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Sep 16 - OPINION: Canada’s Commitment to North Atlantic Right Whales A Call for Cross-Border Collaboration


Sep 13 - OPINION: Why are ENGO’s Largely Silent on Risks of Offshore Wind to the Marine Environment?


Sep 13 - The Winding Glass: Monterey Bay Discredits Itself with Red Listing of Lobster


Aug 18 - The Winding Glass: Why Has The Shellfish Market Fallen So Hard?


May 12 - The Winding Glass: Is the Crab Market a Bellwether or a Blip?


Apr 13 - OPINION: Our Ocean Conference Must Deliver Solutions to Meet Deepening Ocean Crises


Feb 28 - The Winding Glass: Seafood Price Volatility Looms as Russian Bank Sanctions Hit Crab, Groundfish


Feb 24 - OpEd: BC Coastal Communities Face Economic Damage If Salmon Farm Licences Are Not Reissued by DFO


Feb 21 - The Unintended Consequences of Bill S.3614 Would Eliminate Most King Crab From the U.S. Market


Dec 29 - OPINION: In Alaska, Climate Change is a Supply Chain Stressor Jeopardizing Food Security


Dec 27 - Op-Ed: Focus on Blue Economy Needed in 2022 for COVID-19 Recovery


Dec 10 - Op-Ed: Global Tuna Alliance: ​​WCPFC Meeting a ‘Wasted Opportunity’


Dec 10 - OPINION: Alaska Reps Want Maximum Reduction of Halibut Bycatch, Urge State to Choose Alt. 4


Dec 10 - OPINION: The Heart of It: Connecting Halibut Bycatch to Abundance


Nov 30 - The Winding Glass: Lobster Industry Consolidation Bigger Story than High Opening Prices this Winter


Nov 18 - EDITORIAL: It is Time to Recognize and Celebrate Responsible Federal Fisheries Management


Nov 2 - OPINION: Offshore Redfish Fishery Provides Essential Stability for Canadians


Oct 8 - OPINION: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” - Mark Twain


Oct 7 - OPINION: Let’s At Least Try to Solve the Halibut Problems


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OPINION: Canada’s Commitment to North Atlantic Right Whales A Call for Cross-Border Collaboration

Since 2017, many of us in the Canadian lobster industry feel like we’ve been trapped in a South Park episode. There has been a steady drumbeat eager to blame Canada for the plight of North Atlantic right whales (NARWs). The unfair red-listing by Seafood Watch just adds fuel to the fire.

Right whales were rarely observed in the Gulf of St. Lawrence until recently. Historically, they never ventured much beyond their northernmost habitats in the Bay of Fundy and the Roseway Basin area...

Full Story »

OPINION: Why are ENGO’s Largely Silent on Risks of Offshore Wind to the Marine Environment?

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is fast-tracking offshore wind development off both U.S. coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico to meet the political promise of 30 GW of offshore wind deployed by 2030. Concerns about fisheries disruption and negative impacts to food security, while major, are only a fraction of the considerations being discussed. 

On the West Coast displacement from traditional fishing grounds will be extreme, however, the potential environmental impacts to endangered whales and birds...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Why Has The Shellfish Market Fallen So Hard?

Take a look at these two graphics. U.S. shellfish, including snow crab, lobster tail, king crab, and crabmeat, have all experienced some of their most rapid, and in some cases steepest, market declines in the past eight months.

But shrimp, by far the largest volume shellfish item, has not seen a significant price decline. Urner Barry’s value-added shrimp index has barely moved, even while the volume of U.S. shrimp imports continue to set records.

What factors made shellfish so vulnerable to a rapid correction, but didn’t apply to...

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OPINION: Our Ocean Conference Must Deliver Solutions to Meet Deepening Ocean Crises

A sense of urgency, opportunity and optimism must prevail at the upcoming Our Ocean Conference in Palau as governments, civil society and businesses convene during a critically important year. Together, we must deliver real solutions to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our oceans, coastal communities and the very health of our planet.

This year marks the UN-designated International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture as well as the second full year of ...

 

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OpEd: BC Coastal Communities Face Economic Damage If Salmon Farm Licences Are Not Reissued by DFO

The BC Salmon Farmers Association have released an independent economic analysis outlining the consequences to BC’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous coastal communities if 79 salmon farming licenses are not reissued by the federal government by June 2022.

The report by RIAS Inc. found BC would lose more than 4,700 jobs, $1.2 billion in economic activity annually, and $427 million in GDP if these licences aren’t renewed. An additional $200 million in economic activity and 900 jobs would be lost outside...

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OPINION: In Alaska, Climate Change is a Supply Chain Stressor Jeopardizing Food Security

The cargo ships lined up outside U.S. ports have revealed cracks in the global supply chain. And while businesses and consumers are feeling the pinch, the problem is projected to ease over time. But for America’s northernmost citizens, those living in the Alaskan Arctic, more intractable supply chain woes are at hand. They stem from the dizzying pace of climate change in the North and pose real threats to food security, mental health and long-held cultural traditions...

Full Story »

OP-ED: Global Tuna Alliance: ​​WCPFC Meeting a ‘Wasted Opportunity’

The Global Tuna Alliance - a collection of highly influential retailers and supply chain companies - have called the recent WCPFC meeting a ‘wasted opportunity’ to secure the responsible management of fisheries in its waters. Despite days of meetings, hardly any positive steps forward have been taken. As a result, fisheries in the Western Central Pacific Ocean are still at risk of losing their MSC certification, a hallmark of sustainability which many consumers look for when purchasing tuna.

Tuna in the Western Central and Pacific Ocean are...

Full Story »

OPINION: The Heart of It: Connecting Halibut Bycatch to Abundance

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council is poised to take a long-awaited step in the coming days, as members consider whether halibut bycatch in the Bering Sea should be limited when halibut abundance declines.

