W13: Weekly Seafood Update

Published Apr 3, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W13 in the global seafood landscape. In summary, scientists report that 86% of global squid catches occur in areas where the catch is not regulated by any country. In Norway, the price of fresh salmon increased 6.3% WoW due to a 5,8% increase in export volume for the week. Indonesian seaweed accounts for USD 355M in the world market representing 12.32% of the global market value, making the government focus on bolstering its production. Vietnamese shrimp exports to main market in the first two months of 2023 decreased by 16-51% YoY while the production of white leg and tiger shrimp over the same period went up by 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively. Ecuadorian tuna export value fell 20.7% YoY to USD 5.95M in January due to the La Niña weather phenomenon and increased competition from China. Lastly, Turkish snail export volume in the first two months of the year reached 332MT, down 7% YoY while shipment value reached USD 3.279M, up 62% compared to the same period last year.


Canada: Lawsuits Mount Against Unlawful Discovery Islands Aquaculture Decision (Apr 1)

At least four companies that provide supplies and services to BC’s aquaculture industry are suing the Federal Government for losses amounting to tens of millions of dollars stemming from two ministerial decisions to shut down salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. The companies allege that current Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray and her predecessor Bernadette Jordan “wilfully engaged” in making the “unlawful decisions” while being aware at all times that the actions would harm the companies and their employees. Murray, Jordan, and the Attorney General are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by Aquatrans Distributors Inc., Browns Bay Packing Company Ltd., and Sure Cold Refrigerated Storage Inc. A separate lawsuit was filed by the Indigenous-owned J.W. Walkus Fishing Company. The original decision to shutter 19 open-net salmon farms in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands was made in 2020 by former Fisheries minister Jordan.

Russia: More Than 400K Salmon Fry Will Be Released Into Water Bodies of North Ossetia by the End of the Year (Mar 30)

More than 400K salmon fry will be released into the waters of North Ossetia by the end of the year. Caspian salmon is a particularly valuable species of fish, which is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. At the Ardon Salmon Fish Hatchery in North Ossetia, 280K fries are grown annually in accordance with the state order. This year, the plant released more than 180K fry into the Terek River behind the Pavlodol dam and about 100K fry into other water bodies of the republic. The Pavlodol HPP has become a natural barrier to salmon migration. In 1987, the Ardon Salmon Plant was put into operation, which has been replenishing the population of the rivers of the North Caucasus and, first of all, the Caspian Sea for more than 35 years.

US: It’s a Bad Year for California Salmon (Mar 30)

California's fishing season had been scheduled to open on April 1. Instead, as a result of low salmon projections, the season has been canceled. Salmon provides more to the state than meets the eye. According to the Golden State Salmon Association, California's salmon industry is valued at USD 1.4B in economic activity. Roger George, a Central Valley fishing guide, says he is hoping to protect salmon by "taking a hit right now to have something more positive happen later." "Some of the people, the commercial fisherman off the coast, their businesses and their livelihoods, their way of life for those people is being jeopardized," George said. Salmon will still make its way to plates across California, but the price tag may be higher as fish are brought in from Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, The Mercury News reported. Salmon help feed the ecosystem by pushing oceanic nutrients into rivers and streams. More than 50 species benefit from the nutrients brought into the streams from salmon. They are then dispersed throughout the landscape through river food webs, according to the Wild Salmon Center, a conservation organization.

UK: Poole Harbor Oil Spill Could Have Serious Consequences for Threatened Migratory Fish (Mar 30)

Poole Harbor oil spill could have serious consequences for threatened migratory fish, say GWCT experts. UK-wide conservation organization, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), has highlighted its serious concerns over the impact of the 200-barrel fluid leak into Poole Harbor on protected migratory fish. The GWCT operates the Salmon & Trout Research Centre on the River Frome at East Stoke, Dorset which has been monitoring the salmon population in depth for 50 years. A major incident was declared on Mar 26, when a leak occurred at a pipeline operated by gas company Perenco. The leak coincides with the start of the sea-bound migration of vulnerable young Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and sea trout (Salmo trutta), known as smolts, from the Rivers Frome and Piddle which flow directly through Poole Harbor. The young salmon and trout hatch from eggs laid by adults in the river, where they spend between 1–3 years before migrating to sea from March to mid-May. Here they will feed and grow for a further 1–3 years before returning to the river of their birth to reproduce.

