Fall 2017

Summer has come and gone so we welcome the beauty of fall and the array of events that come with it...including the fall issue of our Quarterly Newsletter.  In this publication, you will find an assortment of articles on seafood products, industry news and a peek at another slice of Japanese culture.  Here are a few articles that may be of interest you: 

  • Our Product Spotlight shines on a brand new item in our family of products -
  • Crane Bay®  Sakura Kani Kama
  • The Industry News takes a look at the recent Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) Conference that took place in Dublin, Ireland earlier this month
  • The Shrimp Update explains why the Global Shrimp Industry depends on a small University of Arizona Laboratory
  • This fall, consider visiting the Alpine area of Takayama, Japan to see beautiful vistas, enjoy delicious food and luxuriate in the famous natural hot springs 
  • Investors and salmon farmers that see Iceland as the next frontier received some welcome news, read about it here 
  • Our Corporate Chef, Kevin Lee, blogs about the evolution of Hawaiian Poké, the hottest food trend around

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





(Imitation Crab Leg)

We are pleased to introduce the newest addition to our family of Sashimi Grade Seafood and Japanese Appetizers, Crane Bay® Kani Kama

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Crane Bay® Sakura Kani Kama is currently available in our Los Angeles and Newark warehouses and will soon arrive in Miami.


SALMON UPDATE: Chile's Salmon Output May Increase More than Expected, Help Shares


SANTIAGO - Chile's farmed salmon production could increase more than expected this year, helping share prices of Chilean producers at a time when salmon from leading global producer Norway is limited, according to a trade association and analysts.  As stricter regulations are implemented to tackle environmental problems that have decimated fish populations, local companies had forecast stable output in 2017 after a 20 percent decline a year earlier due to a deadly algae bloom.

Production now looks likely to surpass expectations, said Felipe Sandoval, president of the SalmonChile association, which represents producers.  "The companies are in better sanitary conditions. There has been less mortality," Sandoval told Reuters last week. He said production could reach 720,000 tonnes in 2017.

Chile's department of fish and agriculture, part of the Finance Ministry, said last year's salmon harvest was 675,000 tonnes in the world's No. 2 salmon producer, a level last seen in 2011. The low global supplies sent inter- national prices soaring.

Norway has also struggled to raise output levels in recent years due to outbreaks of sea lice and disease.

After gains of as much as 200 percent in 2016, shares of Chilean salmon producers like Multiexport Foods, Camanchaca, Invermar and Australis Seafoods rose between 20 and 50 percent in the first half of the year, well above growth rates of Santiago's benchmark index.

Analysts and traders said the shares have continued last year's gains due to a combination of solid growth and demand.

"We have been aiming to improve our efficiency levels, focused on reducing costs, which, in spite of the production cycles, has already been reflected in our results," said AquaChile, Chile's largest salmon producer, in an e-mailed response to questions.

Salmon producers have benefited from lower food costs as fishmeal production rises, while the use of antibiotics has decreased, according to government data.

AquaChile lowered costs by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2017, in line with other competitors. The company's shares rose 60 percent in 2016 and 13 percent in the first half of the year to 323 pesos and could rise another 25 percent, Guillermo Araya, analyst at local brokerage Renta 4 Chile said.

"According to technical indicators, this stock I see easily at 400 pesos," he said. "(AquaChile) isn't the only one that looks good, the whole industry does," he said.

- Taken from Seafoodnews.com, July, 2017


SALMON UPDATE:  Icelandic salmon farming is here to stay

A landmark new report paves the way for the industry's expansion.   

The report concluded that the industry can sustainably grow to 71_000 metric tons in its current structure_ and potentially more with some changes to operations

The report concluded that the industry can sustainably grow to 71_000 metric tons in its current structure_ and potentially more with some changes to operations


Investors and salmon farmers that see Iceland as the next frontier received some welcome news.

A new multi-stakeholder report submitted to the Icelandic Parliament last month made recommendations for sustainable development of the sector and concluded that the industry can sustainably grow to 71,000 metric tons in its current structure and potentially more with some changes to operations.

The report, commissioned by Iceland's Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Environment, was crafted over the past year by a committee of salmon farmers, recreational salmon industry executives, scientists and government officials, giving the conclusions objectivity that will likely carry weight with the government and the parliament when they debate them.  "This is a milestone," Iceland Aquaculture Association Managing Director Kristijan Davidsson said.  "It confirms Icelandic salmon farming is here to stay."

Davidsson is confident that the Icelandic government will approve and adopt recommendations by the end of the year, and incorporate them into the existing laws.  The Icelandic salmon farming industry is today in its early stages with only around 6,000 metric tons exported last year.