This process has been mired in years of analysis, thousands of pages of reports, and models trying to predict the future. But, in the end, the decision is about common-sense principles of equity, environmental justice, and indigenous rights. It asks whether powerful trawling interests should be allowed to take large numbers of halibut regardless ...

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EDITORIAL: It is Time to Recognize and Celebrate Responsible Federal Fisheries Management

Last month, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended the establishment of a new Limited Access Privilege Program (LAPP), or a Catch Share plan, for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod trawl catcher vessel fishery. It is time to celebrate responsible federal fisheries management and the public process that resulted in final action on a muchimproved management system for the BSAI trawl catcher vessel cod fishery. The vessel owner members of Midwater Trawlers Cooperative (MTC) and United Catcher Boats (UCB) applauds the Council for their leadership and...

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OPINION: "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” -Mark Twain

On one point we agree with Mr. Dennis Moran of Fishermen’s Finest: inadequate cuts to halibut bycatch will not solve the ecological, economic or cultural devastation associated with bycatch, which in the Bering Sea includes halibut, salmon, crab, herring, sablefish and other species important to the ecosystem and to the fishing communities of Alaska. 

The bottom trawl (Amendment 80) fleet is the largest user of halibut as bycatch, which is otherwise known as Prohibited Species Catch and by law must be avoided. If caught, it must be thrown overboard. We don’t reward ...

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The Winding Glass: Monterey Bay Discredits Itself with Red Listing of Lobster

[The Winding Glass is the commentary and opinion column by John Sackton, Founder of Seafood News.]

One of the key points about NGO ratings of fisheries is their variability. Different organizations have different levels of independent governance, transparency, and public accountability. 

The recent red (avoid) listing of American and Canadian lobster by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch is an example of how ratings organizations can reflect their own organizational biases. Seafood Watch is not among the nine seafood rating organizations benchmarked by the Global Seafood Sustainability Initiative...

 

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Is the Crab Market a Bellwether or a Blip?

In the U.S., snow crab outperformed every other seafood product during the pandemic. Yet today, the snow crab market is crashing at the fastest pace since the spring of 1995. That year, between May 1995 and May 1996, the price fell 46%.

This year, Urner Barry quotations from last summer until this May are down 33%, and the bottom has not been set. This is already the largest percentage decline in price since 1995. Since February the market has been going down around 50 cents per week...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Seafood Price Volatility Looms as Russian Bank Sanctions Hit Crab, Groundfish

[The Winding Glass is the opinion and commentary column from John Sackton, Founder of SeafoodNews]

This was the March we were supposed to get back to normal. The pandemic is receding. Demand for seafood is high, and prices for crab and lobster are at record levels and groundfish prices are strong.

Before last week, the most pressing issue for the crab industry was how to negotiate a smooth climb down from the historically high prices, which have stifled customer demand and led to growing inventories...

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The Unintended Consequences of Bill S.3614 Would Eliminate Most King Crab the From U.S. Market

The viability of the U.S. crab business for importers and marketers is being challenged in the Senate with the introduction of bill S.3614 by Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.  This bill would prohibit the importation of seafood and seafood products from the Russian Federation.  This bill would stay in effect until Russia terminates its prohibition on the importation of U.S. seafood products which was initiated in 2014. While I am in agreement with the senators' objective to open up the...

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Op-Ed: Focus on Blue Economy Needed in 2022 for COVID-19 Recovery

We’ve come to the end of another year filled with uncertainty, with no sign of predictability on the horizon. No one is really sure what the new year will bring. Stability has been hard for Canadians to come by, and it’s something that decision makers and leaders in both government and industry need to prioritize immediately to incite recovery.

In 2022, decision makers are going to have to start implementing serious COVID-19 recovery measures as the pandemic continues to stretch on. The Blue Economy Strategy is...

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OPINION: Alaska Reps Want Maximum Reduction of Halibut Bycatch, Urge State to Choose Alt. 4

The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (NPFMC) has hardly been an Alaska household name, but we think it should become one. The 11-member Council makes fisheries policy for the North Pacific Ocean that greatly shapes Alaskans’ livelihoods and lives, including an awfully big decision in the coming days that all Alaskans should know about.

This decision is an “all the marbles” decision to reduce — or to fail to reduce — how much halibut the Seattle-based Bering Sea groundfish trawl fishery can catch and discard ...

Full Story »

The Winding Glass: Lobster Industry Consolidation Bigger Story than High Opening Prices this Winter

At the end of November a lot of attention is focused on the market price as the Southwest Nova Scotia fishery (LFA 33 and 34) opens.  This is the largest volume lobster fishery in Canada, and the opening is timed to feed global holiday markets.  This starts with the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations in Europe, the US, and Japan, and then continues with the New Year’s celebration in China about a month later.

Although the season lasts until the end of May...

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OPINION: Offshore Redfish Fishery Provides Essential Stability for Canadians 

Canadians need stability now more than ever. Stable jobs and strong economic drivers are necessary to the recovery of our small, rural and coastal communities. The Canadian fish and seafood industry is able to promise this essential prosperity to thousands of Canadians just like it has been doing for decades, and it is important that we protect that stability at this critical time.

Recently, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) called on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to suspend its consultation process on the reopening redfish fishery in...

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OPINION: Let’s At Least Try to Solve the Halibut Problems

“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”- Zen Master or maybe Mark Twain.

As we get close to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council’s final action cutting the Amendment 80 sector’s halibut - yet again - we should pause and reflect on what this will accomplish. There are problems with halibut management, to be sure. The Pribilof Island community-based fleet needs bigger halibut allocations in times of low abundance. There is too much waste in the groundfish fleets forced by crushingly outdated regulations. Let’s try  ...

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