Thursday, September 30, 2010

Donation from Santa Monica Seafood to Help Rebuild Crab Stocks

Santa Monica Seafood, a family-owned seafood company based in Santa Monica, California, made a donation to Alaska Sea Grant for its research program aimed at rebuilding Alaska’s collapsed red and blue king crab stocks.

David Christie, director of Alaska Sea Grant, welcomed the donation. Chistie said the money will be used to support research being done by the Alaska King Crab Research, Rehabilitation and Biology Program (AKCRRAB), a partnership between Alaska Sea Grant, regional fishermen's groups, coastal communities, NOAA Fisheries, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery and Chugach Regional Resources Commission, and the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Drawing on lessons learned each year, AKCRRAB scientists at the Alutiiq Pride Hatchery in Seward, Alaska, have steadily applied what they’ve learned about water temperature, flow rate, and artificial habitat to improve larval survival and hatchery productivity. They also experimented with types of food as well as feeding procedures for growing crab larvae. This year, 2.7 million red king crab successfully hatched from some 18 female red king crab.

Understanding the details of hatching and raising king crab in a hatchery is considered by commercial fishermen and researchers as a key step toward providing state fishery managers with the information they need to decide whether hatchery enhancement can help rebuild depleted king crab stocks.

source: Alaska Sea Grant

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scottish Mussels Awarded FoS Certification

Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG) rope grown mussels are the first farmed seafood in the UK to be awarded Friend of the Sea (FoS) certification.

The SSMG group consists of 14 mussel farms which are located on the Scottish west coast and Shetland. SSMG represents about 70% of total Scottish mussel production.

SSMG mussels are collected naturally as tiny free-swimming larvae or spat from the sea on lines suspended in open water. They then grow naturally by feeding on plankton carried by currents off the Scottish west coast and Shetland.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

FDA Hears Comments on Genetically Modified Salmon

AquAdvantage salmon, developed by Aqua Bounty Technologies, Inc., are genetically modified (GM) to grow twice as fast as conventional Atlantic salmon and are as safe to eat as other Atlantic salmon, U.S. regulators said as they weighed approval of the first DNA-altered animal for Americans' dinner plates.

According to the FDA, it saw "no biologically relevant differences" in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids and is highly unlikely to cause “significant harm” to the environment.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a three-day public meeting starting 19 September on the DNA-altered fish. If approved, this decision will open the flood gates for approval of any and all genetically engineered animals including trout, tilapia and hogs.

Farmed salmon opponents site numerous concerns including: current harm by fish farms to wild salmon and water quality; farmed fish are less nutritious than wild fish; farmed salmon devalues wild salmon and, as a result, flowing rivers; and fish escaped from fish farms may compete with wild populations.

Massachusetts-based Aqua Bounty says the technology could boost the nation's fish sector and reduce pressure on the environment from overfishing. Ronald Stotish, the company's President and Chief Executive said the genetically modified fish can become a sustainable source of food for an exploding global population.

source: Fishlink Sublegals

Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 Florida Cedar Key Seafood Festival

For 2010, the 41st Annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival will be held at Cedar Key City Park on October 16 and 17. The festival celebrates the area's fishing heritage with two days of seafood, music, and fun.

The festival features a variety of booths selling local seafood. Cedar Key church groups, school clubs, nonprofits, and oyster and clamming associations are expected to serve fresh grouper sandwiches, oysters, clams, clam fritters, crab cakes, smoked mullet, and all the trimmings. The festival also featured over 200 arts and crafts exhibits, live music, and a parade on Saturday morning.

The historic Seahorse Key Lighthouse is hosting an open house on both days of the festival. The lighthouse is the oldest still standing on Florida's west coast. Visitors can tour the lighthouse, look at the exhibits, and explore the island, which is part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.

The Cedar Key Seafood Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, October 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

For information, contact Thelma McCain at (352) 543-5436 or visit

source: FDACS press release

MSC Blue Label Awarded to Osprey Trawlers North Sea Twin-rigged Plaice Fishery

The Osprey Trawlers North Sea Twin-rigged plaice fishery has been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council certificate, making it the second North Sea plaice fishery to achieve MSC certification for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. The vessels of the Osprey Group will from now be able to affix the blue MSC ecolabel to their catches.

The fishery targets plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) using twin-rigged demersal trawl in the north east Atlantic. Its vessels catch approximately 2,000 Metric Tonnes annually (about 3% of EU North Sea quota). The Osprey Group's fishing season runs from 1 April to 15 November in order to avoid the spawning season for plaice.

The use of twin otter trawls to fish for plaice is a relatively recent innovation. The main reason for the change to twin rigs is the reduction in fuel used and improved condition of the landed fish. The nets have a number of features designed to reduce the discarding of unwanted by-catch and to reduce the impact on the sea floor.  To protect the sea bed the Osprey Group avoids fishing in a number of areas which correspond with those previously closed by Ekofish Group.

The plaice is landed at Urk and Insula in The Netherlands but supplies markets selling whole and filleted (fresh & frozen), and breaded plaice fillets throughout the EU.

