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Archive for September, 2010

Germans eating more fish, pangasius

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

German per-capita seafood consumption edged up 0.2 kilograms last year, reaching 15.7 kilograms (catch weight) after freezing at 15.5 kilograms since 2006, according to figures released by Fisch-Informationszentrum (FIZ) on Wednesday.

And it’s only expected to grow. German per-capita seafood consumption is anticipated to total 17.5 kilograms by 2014, reported FIZ, an organisation representing numerous factions of Germany’s seafood industry, including wholesalers, processors, fishmongers and fisherman.

FIZ attributed the growth in consumption to increasingly healthier, well-balanced diets among Germans and a rising number of products showing origin information, in terms of catch method and country of origin, which is “easing consumers’ buying decisions.”

Alaska pollock was Germany’s most popular seafood species last year, representing 20.1 percent of total seafood consumption. Herring was No. 2 at 18.6 percent, followed by salmon at 12.8 percent and tuna at 9.6 percent.

At 6.5 percent of total seafood consumption, pangasius is now Germany’s fifth most popular seafood species, more than doubling its market share over the last two years.

Pangasius has also experienced similar growth in the United States, where earlier this week it made its debut on the country’s top 10 seafood list at 0.356 pounds consumed per capita in 2009.

In terms of product form, frozen fish came out on top, accounting for 34 percent of total seafood consumption in 2009, followed by canned and marinated fish at 26 percent, crustaceans and mollusks at 15 percent, fresh fish at 9 percent, smoked fish at 8 percent, other at 6 percent and delicatessen at 2 percent

Source: seafood source

Turnaround for farmed salmon?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Global farmed salmon production is expected to grow 8 to 10 percent next year and up to 12 percent in 2012, said Marine Harvest executives during the company’s annual capital markets day in Stavanger, Norway, on Tuesday.

According to the world’s largest farmed salmon producer, global farmed salmon output totaled 1.32 million metric tons in 2009 and should fall to between 1.22 million and 1.25 million metric tons this year — a drop of 5 to 8 percent.

The Norwegian company also projects global farmed salmon output to reach between 1.31 million and 1.38 million metric tons in 2011 and between 1.41 million and 1.55 million metric tons in 2012, returning the total to pre-2009 levels.

The much-publicized infectious salmon anemia outbreak in Chile was responsible to drop in supplies over the past two to three years.

“We have chosen a quite conservative strategy in Chile,” Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog told Bloomberg on Tuesday. “We want to make sure we can stay on a sustainable production in Chile for the next few years, not growing out of our mind.”

Chile’s farmed salmon production is forecasted to plunge to as little as 81,000 metric tons this year, after it crashed from 363,000 metric tons in 2008 to 215,000 metric tons in 2009. However, the country’s farmed salmon output is projected to total as much as 156,000 metric tons in 2011 and 257,000 metric tons in 2012, according to Marine Harvest.

Aarskog added that Marine Harvest expects to increase its farmed salmon production around 5 percent over the next three to five years. He told Bloomberg that there’s “ample” room for organic growth but didn’t rule out the possibility of acquisitions. Marine Harvest “will always be looking and following what is available in the market,” said Aarskog.

As for the company’s financial projections, Marine Harvest said it’s striving for a dividend capacity of NOK 1.1 billion in 2011 — that’s based on per-kilogram EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of NOK 6. Should it attain a per-kilogram EBIT of NOK 8 or NOK 10, its dividend capacity would reach NOK 1.7 billion and NOK 2.4 billion, respectively, next year.

Buoyed by low supplies and high prices, Marine Harvest achieved an EBIT, or operating income, of NOK 792 million (USD 126.4 million, EUR 98.7 million) in the second quarter of 2010, nearly triple last year’s second-quarter total.

Source: Seafoodsource

Chile – Higher prices soften blow on sharp decline in exports

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Exports of fishery and aquaculture products from Chile were valued at USD 1755.2 million during the first six months of 2010. This represents a decrease of 13.2 per cent over the same period in 2009, when a total of USD 2.021 million was sent abroad.

