eastern Spain, a fleet of traditional fishing boats sets out on the Mediterranean to hunt for cuttlefish, prawns —and plastic bottles.

Since July, Spanish fishing boats have been picking up plastic waste in the Mediterranean that will be recycled into polyester fibres that will be used to make a high-end clothing line.

"We want to present the first fashion collection made with yarn and fabric that come from garbage found at the bottom of the sea in June in Florence," said Javier Goyeneche, 45, the president of Ecoalf, the Spanish company behind the venture.

Founded in 2010, the Madrid-based firm has already launched "a new generation" of clothes and accessories made from plastic bottles, old fishing nets and used tyres found on land.

The company, which employs 18 people and posted a turnover of 4.5 million euros ($4.8 million) this year, already sells its jackets and backpacks made from recycled waste in upscale shops such as Harrods in London and Bloomingdale's in New York.

Now Ecoalf says it will be the first company to make clothes from recycled plastic waste found at sea and it has signed on 200 fishing boats in the eastern region of Valencia to act as scavengers.

"Where others see garbage, I see raw material," said Goyeneche.

The fishing boats collected two tonnes of plastic waste, and two tonnes of other garbage, in just two months, said the president of the federation of fisherman of the Valencia region, Jose Ignacio Llorca Ramis. The fishermen are not paid for their efforts.

"For ecologists, we are predators, but there is at least one thing which we have done well: pick up garbage," joked Jose Vicente Mayor, whose father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all fishermen.



 

Icelandic firm withdraws from Brussels show

THE big Icelandic fishing company HB Grandi has pulled out from the Brussels seafood exhibition, now called Seafood Expo Global 2016, following last week’s terrorist bombings in the Belgian capital.

HB Grandi, which is both a significant trawling and fish processing operation, had planned to send up to 27 employees to the show, which is arguably the largest of its kind in the world. It said it had placed great emphasis on taking part at the show which it had increasingly supported in recent years.

The company explained in a statement: ‘The main purpose of participation in the exhibition is to introduce buyers to the products the company has to offer and promote products and interact with buyers from all over the world.

‘But after careful consideration, the management believes there is no justification for sending employees to Brussels this time where it is uncertain whether it will be possible to ensure their safety in a satisfactory manner following the recent terrorist attacks in the city.’

The statement added: ‘It is also likely that such a trip could cause our employees and their families discomfort and anxiety.

‘HB Grandi is in contact with its buyers around the world and will strengthen these relations by means other than attendance at Brussels this year.’

Other seafood companies, including a number in the United States, are also considering their position.

However, the organisers of the expo have assured visitors and exhibitors that security measures are being tightened up with more stringent checks and the event made as safe as possible.

 

THE TOOTH THE WHOLE TOOTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TOOTH.

SPAIN’s Guardia Civil and Interpol officials have revealed the details of their recent operation, which led to the arrest of six people involved in the pirate toothfishing companies that made up the Vidal Armadores group. 

In two days the investigation has also brought 16 others under investigation, for environmental crime and belonging to criminal organizations, while Vidal Armadores faces record-breaking fines of over €17 million.

14 countries cooperated with Interpol and Spain’s Guardia Civil to break up the group, whose profits amounted to €10 million a year.

The move has been hailed by Oceana as “opening a new era in the global fight against IUU fishing”.

The closure of ‘Operation Yuyus’ coincides with yesterday’s announcement by the Spanish Ministry of Fisheries to fine the network of companies that is linked to Vidal Armadores a total of €17.84 million.

“Spain’s actions are writing the history of how illegal fishing is going to be eradicated from the world’s oceans. Pirate fishing is not only an environmental crime, but it jeopardizes the livelihood of legal fishermen. We encourage world governements to use the law, join forces and follow this unprecedented example,” said Lasse Gustavsson, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe.

The pirates targeted Patagonian toothfish, a lucrative species that is essential to the environmental balance of Antarctic waters – the reason why their actions are considered a crime against natural resources and the environment.

Six people have been arrested on charges of illegal fishing of protected species in raids carried out jointly by Interpol and Spanish police in Galicia in northwestSpain.

The six include five members of the Vidal family who run Ribeiro Vidal Armadores, among them Antonio Vidal, the owner, and three of his children who are accused of illegally fishing Patagonian toothfish in Antarctic waters.

The fish, which is rich in allegedly health-enhancing Omega-3 fatty acids, is known as “white gold” in the industry as it can sell for as much as €130 (£100) a kilo. A large catch can be worth as much as €50m so poachers are willing to risk being fined for illegal fishing.

The Vidal family, which has a previous record of illegal fishing, has a factory in the town of Boiro which for several years has been manufacturing products based on Omega-3. The factory was one of three premises searched during the raids and the presence of both Interpol and Europol agents suggests the investigation is international in scope and further arrests may follow.

“This is the first time that the Spanish Civil Guard, Interpol and Europol have joined forces against illegal fishing in a joint action,” said Lasse Gustavsson, executive director of the NGO Oceana in Europe. “This announcement is a watershed in the fight to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing of our oceans.”

“What’s different is that it isn’t just the ministry of agriculture that’s involved but the police, Interpol and above all the Audiencia Nacional (high court),” says Elvira Jiménez, head of Greenpeace Spain’s oceans campaign. “We haven’t seen the details of the charges but if the high court is involved these are now criminal proceedings and could lead to jail sentences, not just fines.”