The new report, which incorporates recommendations from Iceland's Marine Research Institute(MRI) found that current areas on the West and East coasts of Iceland used for salmon farming could sustainably handle a biomass of 132,000 metric tons without significantly impacting the environment.  However, the capacity recommendation is for 71,000 metric tons, cased on the current structure, which includes a risk assessment of potential genetic impact on wild salmon populations.  

Davidsson noted that with counter-measures that would further reduce risk and environmental impact, such as sterile salmon, it's reasonable Iceland could dole out concessions to allow 100,000 metric tons per year.  The current legal framework for salmon farming was only created in 2004 and revised in 2014 based largely on Norway's rules at the time.  Davidsson expects the new recommendations will be incorporated into the law in the coming months.

Several overseas investors have expressed interest in developing the country - including most notably Norway Roya Salmon, who acquired 50 per cent of Icelandic salmon farmer Arctic Fish in 2016 but Davidsson said Iceland's policies on growth and development have lacked enough clarity for some.  "If you're going to invest several million euros in a smolt facility, you want to make sure you can use it," Davidsson said.  

Given the early stages of Iceland's salmon farming industry, he expects further adaptions in regulations as the industry develops.  Reaching the 72,000 metric ton mark won't happen overnight - though Davidsson said it could get to that level in as soon as five years, assuming the level of investment and development continues at the current pace.

- Taken from Intrafish.com  September, 2017


SALMON INDEX: October Report -
                         Data from August 2017    


INDUSTRY UPDATE:  Global Aquaculture Alliance's Annual GOAL (Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership) Conference 


At the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), the mission is to promote responsible aquaculture practices through education, advocacy and demonstration.  For over 20 years, they have demonstrated their commitment to feeding the world through responsible and sustainable aquaculture.  This is done by providing resources to individuals and businesses worldwide who are associated with aquaculture and seafood.  GAA improves production practices through partnerships with countries, communities and companies as well as online learning and groundbreaking journalism that boasts active leadership in every country of the world.


Each year the GAA hosts its annual Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) Conference.  It is a unique opportunity to learn, network and connect producers and suppliers to the marketplace, all in a business-friendly yet casual environment.  Earlier this month, the attendees met in Dublin, Ireland to open the meetings.  One of the topics of discussion was the growth of global shrimp production.  Read the article below to learn what they had to say.


GOAL:  Industry is bullish over global shrimp production in 2018, 2019 


DUBLIN, Ireland - Shrimp industry players are bullish over production growth, forecasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.8% between 2016-2019, according to an industry survey of Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) members.

Presenting the survey results at the GOAL conference in Dublin, Jim Anderson, professor at the University of Florida, showed industry expects shrimp production to grow strongly over the next few years, particularly in 2018 and 2019.  The survey also showed that production grew faster in 2017 than in 2016.  In 2016, production growth was relatively flat.

India and Ecuador are expected to be key drivers of global increases in shrimp output, he said.  Production in Southeast Asia is expected to grow too.  "We see the Americas - led by Ecuador - and India as the main increasing areas of production around the world," said Anderson.  "India has seen tremendous increase over the past couple of years, over 10%.  And in the America's there's been very healthy increase."

Referring to Southeast Asia, he said "Between 2015-2019 we're looking at roughly a 7.7% increase."  China, though, may offset this; "it is, at best, relatively flat.  And some people suggest it's seen a bit more of a decline than that."

In Latin America, while Ecuador charged ahead, other countries are not performing to expectations. "Ecuador for the past 8-9 years is doing very well.  In contrast, Mexico and Brazil are really not living up to the vision of what they expect," he said. 


Vannamei accounts for about 76% of global aquaculture production, roughly 5 million metric tons, he said.  "Just looking at Asia alone vannamei now accounts for about 71% of Asia's production."  When viewing aquaculture production and wild production together for the past decade, farmed output has equaled a bit over half of global shrimp production - "our estimates are around 53%."

Getting Accurate Data

Anderson acknowledged the challenges involved in getting accurate data on shrimp production- he said it is still no easier than 15 years ago when he started collating data.  According to statistics by the Food and Aquaculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, global vannamei production has grown every year since 2002, even during the peak of disease outbreaks such as early mortality syndrome, he noted.  In contrast, GAA's survey data showed production dropping significantly in 2013 and 2015.  "It appears the FAO data is not reflecting the impact of diseases around the world.  So you have the situation where there's clearly uncertainty in the data," he said.

But estimates can vary significantly within the industry, too.  For China, GAA's figures for vannamei production range from just 600,000t to 1.7m metric tons. The range in production estimates for China has grown especially since 2010.

