The month of June is here...we see longer days, warmer temperatures and the start of summer vacations. In this June issue of our newsletter, we cover a wide array of topics: An update on land-based fish farming from the wild salmon advocacy group, North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF). Our Product Spotlight examines Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut from Indonesia and how it differentiates itself from other yellowfin tuna on the market. We look at the current state of shrimp prices and inventory in the Shrimp Report. See why "curry-rice" has become the national food dish of Japan. We report that the Customs Workers strike has ended in Chile. This month's blogger looks at Soft Shell Crab in a brand new way.
FEATURED ARTICLE: New NGO program to bring investors, land-based salmon farmers together
The wild salmon advocacy group, North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF), has set up a program aiming to bring people with expertise on land-based fish farming together with investors ready to put money into the field.
Orri Vigfusson, Chairman of NASF, told Intrafish he believes land-based farming is the only way to develop the fish farming industry sustainably. "We would like some sustainability in the fish farming industry and we think open sea cages are unsustainable," he said.
According to Vigfusson, farming fish in open sea cages is harmful to the environment and wild stocks, and cannot be controlled. "They have a massive sea lice problem, even though they have tried many things it has never worked properly in the long run; they pollute a great deal and there is the long term problem of escapees and genetic pollution, which is a worry," he said. With land-based operations, he said, "more or less everything can be controlled."
Although there have been a string of unsuccessful attempts to develop commercially viable land-based salmon farms, Vigfusson is adamant it is achievable with the right investment and knowhow. "It has been successful," Vigfusson told Intrafish. For instance the only fish farming industry in Iceland that is making a profit is a land-based one owned by Samherji." (Vigfusson is referring to Islandsbleikja, the largest producer of Arctic charr in the world, which is completely land-based.)
"I know land-based farming is still in the developmental stages and it is probably more costly to set up in the beginning, but over a period of 5-10 years, it can be just as profitable and of course there are no environmental costs," he said.
NASF is hoping to promote land-based systems predominantly in Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland and France. The group plans to both establish new companies as well as encourage existing companies to move operations on land.
"I think it will take many years, but I think in the end this industry is not sustainable in the sea. Over the next five to ten years they should all stop doing that and move on land," Vigfusson said. "We don't have expertise ourselves but we have access to people with the expertise and we would like these people and those with the money to get together and set up sustainable operations."
- Taken from Intrafish.com
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Indonesian Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut
Indonesia is home to the world's longest coastline and two-thirds of the global coral and fish diversity. Indonesia's President, Joko Widodo, repeatedly references the importance of the ocean to Indonesia. But the stewardship of these resources has been lax.
It was only thirteen years ago that Indonesia established its Fishing and Marine Affairs Ministry. However foreign and domestic poaching still run rampant. Steps are being taken to streamline the monitoring of illegal fishing by arresting foreign fishing vessels that lack correct paperwork or domestic fishermen using illegal methods of fishing such as bombs and cyanide.
Transshipments at sea - where smaller boats offload their catch on to larger foreign vessels with cold storage facilities - have also been banned, in a bid to prevent neighboring countries from siphoning off fish illegally.
At long last there are now strict rules for all wild caught fishing which should improve the poaching situation and its economic impact on the industry. One added note, Indonesia is the largest importer of frozen tuna to the United States
With Crane Bay® Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut, all traceable raw materials are from Indonesian boats which are allowed to fish with the new regulations in place. This means our Production Partners can continue to fish using their sustainable hand line method and deliver the high quality Yellowfin tuna you have come to expect.
Here is a little background on sourcing the Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut from Indonesia:
- Wild caught by the hand line method in Indonesian waters near Bali
- Our Indonesian Production Partners have their own fleet of boats operated by native Indonesian fisherman
- The boats are small and make shorter trips so the fish is brought in alive and fresh - it is NOT frozen at sea
- The best fish of the catch is NOT set aside for fresh export. ALL top graded fish are CO treated and frozen so the quality is always #1+ and #1
- Because the fish is caught on hand line boats, the fish is fresher, resulting in shiny flesh and good flavor
- Moisture content is higher because there is less decomposition in fresh fish than in fish that is previously frozen or is Longline reject fresh. (This is tuna that is lower quality and cannot be sold fresh - so it is CO treated and sold frozen)
If you are interested in learning more about Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut, please call your DNI Group representative today for information, pricing or samples.
RECIPE IDEA: Crane Bay® Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut
Crane Bay® Yellowfin Tuna Crazy-Cut is a quick and convenient way for your customers to prepare their favorite tuna recipes. Each bag contains one pound of sashimi grade Yellowfin tuna - simply thaw, prepare and serve. Above are a few tuna appetizer or amuse bouche possibilities that may appeal to your chefs.
SHRIMP REPORT: Bottom seen in US shrimp prices, but buyers remain cautious
U.S. shrimp distributors have mostly worked their way through excess holiday inventory and think prices have bottomed, but there hasn't been a widespread return to buying as caution remains given recently volatile prices.