The plaice is a type of flatfish with a smooth brown or greenish brown upper-side with many vivid orange spots and bony knobs behind the eyes. Mostly nocturnal, they feed on bottom-living animals.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

American Catfish Farms

In the USA, the channel catfish is the primary species of farm-raised fish. American catfish farming began in the southern part of the country in the 1960's.

Most American catfish farms are located in the Mississippi Delta, Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana, with their combined acreage accounting for more than 90 percent of American catfish production.

In 2009, Americans consumed nearly .85 pounds of catfish per person. U.S. catfish growers produced over $370 million in sales for the year.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Top American Seafood of 2009

The National Fisheries Institute’s (NFI) "Top Ten" Seafood list for 2009 names shrimp as the most popular seafood in the USA. Other types of seafood in the top 10 included canned tuna, salmon, Alaska pollock, tilapia, catfish, crabs, cod, clams and pangasius. The ten most popular varieties compromised more than 88 percent of American seafood consumption for the year.

2009 Top Ten Seafood (pounds per person)

Shrimp (4.1)

Canned Tuna (2.5)

Salmon (2.04)

Alaska Pollock (1.454)

Tilapia (1.208)

Catfish (0.849)

Crab (0.594)

Cod (0.419)

Clams (0.413)

Pangasius (0.356)

source: NFI

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

ASMI Launches

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has announced the upcoming launch of a robust consumer advertising campaign featuring both print and online components for the "Before We Cook Up A Storm, We Weather One" creative.

Supporting the project is a new website, The site was created to educate consumers about Alaska seafood.

Among the features of the site are videos which provide insight into the thoughts and lives of the dedicated fishermen that "weather the storm" to harvest wild fish and seafood which are landed in Alaska.

NOAA Report: Fisheries of the United States - 2009

NOAA has released its Fisheries of the United States - 2009. The publication is a preliminary report for 2009 on commercial and recreational fisheries of the United States with landings from the U.S. territorial seas, the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and on the high seas.

According to the report:

Americans consumed 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish per person in 2009, down .2 pounds from 2008 data.

Per capita consumption of fresh and frozen products was 11.8 pounds

Fresh and frozen finfish consumption was 6.2 pounds per capita.

Fresh and frozen shellfish consumption was 5.6 pounds per capita.

Consumption of canned fishery products was 3.7 pounds per capita.

Cured fish consumption was 0.3 pound per capita.

Imports of edible seafood made up 84 percent of the consumption.

Dutch Harbor-Unalaska, Alaska, was the nation’s No. 1 fishing port in terms of volume at 506.3 million pounds.

New Bedford, Ma was the No. 1 fishing port in terms of value at USD 249.2 million.

U.S. imports of edible seafood products amounted to 5.2 billion pounds valued at USD 13.1 billion in 2009.

U.S. exports of edible seafood products came to 2.5 billion pounds valued at USD 4 billion in 2009.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

ASMI Releases Two New Cookbooks

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute has announced the creation of 2 new seafood cookbooks.

ASMI Retail recently completed a 52-page cookbook featuring recipes from three of the nation's top celebrity chefs: Barton Seaver, Jerry Traunfeld, and Govind Armstrong. It marries their best Alaska seafood recipes with their professional insight on such topics as "sustainability," "entertaining" and "a chef's guide to selecting fish."

In the book, Alaska seafood is featured in various preparations of Alaska cod, salmon, pollock, black cod, scallops, crab, smoked salmon and halibut.

The cookbook will be used as a premium giveaway at consumer shows such as: Newport Mansions Wine & Food, Boston Wine Expo and Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, as well as a consumer prize in various Alaska Seafood promotions at supermarkets across the nation.

From ASMI's foodservice program comes the recipe book, Between the Bread and the Deep Blue Sea. The recipe book transforms classic recipes, such as Sole Meunière, Pollock Po' Boy and Halibut Cioppino, into sandwiches that use Alaska seafood.

Between the Bread and the Deep Blue Sea will be distributed at chef and foodservice trade conferences and trade shows, and is also available on ASMI's website.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Seafood Film Festival to be Held in New Bedford MA

Anyone interested in the U.S. seafood industry is invited to a mini film festival at the National Park’s Corson Maritime  Learning Center (33 William Street, New Bedford MA) on Thursday, September 9th from 5-8:30 p.m.

The audience will view several of the films to be featured at the 2010 Working Waterfront Festival and hear from Festival organizers about what else is in store this year’s event.

This free event is being presented as part Art History Architecture, New Bedford’s monthly arts and culture night.

Films to be screened are as follows:

* Whales of Gold (5-5:30pm) – Explores the impact of eco-tourism on a traditional fishing community in Baja California which has become a destination for whale watching

* Tugging Through Time (5:40–6:40pm) – Chronicles the history of tug boats in the New York harbor.

* Scalloping With the Courageous (6:50–7:20pm) – Documents a full trip as shot by the crew. Go to to watch a trailer!

* Truth: Fishing Crisis or Government Mismanagement (7:30–8:30pm) - Presents the controversy around fishing regulations in the United States including an interview with Sig Hansen of Deadliest Catch.

The 2010 Working Waterfront Festival is scheduled to be held September 25th & 26th in New Bedford MA.