Norway: Salmon’s Big Guns Unite to Condemn New Tax Plan (Mar 29)

Norway’s biggest salmon farmers have come out almost unanimously to condemn the Oslo government’s revised “salmon tax” plans. Despite the basic rate of the proposed “ground rent” tax being reduced from 40% to 35% and companies being given a USD 6.75M (NOK 70M) allowance before the tax kicks in, the producers have declared the final plan will seriously damage the industry by hitting future investment, eventually damaging the country as a whole. The tax would be levied, on top of existing corporation tax, on sales of salmon. The taxable amount would be calculated regarding a spot market price, rather than the price actually achieved by the producer.

Norway: The Price of Fresh Salmon in Norway Decreased 6.3% WoW in W12 Due to Rise in Export Volume (Mar 29)

During W12, the price of fresh salmon HON in Norway, sized 3-6 KG FCA Oslo, dropped to USD 11.46/kg, representing a 6.3% WoW decrease from USD 12.23/kg in W11. This is due to a 5.8% WoW increase in the volume of exports, which rose by 2,186 MT. However, despite this recent increase in volume, the total volume of exports over the last 5 weeks is still down by 12.9% YoY, justifying the high prices for this time of the year.

Japan: Japan and Russia Come to an Agreement on Salmon Fishing off the Coast of Hokkaido (Mar 29)

The agreement was reached as a result of online negotiations between official representatives of the two countries. It applies to salmon fishing in the exclusive economic zone of Japan in the waters of the southern part of Hokkaido prefecture. Japanese fishing conditions are subject to negotiation since most of these fish spawn in Russian rivers. According to Japanese officials, the conditions have not changed compared to last year. The annual quota is set at 2.05K MT. Japan will pay Russia for the assistance of approximately USD 1.5M to USD 2.3M, depending on the size of the catch. Last year, the Russian invasion of Ukraine became an obstacle to negotiations. The agreement was reached with a delay, forcing the Japanese fishermen to wait more than three weeks before they could start fishing. 


Indonesia: Downstream Efforts Will Help Bolster Seaweed Production (Mar 31)

Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries Sakti Wahyu Trenggono echoed the government's readiness to bolster the productivity of seaweed cultivation as one of Indonesia's most featured fishery export products downstream. "It has a big market potential. Hence, we will continue to bolster its production. One way is by empowering regions that have great potential. This Mamolo seaweed cultivation village is one example," Trenggono noted in a written statement received in Jakarta. Based on the data provided by the ITC Trade-map 2023, the total value of the world seaweed market in 2021 hits USD 2.8B. Meanwhile, Indonesia accounts for USD 355M in the world market representing 12.32% of the world seaweed market value, an increase of 23% compared to 2020. 


Vietnam: Shrimp Exporters Focus On Added Value (Mar 27)

According to Ms. Kim Thu, shrimp market expert of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in February 2023, shrimp exports to main markets decreased by 12%-35%. Some markets have shown signs of growth such as China, Australia, and France, increasing from 4-7% among the top 5 main import markets. Shrimp exports to the US and EU decreased sharply. Also, shrimp exports to Japan and Korea decreased but the rate of decrease was less. Exports to China showed signs of recovery, up 4%. In the first 2 months of the year, shrimp exports to the US, EU, and Japan increased from USD 51-58M. Exports to Korea reached USD 46M while to China and Hong Kong reached USD 34M. Exports to these markets in the first 2 months of this year decreased by 16%-51% over the same period last year. In terms of shrimp production output, shrimp farming is in a transitional period toward improving quality. In many places, farmers focus on renovating and repairing ponds and lakes and focusing on the quality of seed, so disease should be limited. Generally, in the first two months of 2023, white leg shrimp production reached 60.2K MT, up 0.5%, and black tiger shrimp production reached 31.3K MT, up 0.3%.