Police sources allege that at the time of his arrest Antonio Vidal did not deny fishing in the Antarctic but said it was only illegal for countries that had signed the treaty to protect fish stocks. As his ship was flagged in Equatorial Guinea, which is not a signatory, he claimed he had done nothing wrong.

According to Jiménez, however, he would still need permission to fish in those waters, regardless of where his ship was flagged. Furthermore, she says, as Spain is a signatory to the European agreement to outlaw illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, Vidal’s activities amount to a serious infraction.

This is not the first time the Vidals have been accused of illegal fishing and Antonio Vidal has already been convicted in the US for attempting to smuggle toothfish. His vessels have been blacklisted but the ships have been renamed and reflagged in countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Mauretania and Panama as many as six times in order to evade the authorities. One of his ships was renamed three times in a year, Jiménez says.

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In 2015 Spain’s agriculture ministry imposed fines of over €17m on three Galician-based vessels, all blacklisted and all linked to Vidal, for illegal fishing. The same three vessels were pursued by the New Zealand navy in Antarctic waters last year for illegal fishing.

These fines have been offset by the generous subsidies – as much as €16m, according to Greenpeace – that Vidal’s companies have received over the years from the Spanish government and the European Union.

The Patagonian toothfish is a species of cod icefish and that can weigh as much as 150kg and may live for up to 50 years. However, as it takes as long as 15 years to reach sexual maturity and has a low reproductive rate, it is particularly vulnerable. The Prince of Wales is among those who have campaigned for its protection.

 

TURTLES are being wiped out by decompression sickness, caused by commercial fishing practices.

Spanish scientists have discovered the illness – known as ‘the bends’ – for the first time in loggerhead turtles.

The discovery could mean that commercial fishing is causing the deaths of many more turtles than previously thought.

The bends is caused by the formation of nitrogen bubbles in the blood and tissue following a sudden drop in pressure.

This happens when a turtle – caught in a fishing net – is quickly pulled to the surface.

When it arrives at the surface, the turtles appears to be healthy – as the sickness takes time to develop – and it is released back into the sea.

After a matter of hours, however, the sickness kicks in and causes the turtle’s death.

Two turtles with the bends were treated with human recompression protocols in Valencia, and were subsequently released back into the Mediterranean.

BAN ON IMPORTING CANADIAN /AMERICAN LIVE LOBSTER.

Food Export USA-Northeast announced on Monday that the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Stockholm reported that Sweden will apply to the European Commission and the World Trade Organization to impose a ban on the unregulated import and sales of live American lobster from the United States and Canada.

The Swedish government hopes to enact the ban by next summer, with Norway and other neighboring countries to follow Sweden’s lead. An exemption for importers who have a closed system for boiling lobsters is being included.

The proposal lists three major reasons for the ban: American lobster (Homarus americanus) carries several contagious diseases that could spread to native populations of European lobster; American lobster is a hardy species that can travel long distances and can compete for food and shelter with the native European lobster; and there is a risk of hybridization with native European lobster, which may result in negative genetic effects with consequences for Swedish and other European stocks.

The EU Commission is currently developing a proposal for an EU Invasive Species Strategy. It is unclear whether the proposal will include new import restrictions. It is also uncertain whether the American lobster will be included in any list of invasive species. 

Individual member states may not restrict trade and the spreading of invasive alien species based on current regulations for Plant Protection, Animal Health and Welfare and Use of Species in Aquaculture. However, in 2003 Sweden succeeded in implementing a ban on live freshwater crayfish based on the Species Protection Ordinance that regulates entry of live freshwater crayfish in Swedish legislation and was approved by the EU Commission.

While Swedish importers recognize the problem with illegal handling of live lobster and would like to see tighter controls, they were against SwAM’s original proposal to ban live American lobster entirely. This possible ban would have limited Swedish consumers to purchasing European lobster, which are much more expensive. Reportedly, Swedish lobster amount to only 20 metric tons per year. In 2011, Sweden imported 180 metric tons of live American lobster from the United States at a value of USD 2.6 million. The major importers sell about 50 percent boiled lobster to retailers and 50 percent live lobster to wholesalers. If the Swedish government opts for boiling requirements verses a ban, importers and wholesalers without closed systems will no longer have access to live American lobster. 

 

- See more at: http://www.seafoodsource.com/news/supply-trade/sweden-aims-to-ban-american-lobster-imports#sthash.deFPmwh9.dpuf

SHOCK MOMENT-AGRESSIVE SPANISH BOAT SHOOTS AT FISHERMEN IN GIBRALTAR.--- 01.03.2016

DRAMATIC new footage has emerged of Spanish customs officers firing shots and throwing bricks at fishermen just off the coast of Gibraltar as tensions escalate between the nations.Video taken off the coast of the British territory shows fast moving jetskis criss-crossing the sea, in an apparent attempt to intimidate local fishermen.

The Foreign Office and the territory's chief minister have both raised protests following the serious claims.

They were fishing in a Gibraltar-registered pleasure boat on Saturday and say they were "well inside" British-controlled waters when the customs officers took action against them.

Gibraltar's chief minister Fabian Picardo said the "illegal incursion" represented an "extremely serious escalation" of "repeated Spanish violations of British-Gibraltar sovereignty".He said Gibraltar officials were working closely with the UK Government so necessary and appropriate action is taken to counter the "unacceptable threat".

The men claim the Spanish officers had ordered them to turn the boat's engine off but when they refused the officers tried to board.After taking evasive action they claim the customs workers then "fired shots" into the sea near the boat and threw objects at them, believed to be bricks.

