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W11: Weekly Seafood Update

Updated Mar 20, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W11 in the global seafood landscape. In summary, the number of Blue Swimming crabs remained low in Tunisia in W11 due to unfavorable weather. In Russia, the first million artificially grown salmon fry were released in 2023 into water channels at the Sakhalin fish hatchery in the village of Okhotskoye. Norwegian shrimp exports totaled 1.52K MT worth USD 8.16M in February 2023, up 4% in volume and 20% in value respectively compared to the same period last year. Lastly, Russians consumers are now preferring tuna to salmon since the popularity of tuna increased by 1.5 times while salmon consumption halved.


Tunisia: Low Blue Swimming Crab Landings During W11 (Mar 16)

Due to unfavorable weather, the number of Blue Swimming Crabs that arrived in Tunisia continued to be low in W11. Suppliers don't have enough supply of crabs to fill a container. As the Bahrain ban period started on March 15, 2023, export demand for Tunisian crabs increased. Prices for Tunisian origin are expected to uptrend until the Bahrain ban period ends in mid-May 2023.


Mexico: Aquatic Animal Alliance Urges Universidad Autonoma de Mexico to Stop Octopus Farm Operations in Yucatan (Mar 15)

Aquatic Animal Alliance urges Universidad Autonoma de Mexico to stop Octopus farm operations in Yucatan. High mortality rate, over 50% of octopuses on Yucatan farm fail to reach slaughter size. Specialists raise alerts about the facility’s negative impacts on animal welfare, biodiversity, environmental degradation, and public health risks. More than 119 organizations from around the world have come together to urge the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico to put an end to the octopus farming operations in Sisal, Yucatan. The Aquatic Life Institute (ALI), an international non-profit organization focused on improving the welfare conditions of aquatic animals exploited in the global food system, has published a report on the research being carried out by the institution and its partner, Moluscos del Mayab, regarding the farming of octopuses. Numerous animal and environmental protection organizations, scientists, and politicians have raised serious concerns about the negative impacts of octopus farms on animal welfare, biodiversity, biosecurity, environmental degradation, antibiotic resistance, public health, and the livelihoods of coastal communities. The mortality rate of the octopus farm in Mexico is alarming at 52%, which is unacceptably high for any animal production setting. 


Ecuador: Appetite for Salmon Is on the Rise Among Ecuadorians (Mar 18)

In the 1990s and 2000s, finding salmon in Ecuador was very difficult and considered a luxury product, chef Quique Sempere said. Now, although it is an expensive product, it is more affordable for Ecuadorians. The supply of fish, which is farmed in cold marine waters, has grown in the local market. Now it is more common to find it in supermarkets. For example, the Supermaxi and Megamaxi chain, owned by Corporación Favorita, sells fish in various presentations. The diversity of product presentations has been another advantage for the customer because it allows it to be purchased in individual bulk and packaged portions or in pound cases. The growth in salmon consumption in Ecuador is also evident in imports of the product. In 2022, the country bought a total of USD 6.6M in the product, a growth of 12.2% compared to 2021. If compared to 2017, growth reaches 80%, according to data from the Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters. (Fedexpor).

Russia: First Million Salmon Fry Grown on Sakhalin (Mar 13)

The first million artificially grown salmon fry were released in 2023 into water channels at the Sakhalin fish hatchery in the village of Okhotskoye. From that day on, the juveniles will be fattened, weighed, and examined regularly. By May, the fry will grow to 7 centimeters and gain weight then they will be sent to independent life in wild reservoirs. According to the employees of the enterprise, about 25M strong fry will be released into the rivers this year. Salmon will return to the shores of the islands to spawn in 2-3 years.

Argentina: Expanding Its Disease-Free Zone for Salmonids in Río Negro and Neuquén (Mar 13)

The World Organization for Animal Health (OMSA) published the technical document presented by the National Agrifood Health and Quality Service (Senasa), which provides evidence of compliance with the requirements and procedures established by the international organization to self-declare the Piedra del Águila reservoir as a zone free of notifiable diseases that affect salmonids. In this way, Argentina expands the free zone, which already included the upper basin of the Limay River and the Alicurá reservoir, in the provinces of Neuquén and Río Negro. The documentation presented by Senasa refers to the tasks carried out to demonstrate the absence and maintain the health status, in relation to the following diseases that affect salmonids: Epizootic hematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV) infection; Gyrodactylus salaris infection; infection with infectious salmon anemia virus (by HPR-deleted variants and HPR0); infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) infection and viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (HSV) infection.