The volume of exports between January and June 2010 also declined, experiencing a drop of 36.6 per cent, going from 832,500 tonnes in 2009 to 528,100 tonnes this year, according to the Secretariat of Fisheries (Subpesca).

The decline was mainly due to fewer shipments of fishmeal and frozen products, which fell by 48 per cent and 29.2 per cent respectively, according to the latest Report on the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector by Subpesca.

However, sales of frozen food and fishmeal were still the most voluminous, representing 37.4 per cent and 37.2 per cent of the total respectively. Then came chilled products, dried seaweed, fishoil and canned fish.

The average price of fishery products exported between January and June was USD 3.30 per kilogram, 36.9 per cent higher than the same period in 2009.

According to statistics from Subpesca, the main exported product was rainbow trout, which accounted for 23.9 per cent of the total sales abroad. It was followed by Atlantic salmon and the pelagic fish group without thorns.

Chilean products were destined for 109 countries, of which the nine major ones accounted for 80.4 per cent of the total export value. The largest importers were Japan, the USA and China.

With regards to the extractive sector, the aggregate value of fish exports (312,000 tonnes) was USD 625 million between January and June 2010, which reflects a negative variance of 15.9 per cent over the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, 196,600 tonnes of fishmeal was sold abroad for USD 336.6 million, while a year earlier, 378,240 tonnes was exported for USD 354.8 million.

The main recipients of this product were China, Japan, Spain, Canada and South Korea.

Of the total fishmeal exported, 48.1 per cent were of prime quality, 39 per cent of super prime and 9.6 per cent were of a standard quality.

Foreign sales of frozen foods amounted to USD 145.4 million, which represented a decrease of 36 per cent over the same period in 2009.

These products were mainly shipped to the US, Spain and Peru, with shares in value of 24.9 per cent, 16.9 per cent and 11.4 per cent respectively.

Sales of canned fish during the first six months of 2010 totaled USD 56 million, 13.6 per cent less than a year earlier.

The main markets were Sri Lanka, Spain and the United States, with shares of 27.4 per cent, 19.8 per cent and 7.3 per cent respectively.

Aquaculture exports accounted for 64.4 per cent of the total value of foreign sales and 40.9 per cent of the total volume exported during the first half of this year, with USD 1130.1 million and around 216,000 tonnes. These figures represent a decline of 11.6 per cent in value and 27.6 per cent in volume compared with the same period in 2009.

Source: fis

Cod Crisis Unavoidable

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

NORWAY – The global financial crisis and an historic price fall hit the cod sector in 2009. Measures implemented by the authorities could not prevent many actors experiencing major problems, a fresh report from Nofima shows.

The report, which was commissioned by the Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, documents a dramatic fall in prices and incomes in the period from 2008 to winter 2010. Some sections of the fishing fleet and cod processing industry were harder hit than others.

“It was extremely difficult times for the cod sector given the uneasiness that accompanied the financial crisis,” say Bent Dreyer and Bjørn Inge Bendiksen from Nofima, who jointly wrote the report.

Financial crisis

When the global financial crisis widened, the Norwegian cod sector soon felt the consequences. The anxiety in the financial markets led to capital drying up. The price uncertainty coupled with the lack of capital meant the fish ended up in storage instead of being sold. Many of the countries that are important markets for Norwegian cod experienced major problems. Owing to difficulties with selling the catch, the fishery came to a halt right in the middle of the high season.

Iceland, one of the main competitors for the Norwegian products, was hit particularly hard by the financial crisis. As well as the Icelandic currency loosing value, they had to sell fish at extremely low prices. This was favourable for the buyers, but unfavourable for the Norwegian competitors.

Poor profitability

Other conditions also contributed to making the cod industry vulnerable during and after the financial crisis. Profitability had been poor for a long time and as the price of cod was extremely high prior to the financial crisis the price fall was huge when the financial crisis occurred.

In order to help the situation, the authorities implemented a series of measures. These included offering loans and guarantees, funds for marketing and subsidies for the transportation of fish between different regions. The cod quotas were also increased.

“Despite the fact that the quotas were caught, the value of the cod in 2009 dropped by a full NOK 735 million compared to 2008,” says Bendiksen. “Consequently, increasing the quotas didn’t compensate for the price fall.”