Police rushed to the scene to escort the pleasure boat back to Gibraltar.We have protested this incursion to the Spanish government at a high levelForeign Office

A Fore.ign Office spokeswoman said: "We have protested this incursion to the Spanish government at a high level and have also raised our extreme concern over the reported interaction between the Spanish vessel and a Gibraltarian pleasure craft during the incursion------

WHAT IF ????

If the UK leaves the EU- anyone know what the sending of fish and shellfish into the EU will entail. ?? I was in Spain before the UK was in the EU and spent hours at the border at La Junquerra  Paying megabucks to offices to 'Import'  fish and shellfish  5 documents for each delivery . IN THOSE DAYS  1000's pesetas in faxing telexing stamping loads of documents. boxes of product being 'taken off each truck. for analysis etc etc !! do we go back to the 'bad old days' ???

if anyone knows the answer, please let me know and I will 'post' your messages on 'low tide'. WATCH THIS SPACE !!

JUST IN CASE ¡!

Should the UK decide to quit the EU ..

I still have an office close to La Jonquerra  Spanish border, MARISCOS@LIVE.CO.UK 

Which will be able to handle all Import Documents/ taxs /customs /Health etc into the Spanish Markets.

We have  staff available that worked in my La Jonquerra office

In 1973.  Now looking forward to re-employment  ‘Just in Case’

 

PANIC AFTER MASS PIRANHA ATTACK

MORE than 50 Brazilian swimmers were injured this week in a mass attack by Piranha fish. Many beach tourists in Palmas in the north of the country had pieces of flesh torn from their bodies, mainly the feet, by the predator fish. Some could be heard screaming in pain. Now sunbathers and swimmers have been warned to stay out of the sea. Marine biologists believe the piranha, which can smell blood two miles away, are moving to more open areas of sea because of a drought in their own river habitats.

DRINK-DRIVE MAN BLAMES BEER BATTERED FISH

A DRIVER in Wisconsin, America, has blamed beer battered fish for tipping him over the drink  limit when he appeared in court last week. The man, 76-year-old John Przybyla, was pulled over more than 18 months ago but has only just been convicted after appearing before a jury in Friendship Wisconsin. He told the court he had not been drinking, but had eaten beer battered fish shortly before being stopped, but the jury rejected his excuse. He has yet to be sentenced.

FROM GUTS TO GALLERY

A FORMER fishmeal factory in Reykjavík is due to be reopened as an arts and cultural centre this autumn. 

Following an agreement last week, the top three floors of the Marshall Building, at HB Grandi’s Norðurgarður site in Reykjavík, have been leased for fifteen years by the Living Art Museum (Nýlistasafnið), i8 Gallery, Kling & Bang and Stúdíó Reykjavík. As part of the initiative Ólafur Elíasson will run a studio in the Marshall Building, while a restaurant specialising in seafood will open on the ground floor.

HB Grandi CEO Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson signed on behalf of the building’s owners and Mayor of Reykjavík Dagur B Eggertsson signed on behalf of the city of Reykjavík. Also in attendance were representatives of HB Grandi, artists, architects Kurt & Pí who have overseen the renovation, along with media and other guests.

Vilhjálmsson said: “The building was first used as a herring factory in 1950 and it was constructed partly with Marshall Aid. We stopped producing meal from bones and offcuts there on 30th April 2009, by which time the equipment there was obsolete. The building was cleared in 2013 and has been empty since then. In the autumn of 2014. Börkur, Ásmundur and Steinthór from architects Kurt & Pí came to us at HB Grandi with their ideas on how the building could be utilised, and those ideas are now becoming a reality.”

Collaboration urged after offshore bombshell

FOLLOWING yesterday’s announcement that the world's biggest offshore wind farm is due to be built off the Yorkshire coast, Dale Rodmell, Assistant Chief Executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), has announced his belief that collaboration is essential in minimising the impact of the wind farm development on fishermen. 

On completion, the wind farm will have a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts and will cover approximately 407 km2 of sea. The wind farm is set to be built 120 km off the Yorkshire coast, and is expected to be fully commissioned in 2020.

In a statement issued today, Mr Rodmell said: “The physical presence of the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire will inevitably be a constraining factor on fishing in the area. However, the fishing industry has worked closely with offshore developers for many years to promote a better understanding of one another’s needs in order to ensure that, as far as possible, both industries can coexist. This has proven every time to be the most effective way of limiting disruption to each other’s activities. It will be important, therefore, to continue to collaborate as the planning for this particular development continues.

“In the past, a lack of communication and good planning has in some instances led to problems for both industries. To avoid similar disruption to an industry providing a vital, healthy and sustainable food source to our island nation, it will be crucial for the two industries to collaborate on how to deliver a solution which will protect traditional fishing grounds and the livelihoods of our fishermen while also offering wind energy alternatives.”

 

Moonlight migration discovered A -mazing.!!

SCOTTISH scientists have uncovered what they believe to be the largest migration on Earth taking place during the long polar night. 

The team from the Oban-based Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) have published findings in Current Biology that the actions of zooplankton respond to the moon as the main light source during the polar night.

Using echo sounders fixed to the seabed and analyses more commonly associated with studying the human biological clock, the scientists observed zooplankton moving deeper into the darkness in response to the full moon. The team believes this migration is to hide from light-dependent visual hunters, such as the voracious centimetre-long crustacean Themisto libellula.