US: Salmon Fishing Banned Along California Coast as Population Plummets (Mar 15)

Fishing boats would normally fan out along the California coast to catch Chinook salmon in the spring, but regulators have announced the fishing season will be shut down this year. It's only the second time in history that the ocean salmon fishery has been closed in California, and the decision reflects a major decline in fish populations after the state's driest three-year period on record. People who depend on salmon fishing said the closure will bring economic hardships for many in the industry. 

UK: Salmon Makes up More Than Half of Scotland’s Fish and Seafood Exports (Mar 16)

Salmon accounted for 56% of Scotland’s total fish and seafood exports by value last year, according to the latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs. The HMRC statistics on national and regional trade also show that fresh and chilled Scottish salmon made up 33% of the UK-wide fish and seafood total. With smoked and processed salmon included, that figure rises to 41%. Scottish exports of all fish and seafood were valued at USD 1.12B (£1.04B) in 2022, which is 2% higher than in 2021. Fresh, whole Scottish salmon export sales of USD USD 623.58M (£578M) were down 6%, however, compared with the 2021 figure of USD 662.42M (£614M). The EU accounted for almost 64% of sales, with the US and Chinese markets remaining popular. The volume of fish transported overseas fell by 26%, reflecting tight supplies globally and more Scottish salmon being sold in the UK domestic market, which is valued at around USD 1.29B (£1.2B) annually. Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest single food export, outperforming bakery goods, chocolate, cheese, cereals, and lamb.

Japan: The Onagawa Market Began Delivering Farmed Coho Salmon From Miyagi Prefecture on March 13, 2023 (Mar 16)

On March 13, 2023, the Onagawa Market (Onagawa Town, Miyagi Prefecture) began unloading farmed coho salmon from Miyagi Prefecture for the first time this season (March to July 2023). The listing volume on the same day was about 4T, an 11% increase from the first catch of 2022. The whole amount became Miyagi salmon that had undergone ikijime treatment. The average unit price stood at USD 7.77/kg (JPY 1,035/kg), the same level as the first catch of 2022, mainly due to inquiries for raw consumption. It is the second year in a row that the average unit price of the first listing reaches the USD 7.51 (JPY 1k) level. Although the supply-demand balance appeared to be loosening, with the unit price of competing Chilean coho salmon weakening, the market remained at a high level due to uncertainties about the future of imported raw materials due to the unstable situation in Ukraine.


Vietnam: Breaking Barriers, the Shrimp Industry Strives to Achieve the Target as Expected (Mar 16)

In 2023, Vietnam's shrimp exports are forecasted to face many difficulties. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2022, Vietnam's shrimp exports will reach a record number of USD 4.3B for the first time, up 11% compared to 2021. This is the highest figure ever, and higher than 2019 with USD 3.4B, 2020 with USD 3.7B, and 2021 with USD 3.9 B. Export value increased due to pillow orders from 2021 due to the suspension of the COVID-19 epidemic, and shrimp prices increased. Along with that are great efforts of enterprises in the context of many difficulties and consequences due to the impact of the epidemic, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, high inflation, etc. Despite reaching a very large number in 2022, however, in 2023, Vietnam's shrimp exports are forecasted to face many difficulties.

Vietnam: Concerned About Disease on Farmed Shrimp, Farmers Are Afraid to Breed (Mar 19)

Currently, farmers in Soc Trang province are entering the time of the new shrimp crop in 2023, but the weather is not favorable, easily causing diseases in farmed shrimp. According to the Sub-Department of Livestock Production and Veterinary Medicine of Soc Trang province, the temperature difference between day and night is large; the day is hot, the night and morning are cold, and sometimes fog appears, causing farmers to worry about shrimp arising diseases on shrimp cultured during sowing. Besides, in some farming areas in My Xuyen district and Vinh Chau town, the salinity is below 1 part per thousand which is not suitable for stocking shrimp seed. According to experts, this is the slowest year of saltwater return compared to previous years in Soc Trang province. Mr. Chau Thanh Nam in An Thanh 3 commune, Cu Lao Dung district, Soc Trang province, said that this is the main shrimp crop of the year for farmers.

Argentina: The Remaining Argentinian Shrimp Stock Was Sold in the Seafood Expo of North America During W11 (Mar 14)

In W11, the Seafood Expo North America/Seafood Processing North America was held in Boston. Argentinian exporters reported a high volume of public and visitors, as the volume of closed deals. The shrimp stock from the Provincial water season was sold, and the market expects to start the National water season in April.

