Summer is here - the weather is warm, the days are long, vacation plans are underway - it's time to publish the Summer Edition of our Quarterly Newsletter.  In this issue you will find a range of industry wide topics along with product information and a look at Japanese culture. Here is what you can read about this month:

  • Our product spotlight focuses on Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi - one way to take your sushi ebi from ordinary to EXTRAordinary
  • We take a look at "Mariculture", the farming of aquatic plants and animals in salt water, and see what projects are in the works.
  • An assessment of the impact El Nino has had on shrimp farms in the Mekong area of Vietnam
  • Join in on a culinary tour of Kyoto, Japan
  • Read why the lack of regulations is "suffocating" the Chilean Salmon industry
  • Our blog looks at the the impact Mother Nature has had on the seafood industry

We hope you enjoy this issue and as always, thank you for your continued support.

Best regards,

DNI Group, LLC

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi     

In the world of Sushi Ebi, it is hard for any particular product to stand out among the crowd.  But consider this one - Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi - certainly distinctive among sushi ebi for a couple of reasons. The Japanese word "Ikejime" literally means "killed while alive".  Unlike most other shrimp, once harvested at the farms in Vietnam and Indonesia, Ikejime Shrimp is kept alive, in aerated water tanks, until processed.

The shrimp is transported from the pond in fish totes with fresh water oxygenated by pump, not packed in ice.  This unique procedure ensures they remain alive and healthy prior to processing.

                  Crane Bay® Ikejime arriving "alive" at the processing facility.

                  Crane Bay® Ikejime arriving "alive" at the processing facility.

Once steamed, butterflied and peeled, the delicate signature "neck meat" remains connected to the body. This neck meat is further proof that live shrimp was used as raw material. 

                                          Freshly processed Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi

                                          Freshly processed Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi

You will be impressed with the bright red color (Salmo fan 26+), savor the sweet, fresh taste and marvel at the unique presentation of the Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi.

                          Checking the Crane Bay® Ikejime sushi ebi for color. 

                          Checking the Crane Bay® Ikejime sushi ebi for color. 


If your customers are looking for a way to elevate their sushi ebi from ordinary to EXTRAordinary, have them try Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi.  For additional information, pricing and samples, contact your DNI Group representative today.

RECIPE IDEA: Sunomono with Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi

Why not combine TWO of your favorite foods to make ONE tasty appetizer???

Sunomono is a great appetizer.  It's easy to make, healthy and refreshing - tangy but sweet.  For a delicious twist, try dressing it up with a couple of brightly flavored Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi.  Start with a traditional salad of harusame noodles, thinly sliced cucumbers, red cabbage and carrots dressed in vinaigrette made of rice vinegar, sugar and soy sauce.  Place the Crane Bay® Ikejime Sushi Ebi atop the mixture and garnish with a slice of lemon. The luscious, sweet meat of the shrimp will pair beautifully with the flavors of the Sunomono. Guests are sure to enjoy this simple yet elegant dish.

INDUSTRY UPDATE: Offshore Aquaculture Becoming an Economic Reality

"The offshore sector is currently a small fraction of overall global aquaculture, but it will play an increasingly important role in meeting the anticipated demand for seafood as the world population grows past eight billion people by 2030."

That was the conclusion of the sixth Offshore Mariculture** Conference, which took place in early April in Barcelona, Spain, a gathering of the world's experts in offshore aquaculture to harness their knowledge, identify impediments and brainstorm potential solutions.

(**Mariculture is the farming of aquatic plants and animals in salt water. Thus, mariculture represents a subset of the larger field of aquaculture, which involves the farming of both fresh-water and marine organisms. The major categories of mariculture species are seaweeds, mollusks, crustaceans, and finfish.)

This year's conference explored the challenges and prospects of siting fish farms away from coastal areas and into high energy or offshore sites. The conference also looked at opportunities to add value through innovations in the supply chain, and at complementary business opportunities that can operate alongside fish farming, such as seaweed production, multi-use platforms and wind and wave energy.

Ernesto Peñas Lado, the director of policy development and coordination for the European Commission's Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said aquaculture - and specifically offshore aquaculture - was a clear path forward to feeding a growing global population.