This response could be seen across the entire Arctic at all water depths, both ice-covered and ice-free, from 70°N to 90°N.

Lead author Dr Kim Last, SAMS principal investigator in marine chronobiology, said: “It was previously presumed that there was little activity during the Arctic winter, as there is hardly any food and no light, but our recent work with partners from the University of Tromsø showed there is a surprisingly high level of activity.

“Now we know that when the moon rises, the zooplankton drop down in the water column to around 50 metres in depth, presumably to hide from predators.”

The mass migration has been detected by the team at the North Pole, in water 4,000 metres deep and underneath thick ice. The research suggests that reducing sea-ice cover, resulting from climate change, may cause further changes in these migrations as more light penetrates the sea.

This newly-discovered response to moonlight during the Arctic winter has been described by the researchers as lunar vertical migration (LVM) and only occurs for a few days each month as the full moon rises above the horizon.

The team also discovered that zooplankton follow the rising and setting of the moon. This phenomenon results in a new kind of daily lunar migration, the cycle of which is longer (every 24.8 hours) than the standard day/night solar light response in the sunlit waters of the rest of the world.

Dr Last added: “Diel vertical migration (DVM) of zooplankton is one of the biggest daily migrations on the planet, a process driven by sunlight. It’s therefore a complete surprise to us to find that wherever we look across the Arctic during the winter, we witness a migration driven by moonlight.”

Laura Hobbs, a PhD student at SAMS and co-author on the paper, said: “The moon must have a dramatic effect on these creatures if they are undertaking such huge migrations.

DOUBLE DUTCH SUSTAINABILITY SCHEME:

PLANS to conclude agreements on multiannual plans for sustainable fish stock management and expand the landing obligation to prevent food waste have been announced by the Dutch following the start of the Netherlands’ six-month term as EU President, which kicked off on 1 January. 

A multiannual Baltic plan on cod, herring and sprat is currently in the works – the first of its kind under the EU's reformed Common Fisheries Policy. After its adoption the Commission will propose a new North Sea mixed fishery plan in order to support the implementation of the landing obligation, which is gradually being rolled out across the EU.

These issues must be seen in both the European and the wider global context, the Foreign Minister stressed: clean oceans are essential for global food security. The Netherlands therefore wishes to use its Presidency to take steps in the areas of Blue Growth and food security, he said.

Other issues on the fisheries agenda include the revision of the Data Collection Regulation,  , reviewing the approach to technical measures, the revision of the Fishing Authorisations Regulation, and achieving progress on the deep sea access regime.

On maritime issues, international ocean governance will undoubtedly continue to play a prominent role, following the European Commission's public consultation that closed in October 2015.

Fisheries and the blue economy are vital to the Dutch and European economies. According to figures provided by the Netherlands, the direct and indirect value of the Dutch blue economy was worth almost €49 billion, worth 3% of the Dutch GDP. In 2013, 224,000 people were employed in the Dutch blue economy, or 2.5% of total employment in the Netherlands. Most employment is based in Rotterdam, Europe’s main port.

Slovakia will take over the EU Presidency from the Netherlands on 1 July 2016.

 

Macduff Shellfish buys four scallop vessels, trading business

Europe’s largest wild caught shellfish processor, UK-based Macduff Shellfish, announced it has acquired a shellfish trading business and four scallop fishing vessels from Exeter based The Greendale Group, for an undisclosed sum.

Macduff Shellfish, based in Mintlaw near Peterhead in Scotland and 50% owned by private equity Change Capital Partners, intends to use the acquisition to gain a foothold in the South West of England.

The 11-strong shore based shellfish team at The Greendale Group's shellfish trading division will transfer to Macduff, joining around 400 others throughout the UK.

The 24 fishermen operating the four scallop fishing vessels will join Macduff Fleet's existing team of 110 and bring its total scallop fishing fleet to 14 vessels.

“The acquisition is a really exciting opportunity for our business for three key reasons:  it sees the culmination of a ten-year trading relationship with The Greendale Group; it expands our scallop fishing fleet by 40% and it allows us the opportunity to build on the solid relationship that already exist with fishermen in the South West of England to grow the Exeter business," said Euan Beaton, chairman of Macduff.

“In doing this we bring a track record of investing in vessels and equipment beyond the fleet that we own, as we have successfully done through an acquisition in the North West of Scotland," said Roy Cunningham, managing director of Macduff.

 

FURORE OVER FAROE DEAL.

SCOTLAND’s pelagic fishermen are demanding that a political deal which is allowing the Faroese to catch a third of their mackerel quota (40,000 tonnes) in EU waters should be scrapped. 

In a joint statement ahead of crunch EU-Faroe talks in Copenhagen next week, the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association and the Shetland Fishermen’s Association are pressing for a rebalancing of the arrangements.

The bilateral deal, agreed in 2014, had been designed to allow Faroese vessels to catch a proportion of their mackerel and blue whiting quota in EU waters and UK boats to catch some of their quota for these species in Faroese waters.

However, an independent study carried by Seafish has shown that Faroe had overshot their mackerel access entitlement by 1,400 tonnes from EU waters last year while UK boats caught no mackerel or blue whiting at all in Faroese waters.

Ian Gatt, chief executive of the Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association, said: “The deal with Faroe has some positive elements, principally giving a small number of Scottish whitefish boats access to Faroese quota.

“But on the pelagic side the Faroese have been given an inch and taken a mile, even over-shooting their permitted quota. This deal is having a real negative impact on the pelagic processing sector. As Faroe can catch high quality mackerel from our waters they can now access our hard fought for markets.