More strings to one’s bow

The smallest vessels, salted fish producers and cod farmers were the hardest hit. But those who had incomes from other sources coped better to handle the problems.

“Some actors made significant changes to their operating and production patterns compared to previous years,” says Dreyer. “We saw a striking increase in cod that was frozen onboard the vessels. Several were saved by their part-ownership of salmon farms and pelagic fish, which experienced good profitability while the cod sector struggled.”

This year’s winter season was completed without major problems. Important markets are once again buying cod, but at far lower prices than in previous years.

Source: TheFishSite

What’s aquaculture’s future?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

We are well acquainted with the efforts of aquaculture feed companies to use less fishmeal by substituting it with soy and grain proteins and oils. This is an economic strategy that is fine while grain and soy prices are stable and low and seafood prices are high, but it is also vulnerable to sudden rises in commodity prices. Questions are also asked about whether it is right to feed soy and grain meal to fish when humans can eat it themselves.

The extreme weather over the summer, together with widespread fires in the Russian grain belt, have led the country’s authorities to place a ban on wheat exports. This has caused a sharp rise in the world price of wheat, and it is certain that this will have a knock-on effect on other commodity grains, as substitution takes place and speculators move in to make a quick buck. As reported by SeafoodSource last week, the FAO warned that it is “highly unlikely that commodity prices will fall to pre-2000 levels in the foreseeable future.”

Such events bring home the reality that a large part of aquaculture is just another branch of agriculture and relies on much the same ingredients as poultry, pork, beef and dairy production. In some ways it can be seen that fed aquaculture is even less of a farming activity than some of these land based examples. After all, when did a salmon farmer rely on natural grazing to provide part of his livestock’s diet?

All this leads to speculation about just what is true aquaculture. At one end of the scale the culture of carnivorous fish requires that all food is supplied by the farmer, while at the other end there is culture of seaweeds and filter feeding molluscs that require no inputs of any kind. In between are a range of activities such as semi-intensive shrimp farming, pond culture of carp and tilapia, and tank culture of abalone and sea urchin. In all these systems the fish or shellfish feed on naturally available food, but also rely to some extent on an artificial diet being provided for them.

This range of activities is no different from those we find in land based agriculture, with the great majority of meat coming from animals that are entirely reliant on an artificial diet. At the other end of the scale is the harvest of free range meat and organic, zero input vegetables. Everything else in between requires either an artificial diet or a high input of fertilizers and energy. Why then, do the environmental organizations reserve special criticism for those who do their farming in the sea, rivers or lakes? Why is it OK to put half a continent under the plough to produce bread, beef, beer and biofuel, yet it is somehow immoral to feed soy protein to a salmon?

The world has a growing population, and it is widely accepted that people should eat more seafood to promote good health. However, if this is to happen, then the gap between supply and demand will continue to grow and can only be filled by aquaculture, given the static or declining nature of fish stocks.

For aquaculture to meet the demand in an economically and environmentally sustainable way, it needs to free itself from reliance on land-based agriculture products. This means finding ways of producing fish and shrimp diets from within the aquaculture industry itself by massive cultivation of organisms further down the food chain such as seaweeds, bivalves and other filter feeders. Only then will aquaculture truly distinguish itself as being something separate, different and perhaps better than agriculture. It will be interesting to see how and when this happens.

Source: Seafoodsource

Pangasius from Vietnam debuts on U.S. top 10 list

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

The National Fisheries Institute of McLean, Va., on Tuesday released its top 10 list of America’s favorite seafood products in 2009.

The top eight spots on the list remained unchanged from 2008, with shrimp leading the way at 4.1 pounds per capita, more than one-quarter of the 15.8 pounds of seafood that the average American consumer enjoyed in 2009. Shrimp consumption remained steady from 2008 to 2009.

Canned tuna held on to the No. 2 spot at 2.5 pounds, which is 0.3 pounds less than the total recorded in 2008. Consumption of salmon, the No. 3-ranked species, increased from 1.84 pounds to 2.04 pounds per capita.