"A large amount of this untapped potential lies offshore. Until recently the costs of technology and the economic incentive associated with moving offshore were not aligned, but this is changing rapidly," he said.

Delegates heard from leaders of current research projects and from farmers who are developing their own innovative offshore mariculture plans.

For example, the E.U.'s EUR 12 million (USD 13.7 million) 'Diversify' project is investigating new fish species for the Mediterranean, where aquaculture is already widespread in inshore areas and opportunities lie further from the coast. According to Constantinos Mylonas, Diversify project coordinator at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, demand has dropped for sea bass and sea bream, which are the most popular species currently farmed in the Mediterranean.

"Consumers are increasingly moving away from small plate-sized fish and want convenient, clean fish meal preparation instead," she said.  "One solution is to grow these species larger to allow fillet production, but this would increase the cost. Instead, Diversify is looking to farm larger, fast-growing species such as meagre, greater amberjack, Atlantic halibut, wreckfish, grey mullet and pike perch."

Michael Rubino, director in the office of aquaculture at NOAA Fisheries Service, explained that the United States is struggling to take advantage of its aquaculture potential. One major cause is the difficult and lengthy permitting process, Rubino said. Despite the challenges, a number of large projects are on the horizon, including two in off the coast of California: the Catalina Sea Ranch mussel farm and the Rose Canyon project that will grow yellowtail jack, white seabass and striped bass in federal waters.

Off Hawaii, the Velella project is still waiting for permits to continue trials. Mariculture pioneer Neil Anthony Sims explained that the latest version of his submersible pod system attached to a single mooring, will contain around 15,000 fish, which can be fed and monitored remotely using wireless technology.

Donna Lanzetta, CEO of Manna Fish Farms, aims to open the first finfish farm in U.S. federal waters, but is also still in the process of securing permits. Lanzetta eventually hopes to farm around 2,000 metric tons of striped bass in submersible pods, 14 nautical miles off the east coast of Long Island, New York. She also plans to introduce a multi-trophic system, producing shellfish, seaweed and macro-algae alongside the fish.

In summarizing offshore aquaculture's future impact, conference chairman Alessandro Lovatelli, of the Aquaculture Office for the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), called for continued government support of the fledgling offshore agriculture industry.

"(Offshore) aquaculture can have very little impact on the environment if done properly, and this needs to be communicated effectively to people," Lovatelli said. "They need to be continually reminded of the importance of aquaculture, but no single company can do this; governments need to get involved."

Innovative Projects

As attendees of the sixth Offshore Mariculture Conference can attest, fish farming at sea is about to become more prominent in the food industry as well as the aquaculture sector, especially with the global population expected to exceed eight billion people by 2030.

While they may not be as numerous as land-based operations, offshore fish farms are leading the charge when it comes to advanced aquaculture technology, technique and design. Below see some of the innovations at the forefront of the out-to-sea fish farming movement:


Invented by Ocean Farm Technologies - which has since merged with OceanSpar to create InnovaSea Systems, a part of the Cuna del Mar group - these Aquapod cages were inputted into Earth Ocean Farms' operations back in 2011. A dive team and biologists monitor the cages, which are suited for open ocean conditions and a diversity of species. They are constructed with a series of triangle net panels fashioned into a sphere.


SeaStation fish pens are also a development of InnovaSea Systems - their design allows for farm operators to "reduce the total cost of grow-out on medium-to-high energy aquaculture sites," according to the company. This technology has been put to use by InnovaSea customer Open Blue, and has received praise from retailer Wegmans, which sources fish from the company.

KZO Sea Farms Mariculture Parks

These KZO Sea Farms-designed "mariculture parks" are comprehensive operations meant to produce and process a number of products such as finfish, shellfish and seaweeds. The offshore open ocean cages can be submerged to avoid cyclones, oil spills and the growth threshold of toxic harmful algae blooms.
- Taken from, April 2016

SALMON UPDATE: Lack of Regulations "Suffocating" Chilean Salmo Sector

The industry needs to improve regulatory scheme or risk consequences

Victor Hugo Puchi, founder and president of Chilean salmon producer Aquachile, said self- regulation is not working and companies will continue to struggle with disease and production loss without government rules, reports Economia y Negocios.  