“This shows there is a fundamental imbalance in this fisheries arrangement which needs to be changed now.”

Simon Collins, executive officer of the Shetland Fishermen’s Association, said: “It cannot be beyond the wit of EU negotiators to obtain a fairer deal on mackerel fisheries without endangering EU access to Faroese waters for other stocks.

“Current access arrangements are so skewed in favour of Faroe that it is hard to imagine how the EU got to this situation in the first place.”

 

 

SPANISH FISH PROCESSORS DENY MISLABELLING ALLEGATIONS

Spanish seafood associations have denied findings by a report which said that as much as 25% of fresh and frozen tuna products sold in Spain are mislabeled, said media reports.

In a joint statement, several seafood associations representing canners, producers, shipowners and more, said they rejected the report, questioning its reliability and saying it damages the sector's image, 

The report was   an initiative led by Spain's IIM-CSIC institute. It examined labeling of fish products -- mainly tuna, cod and anchovies -- across 17 European cities including Vigo and Santiago in Galicia, Spain.

The study found that between 2% to 18% of fish products sold in Spain, as well as the UK and Ireland, are mislabeled. Several Top class restaurants where found to be marketing Canadian and American Lobster, as the much higher cost and quality of the European Blue Lobster.

Tuna was identified as the species with the highest level of mislabeling, with fraud detected in 25% of the samples of fresh and frozen tuna, and 12% for canned tuna. Fraud in anchovy was detected in 12% of samples, and in cod in 6.5% of samples.

The report also found that Spanish tuna products had the highest level of mistakes throughout Europe,   The study found incorrect species information to be the main problem, with cheaper tuna such as Pacific albacore sold as more expensive tuna such as yellowfin.

The associations -- including the Spanish fisheries confederation Cepesca, the canners organization Anfaco, the seafood producers body Apromar, Feicopesca and Fedepesca -- refuted the findings and said the industry strictly complies with labeling legislation

 

 

 

Terrorism in Belgium and France May Cast Pall over Upcoming Lobster Season

 

 Empty Bars and restaurants in the big cities in France and Belgium

Is reported to be affecting the market for the Sale of Live Blue Lobster

And may well continue over the Christmas period and into the New Year.

 Restaurant Sales in some cities are reported to be 80% down, with

Families preferring to eat at home rather than take the risk of attack.

Although European stock markets opened lower on Monday, led down by the main French index, the CAC 40 in Paris, by late afternoon, the European indexes were all flat or in slightly positive territory.

French companies catering to travel and tourism were taking a hit, though. Shares of Air France-KLM were down about 6 percent through the late afternoon, and the French group AccorHotel’s stock was off by more than 5 percent.

Luxury-hotel executives and a French trade association of hotels and restaurants on Monday reported a wave of reservation cancellations. The Regional Tourism Committee for Paris announced a plan to convene a conference on Wednesday to assess the potential economic impact with representatives from museums, hotels, amusement parks and department stores.

 

 

 

Seafood traceability guide updated

 

SEAFISH has updated its guide on traceability and consumer information for the seafood industry.

The guidance aims to support industry in adapting to key legislative changes around information to be made available to seafood consumers, which many in the industry say have been unclear in how they should be interpreted and implemented.

Seafish previously published guidance documents on traceability under the EU fisheries control regulations and more recently consumer information under the EU common organisation of the markets regulation. This latest document combines them into a single updated guide.

Peter Wilson, of the regulation team at Seafish, said: “Although these regulations have been in place for some time we continue to receive several enquiries on traceability and consumer information. This guidance aims to ensure that the seafood industry understand additional new requirements. It will help businesses understand what information they should be in possession of and what information they should be passing on down the supply chain.

“The biggest change is that the requirement to make consumers aware that product has been caught in the North East Atlantic now requires a reference to a particular sub-area or division instead. So reference will now have to be made to areas such as the North Sea, English Channel and Baltic Sea. This is a significant change and requires the industry to consider how this information can be made available throughout the supply chain.”

The Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission intends to carry out a fact-finding mission in the UK early next month to gather information on the controls in place on traceability and labelling of fish and fishery products.

UK FISHING INDUSTRY REPORTS STABLE PROFITS

 

The operating profit for the overall UK fishing fleet has increased by 34 per cent to £202 million in 2013, compared to 2012, according to the latest economic figures on the sector from Seafish. However, for many vessel owners and skippers remaining profitable has continued to be a challenge.

The industry authority on seafood’s latest UK fleet analysis suggests that the economic performance of much of the industry has remained stable, despite the increasing cost of fuel, tighter management restrictions and challenging weather conditions. 

According to the latest data, although total fishing income fell 3 per cent to £751m between 2012 and 2013, mainly due to decreases in the first sale price of a number of different species, the continued profitability suggests the fleet has made adjustments to counter rising costs.

Steve Lawrence, Economics Project Manager at Seafish, said: “Our research highlights the extraordinary work undertaken by the UK commercial fishing fleet. In the face of a challenging economic and environmental landscape, the vessel owners and skippers have reacted positively in order to maintain operating profit margins in 2013.”

Despite these favourable numbers, results from the 600 interviews conducted reveal that vessel owners and skippers have largely mixed attitudes towards the future.

Many said that they were uncomfortable and hesitant to make predictions largely due to forthcoming regulation, such as the landing obligation. On the other hand, a group of vessel owners and skippers reported that they were planning to expand their business regardless of the challenges ahead.