Argentina: INIDEP Surveys Shrimp in the San Jorge Gulf, National Waters and the Chubut Coast (Mar 27)

The National Institute for Fisheries Development Research (INIDEP) launched on March 24, the survey of shrimp in the San Jorge Gulf, national waters, and the Chubut coast, with Lic. Emiliano Pisani as scientific chief and on board the Vessel Second Commercial Lobster Fishing Vessel. The campaign, which is expected to last 16 days considering bad weather, aims to verify the presence of concentrations of shrimp accessible and vulnerable to the commercial beam net in the areas between parallels 43º 10 S and 47º S and to the west of the longitude 063º 50' W; analyze the spatial distribution of mature females and impregnated females; estimate fertility and ovarian maturation indices; determine the composition and abundance of the epi-benthic fauna associated with the main shrimp distribution funds in the evaluation area, among others.


Turkey: USD 3.2M From Sea Snails (Mar 28)

Ahmet Hamdi Gürdoğan, Vice Chairman of the Eastern Black Sea Exporters' Association, said that 332MT of sea snails were exported to 4 countries in 2 months of the year. Stating that USD 3.279M was gained from the said foreign sales, Gürdoğan said, “In the same period of last year, USD 2.29M were obtained from the export of 357MT of sea snails. Accordingly, exports decreased by 7% in quantity and increased by 62% in value.” Emphasizing that the most sea snails are exported to Japan with USD 1.337M, Gürdoğan stated that this country is followed by the People's Republic of China with USD 730.62K, the Republic of South Korea with USD 722.59K, and Spain with USD 488.28K.


Global: The Squid Fishery Is Increasingly Moving to Territories Not Controlled by Any Country (Mar 28)

Unregulated squid fishing is causing concern among world experts, according to Global Fishing Watch. So, scientists conducted a study, which was joined by representatives of Australian and Japanese authorities, and using satellite imagery and vessel tracking programs studied how and where squid are caught. In the results of the study, scientists report that 86% of all squid catches occur in areas where the catch is not regulated by any country. As the scientists explained, fishermen take advantage of loopholes in the legislation and set sail to catch squid in water areas where the rules established by this or that country no longer apply. This allows one to catch squid in any volume, which anglers use to increase the profits of the company. 

Argentina: Government Announced the Upcoming Opening of the North Zone for Squid Catching (Mar 29)

In W13, the Argentinian government announced the opening of the North Zone for squid catches on April 1-4. Until the zone opens, the volume of catches from the South zone will remain low, and the vessels will continue to lose money in every tide since the beginning of the season.


Ecuador: Tuna Exports Hit Hard by la Niña and Competition From China (Mar 30)

Exports of Ecuadorian tuna, including value-added products, have not started well in 2023, according to the latest figures from the country's central bank. Exports in value terms fell 20.7% YoY to USD 5.95M in January, according to data released by the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE). The La Niña phenomenon (a phenomenon in which sea surface temperatures in the east equatorial central Pacific fall below normal by 3-5°C (5.4-9°F) has seriously affected the Ecuadorian tuna sector since late 2021, led to a decrease in production and a significant increase in costs. What's more, according to Jimmy Anastasio, an analyst, and advisor to CNP, the Ecuadorian tuna sector faces a "very challenging" 2023 "as China's unfair competition seriously threatens the supply of tuna fillets to the EU market." Ecuador's share of the EU tuna market fell from 32% in 2015 to 26% in 2022, while China's share rose from 9% to 24% over the same period, Anastasio said.

Portugal: Government Implements Temporary VAT Exemption on Seafood to Address Rising Prices (Mar 29)

The Portuguese government is implementing new measures to address rising prices of essential products, including certain types of seafood. To counteract this trend, the government will temporarily exempt some seafood products from VAT, including Atlantic Cod, Sardines, Hake, Horse Mackerel, Sea Bream, Mackerel, and Canned Tuna. This exemption will be in effect until October 2023. While this move is initially seen as a positive step towards tackling rising prices, many wholesalers, manufacturers, and processors are concerned that the tax reduction will not be passed on to consumers. Instead, they fear that large retailers and distributors will absorb the 6% decrease in VAT, leaving consumers without any benefit.

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