Alaska pollock came in at No. 4 at 1.454 pounds, up from 1.34 pounds in 2008. Tilapia is hot on its heels at No. 5, up slightly to 1.208 pounds. The next five spots belong to catfish (0.849 pounds), crab (0.594 pounds), cod (0.419 pounds) and clams (0.413 pounds.

The final spot revealed the only major surprise: pangasius, a catfish-like species farmed in Vietnam, made its debut on the top 10 list with 0.356 pounds consumed per capita.

Flatfish dropped out of the top 10 list, which made up more than 88 percent of total seafood consumption in the United States. Total consumption actually increased by 45 million pounds, or about 1 percent, but per-capita consumption declined because of population growth. Per-capita consumption reached 15.8 pounds last year, down from 16 pounds in 2008 and the lowest amount since 2002’s 15.6 pounds, according to figures the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published on Friday.

“From a public health perspective it’s imperative that Americans eat more fish,” said Jennifer McGuire, NFI’s registered dietitian. “This is a message we expect to see front and center when federal health experts release the new dietary guidelines for Americans this year — the familiar food-pyramid program. While we anticipate hearing a lot about eating less salt and not as much saturated fat, when it comes to seafood more is better.”

Source: Seafoodsource

Bluefin tuna farming project advances

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

A European science and government consortium has succeeded in obtaining viable mass eggs from captive bluefin tuna, signaling “an important step forward” in research on this highly prized fish.

Scientists involved in the EU-funded project Selfdott say their findings show the tuna’s ability to adapt after more than three years of domestication. A total of 10 million eggs were produced in a single day, said the Selfdott team recently.

Faced with dwindling bluefin tuna stocks in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, researchers across the globe are tackling the challenge of reproducing this fish in captivity. Crucially, results from this European EUR 2.98 million project could ultimately relieve pressure on wild stocks through the commercialization of a farmed bluefin tuna.

Obtaining naturally spawned eggs from captive fish “is an important step forward in research on Atlantic bluefin tuna aquaculture, bringing commercial breeding of this species closer,” said the Selfdott team.

Last year, the scientists obtained 140 million eggs from captive bluefin to study the factors influencing the larvae’s survival in the first month of life. At the time, Fernando de la Gándara, coordinator of Selfdott, told SeafoodSource: “We have opened the door to the domestication of tuna.” According to de la Gándara, the project is driven by three objectives: to control the spawning of bluefin tuna in captivity; to raise the larvae and produce juveniles; and, finally, to identify the right environmentally friendly food for the juveniles.

In August, the Selfdott team, coordinated by the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), confirmed it will now study the embryonic and larval development of these eggs and seek to improve the survival and growth of the juveniles. In addition to developing sustainable feeds for bluefin tuna juveniles, the project aims to produce a protocol for commercial-scale larval rearing.

Thirteen government bodies, research institutes and industry organizations from France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Malta, Norway and Spain are collaborating in the Selfdott research.

Source: Seafoodsource

U.S. establishes itself as the largest importer of ‘nontraditional’ fish

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Between January and July of 2010, exports of non-traditional fish amounted to USD 381.4 million, a figure which represents an increase of 20 per cent compared to the same period last year, when they totaled USD 318.5 million, according to the Association of Exporters (ADEX).

The Largest importer of non-traditional fish was the United States, with purchases worth USD 73.8 million, up 25 per cent over the first seven months of 2009 (USD 59 million).

In Second place was Spain, which accounted for USD 69.7 million of imports, a 56 per cent increase compared to January and July of last year. In third came China, buying a total of USD 58.2 million, reflecting an increase of 79 per cent over 2009 (USD 32.5 million).

According to a report by ADEX, France was ranked as the fourth largest importer of shellfish, fish, crustaceans and other marine products, with purchases worth USD 30.3 million, up 53 per cent over the first seven months of 2009 (USD 19.8 million).

Other destinations for Peruvian exports of non-traditional fish were South Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Taiwan.

One of the largest exports were molluscs, with shipments worth USD 215.6 million.