Seafish’s 2013 Economics of the UK Fishing Fleet – Key Features report aims to deliver a comprehensive analysis of the economic performance of the UK fishing fleet using the latest available data.

Tom Pickerell, Technical Director of Seafish said: “We’re really grateful to all the several hundred vessel owners and skippers that took part in our survey and contributed necessary data.

How climate change may harm seafood

YOUNG scientists from across Europe have been meeting in Olhão, near Faro in Portugal, today to discuss with senior scientists how global environmental changes are likely to affect commercial shellfish production.

A constant increase in dissolved carbon dioxide is making seawater more acidic, with potentially dramatic consequences for protective shells.

The 10 PhD students and four early-stage post-doctoral researchers on the €3.6 million CACHE Initial Training Network (ITN) project are investigating the effect of increasing ocean temperature and acidification on mollusc shell production.

They are looking closely at commercially important species such as king scallop, Pacific oyster, blue mussel, soft shell clam and the native oyster.

The students are also releasing a short film about the project, which they produced as part of a science communication training day in the spring at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), near Oban.

SAMS scientist and CACHE PhD supervisor Dr Kim Last said: ‘Shellfish are an important part of our food markets, yet we know little about their shell production and how this may be affected by the changing ocean environment.

‘We are training these talented young students to develop skills beyond research needed on their journey to become leading shellfish aquaculture innovators.

‘How to effectively communicate the findings of their work is an important part of this project, as their message will be important for us all.’

Marine invertebrates, such as molluscs, are particularly at risk under future climate change scenarios, say the scientists, as their heavily calcified shells are predicted to become thinner as sea water becomes more acidic. This may affect their health, make them more susceptible to disease and easier to prey on.

 

 CRAB PLANT  closing in eyemouth.

OVER 80 jobs are under threat from the likely closure of a crab processing factory in Eyemouth, in the Scottish Borders. 

According to the BBC, Burgons of Eyemouth has started a consultation process with 32 permanent staff and 49 seasonal workers, following serious financial losses sustained by the business over the past few years.

In a statement, the company's directors said: "The owners of Burgon have today informed their staff that due to continued losses at the business they are considering closing the Burgon operation at Eyemouth.

"As such, the owners have warned all the employees based at the site that their jobs are at risk of redundancy.

"Employee representatives will be appointed and will work closely with the owners to consider alternatives to redundancy or ways of avoiding redundancies.”

 

Red faces in EU restaurants

THE usually conservation conscious EU officials who believe they dine out on sustainable seafood in the restaurants of Brussels and Strasbourg are  feeling a little red faced.  

 

The conservation group Oceana, which exposed the huge scale of seafood fraud in the United States two years ago, has found that in at least two canteens belonging to the European Union 16 out of 38 samples had been mislabelled.

 

Lasse Gustavsson, head of Oceana, said: ‘Hake was sold instead of cod, while cod is more expensive,’ adding the situation in the EU canteens amounted to ‘chaos’.

 

‘Both the European Parliament and European Commission restaurants didn’t even fulfil the basic requirement of telling the customers: you are buying X.’

European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said ‘the relevant Belgian authorities’ are responsible for carrying out checks in the EU canteens.

‘Of course we assume that these checks are being done and [that] there are no discrepancies between what is labelled and what is being brought into our canteens,’ said Winterstein.

He added that the Commission will ‘be in touch with the three companies concerned and follow up as appropriate with them’.

Winterstein said the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain is responsible for the controls, something which the agency’s spokeswoman, Lieve Busschots, said was ‘a mistake’.

She said the cases, if true, were ‘economic fraud’ and fall under the responsibility of Belgium’s federal ministry of economy.

The economy ministry said it opened 264 investigations in 2013 and 2014 in all of Belgium, but that it does not keep a record of how many of those investigations were in restaurants, only that it mostly carries out checks in supermarkets, wholesalers, and fishmongers.

Oceana also found a similar picture in many of the general restaurants in and around Brussels, saying that customers were being misled in one to three establishments.

However, Oceana said that while consumers have a right to know what they eat, and that mislabelled fish may pose health dangers for those with allergies, they also had to take some responsibility of their own by knowing the proper prices of what they were buying

 

 

Fisherman jailed over poor safety and hygiene

The skipper/owner of a fishing vessel, who pleaded guilty to not showing navigation lights, employing crew who had not completed safety training and to using his boat while it was unregistered, has been jailed.

At a hearing today at Southampton Crown Court, Michael Roy Stimson received a custodial sentence totalling four months.

He was being sentenced having earlier pleaded guilty to three offences brought under maritime safety legislation and two offences under food safety and hygiene regulations.

On the night of October 20, 2013, the small fishing vessel Alicia was approached by a fisheries patrol vessel.  During the approach the Alicia turned off its navigation lights.

Eventually the Alicia was boarded by fisheries officers (from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority) who noted there were three people on board, including Stimson.

The fisheries officers noted that the decks were awash and their concerns about the safety of the vessel were passed to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

After reviewing the video provided by the fisheries officers, the decision was made to detain the Alicia as dangerously unsafe. The notice was issued on the grounds that it had insufficient freeboard and stability to operate safely as a fishing vessel.

Investigations by the MCA showed that the two crew men found on board had received no safety training.  They also showed the Alicia had not been correctly registered and was formally removed from the registry in February 2014.