"We are weak in the most crucial area:  industry's sustainability," Puchi said.  We haven't managed to find an effective solution through micro-regulation and this has loaded the industry with high costs and made it a non-competitive sector.  I agree with Marine Harvest and Cermaq's claims that self-regulation isn't working."

Following recent setbacks in the industry including the algal bloom hitting the country from February through April, and social protests impeding salmon exporters to reach customers in May, Puchi regretted the way Chile's authorities are handling regulations.

"There is evidence proving that once production levels exceed 600,000 metric tons a year in regions X and XI, there is a higher presence of disease that explains a higher use of antibiotics," Puchi said.  "This reinforces the need to define the biological capacity of the salmon farming areas.  The implementation of self-regulation in individual centers is slowly leading the industry to suffocation."

Puchi said allowing very small stocking licenses to the different sites would only make them economically unviable. "What we need is the creation of bigger units combining production centers while establishing some distance from other sites," he said.
- Taken from June, 2016

SALMON REPORT: June Report - Data from April 2016  

JAPANESE CULTURE: Kyoto Food Guide  

As Japan's former capital and seat of the imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto offers a rich culinary tradition. The local food culture is diverse and ranges from aristocratic kaiseki ryori course dinners to the vegetarian shojin ryori of monks and the simple obanzai ryori home style cooking.  Let's examine these different styles of cooking found in Kyoto.

                    Local ladies wash freshly harvested Kyoto vegetables

                    Local ladies wash freshly harvested Kyoto vegetables

Kaiseki Ryori 

Kaiseki ryori has its origin in the traditional tea ceremony, but later evolved into an elaborate dining style popular among aristocratic circles. Kyoto style kaiseki ryori (kyo kaiseki) is particularly refined, placing an emphasis on subtle flavors and local and seasonal ingredients. A kaiseki meal has a prescribed order of courses which is determined by the cooking method of each dish.

A common way for travelers to enjoy kaiseki is by staying at a ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel) where a kaiseki dinner is included with the stay. But kaiseki meals can also be enjoyed at restaurants, including high end ryotei. (traditional Japanese restaurant)

                                One dish at a kyo kaiseki dinner. 

                                One dish at a kyo kaiseki dinner. 

Shojin Ryori 

Whereas kaiseki developed out of the affluence of the aristocrats, shojin ryori developed from the austerity of Buddhist monks. Prohibited from taking the life of other living creatures, Buddhist monks had to make do without meat or fish in their diet. Consisting of strictly vegetarian dishes, shojin ryori can nonetheless be savory and filling. Travelers who spend the night at a temple lodging will be able to enjoy a meal as part of the stay.

A common ingredient in shojin ryori is tofu, which is a local specialty of Kyoto. The preparation of tofu is so common that it can also be referred to as Tofu Ryori ("tofu cuisine"). One popular dish that is widely served at restaurants is Yudofu, soft tofu simmered with vegetables in broth. 

                                      A simmering pot of Yudofu

                                      A simmering pot of Yudofu

Obanzai Ryori 

Obanzai Ryori is the traditional home style cooking of Kyoto. It is made up of multiple small dishes that are usually quite simple to prepare. Local produce that is in season is best suited for the dishes. Although the cooking methods are usually not complicated, obanzai dishes can be made very rich by chefs skillfully bringing out the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Restaurants that serve obanzai ryori can be found all over Kyoto. Many of them have a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that reflects the home style of cooking.  

                                   A meal of Obanzai Ryori

                                   A meal of Obanzai Ryori


Kawayuka, or Kawadoko as it is known outside of central Kyoto, is the summer past time of dining outdoors on temporary platforms built over flowing water.  Developed as a way to beat the summer heat, kawayuka is a great way to experience one of the traditional Kyoto cuisines listed above while taking in the cooling effects of the flowing water and lively summer atmosphere.  

The most famous area to experience kawayuka is along the Kamogawa River in central Kyoto, especially around Pontocho.  From May to September, restaurants here construct temporary wooden decks over the canal on the river's west bank. Many places serve kaiseki meals, however other types of cuisine are also available. 