ADEX specified that the major exporting companies in the sector between January and July 2010, were Seafrost (USD 24.9 million), Corporación Refrigerados INY (USD 21.7 million), Pacific Freezing Company (USD 15.8 million), Productora Andina de Congelados (USD 15.5 million) and Pesquera Hayduk (USD 15.2 million).

Source: fis

Research leads to economical farming of tilapia

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

A team of researchers from the University of Cauca are working on the development of a new feed supply, which is likely to be more economical with regards to the red tilapia.

The aim of the research project, led by Críspulo Perea Román and Yeny Judith Garcés Caicedo, is to generate greater profitability from fish farming in La Salvajina, through the reduction of feed costs in maintaining the species.

The results obtained so far guarantee that the biological silage from fish waste is a good source of nutrition during the final phase of harvesting, say the researchers.

Moreover, by this novel method of feeding, the scientists expect to help reduce the environmental impact generated by the improper disposal of waste from fish farming in the area.

The Asubagroin group at the University of Cauca, have evaluated the apparent digestibility and zootechnical parameters measured in the fattening stage of red tilapia in metabolic cages.

Clench Perea said that they have developed a prototype of that type of cage to reduce the levels of stress on the fish that were evaluated. And also to avoid the loss of specimins and to reducie the breakdown of nutrients present in their faeces, mainly protein.

At this time, the researchers are monitoring some 8,000 fish: 6,000 tilapia and 2,000 cachamas (a type of freshwater pompano).

This research is part of a project titled ‘the technical and economic assessment of by-products produced by transformation of red tilapia in La Salvajina through the ensiling process’, implemented by the Regional Centre for Productivity and Innovation of Cauca (Crepic) and the University of Cauca, with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Source: fis

Fish feed costs to remain high

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Fish feed represents 50 to 70 percent of fish farmers’ production costs, and the average price of the ingredients commonly used in fish feed jumped between 20 and 92 percent from June 2007 to June 2008, said the FAO in a recent report.

“The aquaculture industry is not immune to this global phenomenon, and the major concern is how it will impact aquaculture,” warned the FAO, adding it is “highly unlikely” that commodity prices will fall to pre-2000 levels in the foreseeable future.

Fish feed prices vary from a few hundred dollars a ton to more than USD 1,000 a ton, depending on the species being fed. Aquaculture relies on a basket of common ingredients such as soybean, corn, fishmeal, fish oil, rice and wheat, but since 2005 prices of these commodities have soared — prices of wheat, rice and fish oil have increased 180, 225 and 284 percent, respectively.

Concomitant factors pushed global food commodities to all-time highs in 2008: Stock levels for major grains dropped following unpredictable weather conditions and weaker harvests. Rising incomes in developing countries, particularly China, boosted demand for food staples. Even futures markets — used to mitigate price risks for global commodities — have been singled out as a contributory factor.

The increased cost of energy due to soaring fuel prices also contributed. In July 2008, crude oil prices peaked at more than USD 130 a barrel. By the end of 2008, they slipped to around USD 50 a barrel. And today the price is hovering at USD 74-a-barrel mark.

Key commodities used in fish feed production such as corn and soybean are largely sourced from the Americas, notably Brazil, Argentina, Chile and the United States. In Brazil, where production areas can be more than 1,000 miles from port, trucks are predominantly used to transport soybean. The cost of such transportation also escalated due to rising fuel prices, doubling from USD 6 per 100 miles in January 2005 to more than USD 12 per 100 miles in July 2008.

Increasing demand has also led to the global rise in fishmeal prices; fishmeal makes up nearly 50 percent of the total feed cost. Figures from the FAO report show that global prices for fishmeal ranged between USD 500 and USD 700 a ton from 2000 to 2005. But by May 2008, the price of fishmeal had doubled, reaching USD 1,210 a ton.

The FAO cited figures from fish feed supplier BioMar that finds while the inclusion level of fishmeal in feed is 25 percent, it actually accounts for 43 percent of raw material costs and 32 percent of total production costs. Alternative proteins such soybean, wheat and corn gluten, which can make up 45 percent of volume, account for 19 percent of raw material costs.

Another costly ingredient in fish feed is color — pigments/binders, which are less than 1 percent of the diet, account for 13 percent of costs.

Source: Seafoodsource