The vessel was seen to be fishing in Southampton waters – which is closed to fishing due to high e-coli levels – on at least two occasions in 2013 and 2014.

Stimson was sentenced to a month’s imprisonment for two offences relating to the navigation lights and registration requirements. He was also sentenced two months’ imprisonment for the first food safety and hygiene offence and to three months for the second one. These sentences were ordered to run concurrently

The second food safety and hygiene offence also triggered a suspended sentence order, for which Stimson will serve an additional month.

The court also ordered that Stimson forfeit all interest in the boat under Section 143 of the Power of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2003.

In passing sentence, Mr Recorder Malcolm QC said that Stimson showed a total disregard for all regulation.

He also said that Stimson had put himself, his crew and others in danger by turning off the navigation lights and that he’d put the reputation of the British fishing industry at risk.

David Fuller, principal fishing vessel surveyor at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: ‘Full compliance with training and safety requirements is essential in ensuring safety at sea.’

Stimson was ordered to pay £180 court charge and £80 victim surcharge.

 

 

 

A NORWEGIAN company has introduced a new seafood packing system that can extend the shelf life of fresh fish to almost two weeks. 

The concept, designed by RPC Bebo Kristiansand - Food Packaging Systems (formally Promens Kristiansand), consists of lightweight trays, sealing film and tray lidding machines, and is able to pack a range of seafood products from fish fillets to shellfish, and in conjunction with modified atmosphere packing (MAP) can deliver extended shelf life.

The specially-designed thermoformed HDPE trays are available in a range of sizes and contain features such as Pyramids which, when used in combination with plastic layer pads, avoid discolouration of the fish from residual water and liquid. The trays ensure long shelf life without the need for ice, offering a typical 10-12 days for fish fillets.

For efficient distribution, the trays feature a robust construction and are fully stackable – a full truck load can contain around 10 times more trays than EPS boxes. Filled trays can also be transported with other products, including dry goods, since their leak-proof construction prevents salt water from seeping out. Trays can be packed directly onto pallets using film-wrap.

The trays are the strongest on the market and offer full tamper-evidence, delivering consumer convenience and reassurance.

The RPC Bebo Kristiansand facility in Norway has extensive experience and is at the forefront of the supply of packing solutions to small, medium and large seafood processors throughout the world.

“We believe this new system offers seafood processors an ideal solution in terms of delivering quality, freshness and convenience to their end customers,” comments sales and marketing director Espen Eggerdink.

 

QUOTAS for monkfish, megrim and West of Scotland langoustine are likely to be increased, in line with the latest scientific advice, potentially providing an additional £11 million to the Scottish fleet. 

The latest annual scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) – an international network of marine and fisheries scientists – was published today and helps to inform the fisheries negotiations to decide how much quota our fishermen will receive in the coming year.

Responding to ICES advice, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, said: “This latest advice shows that we are moving in the right direction.

“The publication of this advice is the start of the annual process to determine what next year’s quotas will be and there is still much work to be done until we reach a final agreement.

“This advice will help to shape the priorities we will take into the autumn’s talks to secure the best possible deal for Scottish fishermen and our transition towards a whitefish discard ban, which is being phased in from 1 January 2016.”

 

CRAB PRICES THREATENED BY PACIFIC PIRATES.

WORLD crab supplies are increasing, mainly as a result of illegal Russian production, according to a new report by FAO Globefish, which is likely to drive down prices further. 

Globally, there are nearly 40 species of crab caught commercially. However, in statistics, many are not specified by the exact species, and consequently, the “other” group is extraordinarily large. Of the commercial species, the blue swimming crab is the most important, accounting for 7% of the total volume landed, followed by tanner crabs (4%) and dungeness crab (2%).

The Alaska crab fishery has been relatively stable, with roughly 35 000–40 000 tonnes landed each year. 2012 was, however, an exceptional year, as total Alaska crab landings reached 47,220 tonnes. In 2013 the landed volume dropped to 38,000 tonnes.

Russian crab landings in the north Pacific are difficult to estimate because of what is believed to be major illegal activity. US sources (Alaska Seafood Market Outlook) claim that illegal Russian crab production decreased from 2007, causing prices to rise on world markets. However, starting in 2012 this illegal production likely increased again, and it is estimated that the illegal Russian production now exceeds total Alaska crab production. If illegal production is indeed increasing, prices would in turn be affected negatively.

The snow crab market, which has been weak on prices during the season, showed signs of recovering in May 2015. Prices for larger sizes are on an upward trend after low prices during the Alaska season. This turn of events has surprised many, but may be explained by a number of factors, such as the late Canadian season, the amount of product in cold storage from last year, the weaker demand in Japan, and the dollar exchange rates. Because of ice conditions, landings in Newfoundland had been low during the late part of the spring. The unfavourable yen exchange rate has not worked as an incentive for Japanese buyers to be active in the market.

Some observers are pointing to the weak economy as the main reason for the low demand for crab. Consequently, an upturn in the economy should bode well for the crab market.

The crab market in Northern Europe has benefitted from the high prices of coldwater shrimp. While the main crab season in Northern Europe is the late summer and autumn, crab meat is available year-round, and at favourable prices compared to shrimp.

International trade of crab products has been on a slightly declining trend over the past decade, and is now at about 340,000 tonnes per year. The main importers are the USA, which accounts for about 25% of global imports, and China, which accounts for about 15%. While US crab imports have been declining, Chinese imports have been increasing over the past decade. However, during the first quarter of 2015, US imports showed a slight increase (+3.4% by volume). The main suppliers to the USA are China, Indonesia and the Russian Federation.