Buying has been quiet because overseas prices didn't stop coming down until recently, an industry source told Undercurrent News, noting a firming or stabilization in Indonesian, Indian and Vietnamese prices. Once prices from Indonesia started to firm up, people started sensing a bottom in the market, he said.
But the inflection point has left some importers unsure of what to do, the source said. Although he thinks prices will be going up, "there are still guys throwing stuff away here at very cheap prices." It still may be another roughly 40 days before purchasing becomes stronger as major buyers like restaurants and retailers wait to see what happens with Indian supply and whether Thailand will be a major contributor, he said.
Another industry source said the market has reached a tipping point in price on some sizes, with smaller sizes like 20-count and smaller stabilizing. Larger sizes have remained higher because there isn't a lot of product around, he said. But buyers remain cautious because of recent volatility in the market, he said.
His company last week was still buying hand-to-mouth, not having decided to jump in and take a position. Now that Lent is over, "I don't think you're seeing a rush to fill up the freezers", he said. Rather than trying to time the market with one large purchase in June, buyers may continue to make purchases on an as-needed basis, another industry source told Undercurrent.
As Undercurrent has previously reported, Jim Gulkin, managing director of Bangkok, Thailand-based Siam Canadian Group, told Undercurrent that he expects US, Canada and EU purchasing to increase through June.
Importers and end users are to a large degree sitting on the fence awaiting what pricing is going to look like once Asian production is in full swing, he said. "However, there are deficits starting to appear in inventories, and purchasing has already begun to pick up, but the heavy buying won't likely start until June," said Gulkin.
- Taken from Undercurrentnews.com
CURRY RICE - Japan's National Dish
The "national dish" of Japan, curry-rice, is said to be eaten by many Japanese people at least once a week. It's over 150 years since the Japanese first came across this exotic dish that originated from India. This simple 'feast' of cooked rice covered in meat and vegetables boiled in a curry sauce has become one of the mainstays of the Japanese diet. The Curry Culture knows no bounds, as we create one Japanese dish after another, some of them combining the flavor of traditional dashi (Japanese soup stock) with that of curry.
One of the great appeals of curry-rice is that you are free to enjoy it as you please, boiling up your own selection of ingredients such as meat, sea-food or vegetables, and popping them on top of your rice. For example, Katsu-curry is a popular dish topped with hearty pork cutlets.
In view of its flexibility and compatibility with all sorts of food, curry has been mixed with various local ingredients to create specialty curries throughout Japan. Some of the popular ones are kaki-curry boiled up with salt-water oysters and Japanese wagyu-curry that uses the finest grade of Japanese beef as a real luxury.
Although we use the overall term curry-rice, there are in fact several variations. There is "soup-curry", where rice is soaked up in a smooth, easy-to-eat soup-style curry. Then there is "dry-curry" where rice is stir-fried with ground beef, chopped vegetables and nuts. "White curry" has hit the spotlight in recent years. This has a white sauce base and its color is nothing like curry, making it seem a bit odd, but its mellow taste is attracting more and more fans.
Meanwhile, along with the spread of curry-rice, curry flavor has also been added to various Japanese dishes and transformed them. First on the list of popular dishes were curry udon and curry soba, combining curry with udon or soba noodles. The delicate taste of Japanese dashi (soup stock) goes really well with the flavor of curry. And in recent years "curry pot", where meat and vegetables or fish are all cooked up in a single pot, has become a staple dish, popular throughout homes and bars. In addition, "curry ramen" has been all the rage, combining curry and ramen. Once you taste this combination of curry and Chinese soup, you are addicted.
- Taken from Trends in Japan
SALMON UPDATE: Chilean Customs Workers
End Nine Day Labor Strike
Chilean Customs workers with the National Association of Customs Officers (ANFACH) and government officials with the Ministry of Finance have finalized a deal to end the labor strike. The work stoppage seriously disrupted international trade to and from Chile, including salmon shipments to the US and other overseas markets.
According to the deal the government will gradually increase the amount of jobs at Customs to 2,300 by year 2018. This agreement ends a nine day work stoppage that started on May 20. ANFACH President Marcelo Reyes called the deal "historic" and apologized for the extended disruptions to Chilean trade. "We apologize to users, carriers, etc. customs people who were affected." Reyes said.
Just days into the strike salmon trade association SalmonChile reported a $30 million loss in fresh salmon export sales. "As we have explained on other occasions, the salmon industry is prevented from stopping because this deadlock can have serious consequences on the health and environmental aspects," said SalmonChile President Felipe Sandoval.
Major producer Camanchaca said customers were quickly losing confidence in doing business with Chile as the strike dragged on. "Chile has lost credibility as a reliable supplier. Buyers are going to buy from Canada and Norway," Camanchaca's CEO Ricardo Garcia.
The US salmon market for Northeast whole fish and fillets firmed this week as traders told Urner Barry the work stoppage created a more limited supply of fresh Chilean salmon.
ANFACH said workers will resume their duties Thursday afternoon and Friday morning (May 29, 2015) with the deal now in place.
- Taken from Seafoodnews.com
May Report - Data from March