Kibune and Takao in the forested mountains just north of central Kyoto, are also popular places to try kawayuka, although here it is called kawadoko. In Kibune especially, the platforms are built just centimeters above the river and provide almost complete relief from the summer heat. 

                                           Kawadoko in Kibune

                                           Kawadoko in Kibune

If you are traveling to Japan this summer for business or pleasure, perhaps Kyoto will be part of your itinerary.   It certainly merits a stop just to sample some tasty local foods!
- Taken from

SHRIMP UPDATE:  Major Vietnamese Fish Farming Provinces Declare States of Emergency from Excessive Drought

Drought and consequential saltwater intrusion in the first three months of 2016 have had a devastating impact, destroying thousands of hectare of prime fish farming area.  "More than 11,000 hectares have been lost in Ca Mau and Kien Giang provinces alone." said a representative of the Department and conditions show no sign of improving anytime soon.

Fish farming area shrinking

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in turn reports that Ca Mau has been the most badly affected with over 70% of its farming area damaged, followed by Tra Vinh and Ben Tre provinces with over 30% of their areas destroyed.  "The drought has affected the Mekong Delta region severely," said Nguyen Do Anh Tuan from MARD.

Eight out of the 13 provinces in the region have declared a state of disaster due to the prolonged dry spell including Kien Giang, Long An, Ca Mau, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Ben Tre, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh.

Almost the entire planning area for brackish water shrimp has been hampered by the salinity brought about by the drought, especially farming areas downstream of the Hau River, in Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Tra Vinh and Kien Giang provinces.  The region's aquaculture development plan appears to be in imminent danger of coming apart at the seams, said Mr Tuan.

Positive signs

Despite the shortage of usable water, total production of fish (including shrimp and other crustaceans) during March exceeded 441,000 metric tons, a 2.3% increase against last year's same period.

Additionally, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), reports fish exports in the first quarter jumped nearly 9% over last year's corresponding three-month period to US$1.4 billion, which they consider positive news in light of the toll exacted by the drought.

According to VASEP, shrimp was the main export driver for aquaculture during the first quarter of the year, which benefited from an uptick in sales prices ranging four to five percent over last year.  "The drought, oddly enough, caused a reduction in supplies that in turn actually caused the sales price to bump up in the first quarter," said Mr Tuan.

Tough times ahead

Despite the superficial positives, aquaculture is bracing for the brunt of the impending looming crisis yet to come. The saltwater intrusion will undoubtedly continue to chip away at the fish farming habitat and further exacerbate the situation, further diminishing the total productive hectare.

Fishing also faces a shortage of raw materials said Ngon Thanh Linh, general director of the Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.  The processing capacity for Ca Mau Province is large but raw shrimp supplies are scant and hard to come by, meeting only half of the demand.  If the weather continues as is, in a month or so many seafood processors will be completely out of raw material and forced to curtail operations severely, if not shut down completely.

The CEO of a fishing company who is also a member of the Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said his company's shrimp processing plants are barely scraping by, constantly running out of raw materials.  Although the company farms more than 350 hectares, it is currently operating at about 30% capacity and is turning away work that it can't handle. Many producers are paying excessive prices for what raw shrimp is available.  "However, sufficient quantities simply aren't available at any price," said the CEO.
- Taken from June, 2016

SHRIMP INDEX: July 14, 2016

The White Shrimp Index is $4.6287

The headless, shell-on (HLSO) shrimp index is a measure of general conditions in the shrimp market. It is not a reflection of any single item. Urner Barry historically tracks all of our market quotations which should be consulted for individual items.

The Urner Barry shrimp indexes are a representation of general conditions in the shrimp market. It is not a reflection of any single item. The shrimp indexes are calculated using an average of Urner Barry market quotations that are weighted based on import volumes. Urner Barry historically tracks all of our market quotations which should be consulted for individual items.

The bottom chart represents the weight, in million pounds, 
of monthly shell-on shrimp imports.

                                     Published by Urner Barry. © Urner Barry 2016 All Rights Reserved.

                                     Published by Urner Barry. © Urner Barry 2016 All Rights Reserved.