In May 2015, it was reported that Japanese importers were buying snow crab from Newfoundland at record high yen prices (USD 4.65 per kg fob plant for brine bulk frozen sections). However, in dollar terms, the price was about 7% lower than compared with 2014 (Source: Undercurrent News).

Following the Alaska season, when prices were low, supplies became tighter, with prices increasing as a result.

Crab supplies are expected to increase this year, and this could lead to weaker prices.

LOCH FYNE OYSTERS

UK supplier Loch Fyne Oysters plans to continue investing in its product range and farming networks, despite a loss of £616,822 for the 16 months to Oct.  31, The Herald reports. Accounts recently filed at Companies House for the company, formerly owned by its workers, but now controlled by Scottish Seafood Investments, extended its latest financial reporting period to the 16 months to October 31, 2013 in accounts recently filed at Companies House.

PROBLEMS WITH THE CHANNEL TUNNEL. 

Opinion remains divided as to the extent of the impact of the Calais migrant crisis on Scottish seafood exports into mainland Europe.

Since the summer, Eurotunnel has seen its service impacted severely by what the operator has consistently referred to as “migrant activity” at its French terminal, resulting in severe delays for hauliers carrying products on behalf of Scotland’s seafood companies.

Speaking on Aug. 3, following urgent talks with processors and transporters, Scotland’s Fisheries and Food secretary Richard Lochhead said  some suppliers with, Channel Tunnel disruption, with European orders, in some categories, down by 80%.

Nearly two months on, the situation appears to have abated. As a result of tightened security around Calais – including extra fencing and the deployment of infrared detectors and floodlights – the number of migrant attempts has fallen, and, in turn, there have been fewer noticeable delays.

But, according to Ann Moseley, managing director of FAO27, a Scottish-headquartered seafood exporter and marketing firm – which offers an off-site sales export department for small local processors – companies are still reeling from the events of this summer.

“I had a meeting with some of our customers the other day, who were all talking about it,” she told Undercurrent News. “We are all worried about what’s going on with the Tunnel and how we are going to get our goods to the market – especially with Christmas coming up, which is a key business quarter for everybody. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to go away anytime soon.”

Hauliers are fairly inventive in finding new routes. Traveling from Scotland, there is always the option of dipping into Newcastle and Hull and taking a route to an alternative port

The main concern, said Moseley, is around the transportation of live products, such as langoustines and shellfish, as opposed to frozen products, which keep for much longer. A delay of over 24 hours onboard a truck can cause stocks to die – and, worse still, prompt a trigger reaction due to the release of ammonia into the water, which can poison the rest of the stock.

“A long delay in getting live products from A to B isn’t just an inconvenience,” she said. “It’s catastrophic.”

However, one seafood consultant – who wished to remain anonymous – countered that Scottish seafood exports had been unaffected by the crisis.

“It’s not affecting us in the slightest,” he said. “Okay, if you wind the clock back to a couple of months ago in Calais, there were certainly some concerns, but it was very short-lived – a couple of weeks max. There were some delays, but, to my knowledge, all products got to customers intact.”

“Also, hauliers are fairly inventive in finding new routes. Traveling from Scotland, there is always the option of dipping into Newcastle and Hull and taking a route to an alternative port rather than going via the southeast.”

Fiona Matheson, secretary of the Orkney Fisheries Association, agreed, saying the archipelago’s sales to the Continent had been unharmed.

“Despite initial fears, shipments from Orkney have not been disproportionately affected to my knowledge,” she said.

Prestwick doesn’t take freight, it’s not the solution. The problem is in the Tunnel. If the government wants to do something useful, it needs to resolve what’s happening down south. Because it’s not going away

At the start of July, the situation across the Channel was exacerbated when striking ferry workers blockaded the port of Calais for three days, cutting off another route for exports.

Writing at the time, Scottish newspaper Press and Journal reported that two lorry drivers from Lunar Freezing - a subsidiary of Peterhead-based pelagic and whitefish company Lunar Fishing - had been subjected to 40-hour delays while making deliveries.

While the group managed to successfully drop off its cargo that time around - to supermarkets in the Netherlands and Germany respectively - general manager Sinclair Banks declined to comment when LOW TIDE contacted him to ask whether similar such reprisals on the Continent, including the recent spate of border closures, could jeopardize its supply chain business.

Member of Scottish Parliament Chic Brodie said that while the situation in Calais had improved, it had highlighted “the fact that a single road surface artery to Europe for seafood exports is an exposure”.

Brodie has been in discussions with Scottish government-owned Prestwick Airport since August over the possibility of - in the event of future delays in Calais - transporting fish into Europe via freight aircraft.

“The plan is still there,” he confirmed to low tide“What potential clients will require to be shown is that the landed cost of their products at a customer's door is not disadvantageous, and that it will improve cash flow by getting goods to that door more quickly.”

Moseley, however, pooh-poohed the idea as unfeasible. (Incorrect as moving by Air freight is excatly what forward  thinking wholesalers did, (Baron Shellfish Bridlington) moved immediately to air freight, to 'keep their Spanish Buyers' well supplied,

“How are small exporters going to pay for that?” she said. “Besides, Prestwick doesn’t take freight. It’s not the solution. The problem is in the Tunnel, so if the government wants to do something useful, it needs to be far more efficient in getting involved in trying to resolve what’s happening down south.