Norway: Ramping Up Shrimp Sales (Mar 17)

Norway exported 1.52K MT of shrimp worth USD 8.16M (NOK 87M) in February, according to the Norwegian Seafood Board. The value of exports increased by USD 1.41M (NOK 15M), up 20%, compared to February last year. That also indicated a 4% increase in volume. Sweden, Iceland, and the UK were the biggest markets for shrimp in February. Iceland posted the biggest gain in value this month, with the value of exports up USD 1.22M (NOK 13M) representing 271%, compared to the same month last year. 

South Korea: Vietnam’s Shrimp Exports to South Korea Face Difficulties Because the Quota Fee Is Nearly Equal to the Tax (Mar 18)

According to VASEP, Korea is one of the important export markets of Vietnamese shrimp, with a turnover of USD 400-500M/year, behind the US, EU, Japan, and China markets. Every year, Korea imports over 100K MT of shrimp with a value of USD 800M to USD 1B. In particular, Vietnam's shrimp imports increased every year and accounted for the highest market share (over 50%) due to the FTA Agreement between Vietnam and Korea (VKFTA), although the quota mechanism is still being implemented (15K MT with a tax rate of 0%). According to information from VASEP member enterprises, currently, in Korea, the cost to obtain a shrimp import quota under VKFTA through the bidding mechanism has increased to about 14-16% compared to the value import. This level is also approximately equivalent to the import tax rate of 20% for the volume of shrimp imported outside the quota. Importers said that, despite applying VKFTA, when importing Vietnamese shrimp into Korea, they still consider them to have to pay a tax of 14-20%, increasing prices and making it difficult to compete in such markets.


Argentina: Stable Squid Catches With the Absence of the South Patagonian Stock (Mar 16)

The squid fishery shows landings at levels similar to those of 2022 in the first week of March, but the internal climate is far from being placid and pleasant after the INIDEP research campaign was canceled. The catches on the South Patagonian stock (SSP) are scarce and an early opening of the Northern Management Unit is not authorized, as requested by CAPA. In recent days, the mood among the owners has improved due to the increase in yields to the north of the South Management Unit, where a group of jiggers achieved good catches. The average was about 28MT per day of specimens of good commercial size. This novelty generated movements in the docks of the port of Mar del Plata and the fleet that had unloaded days before and had been stopped, awaiting the opening of the north, hastened the set sail to take advantage of the sudden abundance. "Tai Sei Maru", "Esperanza 908" and "Huyo 907" were some of those who went out to the fishing area.


Global: 85% Of the World’s Tuna Catch Comes From Stocks at Normal Levels (Mar 14)

Mediterranean albacore, Indian bigeye, Pacific bluefin, and yellowfin tuna are overfished in the Indian Ocean, according to the latest ISSF report on the status of tuna stocks. 85% of the world's commercial tuna catch comes from stocks with "healthy" levels of abundance. In addition, 11% of the total tuna catch comes from overexploited stocks and 4% from medium stocks. Some tuna stocks are considered overexploited and/or overfished. For example, stocks of Mediterranean albacore, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean are being overexploited and overfished. Bluefin tuna in the Pacific Ocean is overexploited. The report notes several changes in the classification of tuna stocks since the last update in November 2022. Since the last report, the biomass rating of the Indian Ocean bigeye tuna stock has changed from green to orange. The fishing mortality rate of the albacore population in the Indian Ocean has changed from orange to green. The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is adopting a new management procedure for western and eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna populations. ISSF publishes its flagship stock status report several times a year with the latest scientific data on 23 major commercial tuna stocks.

Russia: Residents of Russia Began to Buy Tuna Instead of Salmon More Often (Mar 16)

By the end of 2022, salmon consumption has halved. At the moment, imported aquaculture Atlantic salmon cost an average of USD 14.25/kg (1.1K rubles) wholesale. In July, the price of salmon reached a historical maximum, up to USD 25.91/kg (2K rubles). In addition, the popularity of tuna increased by 1.5 times. The cost of tuna wholesale is USD 9.07- 10.37/kg (700–800 rubles) and is not subject to sharp jumps. The bulk of Atlantic salmon was imported to Russia from the Faroe Islands. After the introduction of sanctions, supplies stopped, and prices for the product increased. 

UK: Coastal States Seriously Concerned by IOTC’s Vote for a Fad Ban (Mar 16)

During the 6th Special Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) that took place on February 3-5th in Mombasa, Kenya, a vote validated a new conservation and management measure against drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (DFADs). Out of the total 30 IOTC member countries, only 16 voted in favor of factually banning FAD fisheries in the Indian Ocean. According to the European fishing group, Europêche, the lack of negotiation and of consensus on such an important decision is having already heavy consequences: Comoros[1], Oman[2] Kenya[3], the previous leader of the proposal, and Somalia[4] already handled their objection to IOTC. Seychelles announced that the country will object as well. 

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