- Taken from Undercurrentnews.com  October, 2017



                                       NORTHERN ALPS  

It makes sense that Takayama is sister city to Cusco, the culturally rich and picturesque Peruvian city with an Incan heritage that is set in the Andes. It is also sister cities with Lijiang, a city in Southwestern China known for its traditional architecture and spectacular views of nearby mountains. Takayama has all these qualities: a lovely setting in the foothills of the northern Japanese Alps, an intensely atmospheric historic district that makes you feel as if you are transported back into the old Japan and a rich cultural heritage.

That heritage is highlighted each spring and fall in festivals the city hosts. The festivals honor the Shinto god who resides at the base of the mountain that rises behind the city. The god is carried from its shrine around the city, approving and blessing the activities of the people. The mood of the festivals is joyous - a happy communion between the people of Takayama and the place they live.


Takayama Festival

The festival highlights elaborate "floats" that are not floats at all but towering carriages that showcase Takayama's ancient traditions of superb craftsmanship in metal and wood. Men in traditional costume haul the twelve floats, each representing one of Takayama's traditional neighborhoods, through the narrow streets of the old city.


Takayama Festival

Takayama's wonderful cuisine is on display in stands and small shops: grilled rice dumpling glazed in soy; miso cooked on magnolia leaf; and, of course, sumptuous Hida beef, which is grilled on skewers or served in luscious lightly cooked slabs as sushi. The city has seven sake breweries that host tastings and sell their wares. It's delightful to stroll through the remarkable architecture of the old town, absorbing the celebratory atmosphere of the festival, eating small snacks when the urge arises, and sampling sake. The old city has lovely coffee shops where you can to sit and watch people and recharge for more festival action.


                   LEFT: Miso cooked on magnolia leaf.                                                             RIGHT: Grilled Hida beef on skewers.

Beyond the city, the jagged ridgelines of the Northern Japanese Alps rise into the sky, topping ten thousand feet. The Northern Alps are rich in onsen (hot springs), and there are numerous reasonably priced ryokan in the Okuhida-Onsengo onsen area that have their own private bathing pools and offer breakfast and dinner as part of their rate.


                        LEFT: Open-air hot spring baths (onsen) in the Alps                                       RIGHT: Shinhotaka Rope Way


The seven-minute Shinhotaka Rope Way sky tram takes you up to a panoramic viewing platform. Far below, a sparkling river tumbled through the valley's cleft. The steep-sided mountains were resplendent with fall foliage. The mountains stretched on and on-a huge area, stretching into the distance. You will see why this region is known as the "enfolded land," and why for so long it has retained a remote secluded character, its feeling of authenticity and integrity-a place that time forgot.

- Taken from Only in Japan


SHRIMP REPORT:  Global Shrimp Industry Depends on Small University of Arizona Lab  


The Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory tests shrimp samples, identifies diseases and certifies disease-free stock to help the nearly $40 billion farmed shrimp industry provide a safe food supply.

A world-renowned laboratory in Tucson has a quiet presence at the University of Arizona, but within the global farmed shrimp and aquaculture industry it exerts a tremendous influence.

The Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory, housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, works with commercial shrimp farming enterprises, research institutions and nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, from across the world to diagnose infectious diseases of penaeid shrimp and other crustaceans in samples delivered to the UA, certify pathogen-free stock, test feed ingredients, conduct research and train shrimp disease specialists.

Clients pay for these services, which in turn help them maintain the biosecurity of their products and ultimately the health and profitability of their industry. For example, baby and adult brood shrimp can't be sold to large shrimp operations around the world - in the U.S., Mexico, South America, the Middle East and Asia - unless they are certified. The laboratory conducts certification testing and validation.

The laboratory can do this because it is a reference laboratory, the only one in North America, certified for crustacean diseases by the Office International des Epizooties in Paris. It is also an approved laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

"This lab has done a wonderful job of addressing the needs of the shrimp industry in terms of disease diagnosis and disease prevention worldwide," said Arun K. Dhar, associate professor of shrimp and other crustacean aquaculture and director of the lab since January. He succeeded longtime professor and founding director Donald V. Lightner, who developed and guided the lab for more than 30 years as it became a facility recognized around the world.

"We identify the pathogen, we get the specifics," Dhar said. "When a disease emerges, we jump on it to determine the etiology (cause), the methods to detect it and the tools to prevent the spread of the disease. Then we tell that story to various audiences."


- Taken from SEAFOODNEWS.COM  September, 2017



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Published by Urner Barry. © Urner Barry 2017 All Rights Reserved.