Norway reports that its seafood export value in 2015 reached record high 74.5 billion Norwegian kroner (US$8.3 billion), or an 8% increase from the previous year.
Norway 2015 seafood exports hit record high
Norway's seafood export value in 2015 reached a record high of 74.5 billion Norwegian kroner (US$8.3 billion), or an 8% increase from the previous year, according to the Norwegian Seafood Council.
The EU accounted for 67% of the total seafood export, worth 50 billion kroner ($5.6 billion), or a 17% increase, said the Norwegian Seafood Council said in a statement. Poland was the largest individual market, as shipments to that country amounted to 6.9 billion kroner ($770 million, while Denmark was the next-largest market as it imported Norwegian seafood worth 6.4 billion kroner ($715 million) in 2015, or 27% more than in 2014.
"In a year with trade restrictions in several markets and an import embargo in Russia, the result was better than expected. A weak Norwegian krone, combined with good demand for fresh products, in particular, contributed to a new export record for Norwegian seafood," said Terje E. Martinussen, managing director of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

US rejection of shrimp imports rises 87%
A total of 389 entry lines of shrimp products were refused by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2015 due to reasons related to banned antibiotics. This was 87% higher than the 208 rejections in 2014.
Refusals of shrimp entry lines from India in 2015 were quite high at 34, representing half the 68 refused entry lines of shrimp over the previous 13 years combined.
Refusals from Vietnam in 2015 reached 40, which was close to the record high 48 posted in 2014, despie a sharp decline in shrimp exports to the US last year.
In December there were three shrimp entry line refusals, which involved two companies: Vietnam's Tan Phong Phu Seafood Co. and India's Jagadeesh Marine Exports, according to the Southern Shrimp Alliance.

Shrimp farming expert Daniel Fegan leaves Cargill

Shrimp-farming consultant Daniel Fegan has left Cargill (China) effective last Dec. 31 to "pursue personal business". Fegan, founder of The Shrimp List, worked out of Thailand as regional technical manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition, a division of the US agribusiness giant. 
Fegan has over 30 years of experience in various capacities including manager and consultant in the shrimp farming industry.
Following his retirement from Cargill, Fegan said he intended to take "an extended break over January and early February to visit friends and family in Europe", adding he would return to Thailand in February.
"I plan to set up my own business so that I can concentrate on areas where I have a strong passion.  This will include training, consulting and other business opportunities.  If you would like to keep in touch with me, I can be contacted at and by phone at +66-84-874 8066", he said.

Thai shrimp exports fall 13.3% in Jan.-Oct.
Thai exports of fish and fish products, and shrimp during the period January to October 2015 fell 10.3% and 13.3% respectively, data from the Office of Agricultural Economics showed.
Prospects this year look dismal as demand from China and other foreign markets remain weak, and the European Union threatens Thailand with a red card, or ban of fish imports over issues of slave labour and human trafficking in the country's seafood industry.
Siam Commercial Bank's Economic Intelligence Center said that trade sanctions could cost the seafood industry over US$200 million.
The Thai government has made efforts to upgrade and overhaul the fishery system to prevent being banned by the EU.
The customs and fisheries departments have also agreed to improve the system for tracking the import and export of aquatic animals.
Meanwhile, seafood companies and exporters have been preparing for an EU ban, expanding their customer bases, among others.

Indonesia's CP Prima feed mill earns BAP certification
CP Prima's PT Centralpertiwi Bahari feed mill has become the first plant of its kind in Indonesia to be awarded a Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification.
The plant, located at Lampung province, provides four-star BAP products to shrimp and finfish companies.  
CP Prima's shrimp hatchery and one of its farms have previously attained BAP certifications.
The company is a fully integrated shrimp producer as well as Indonesia's market leader in shrimp fry, shrimp and finfish feed productions.
CP Prima's products include frozen shrimp, shrimp feed, shrimp fry and probiotics.

Shrimp industry recovering from EMS, expert says
Global shrimp production is expected to return to 2011 levels this year, as it recovers from early mortality syndrome, or EMS, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences professor said.
James Anderson, who also once led the World Bank's Global Program on Fisheries and Aquaculture, projects an average annual growth rate of over 7% from 2013 through 2017. In comparison, the annual growth rate for shrimp from 2006 to 2011 was around 6%, he said.
Global farmed shrimp production decreased 14% from 2011 to 2013, according to an annual survey of shrimp industry leaders.
Anderson, however, acknowledged that "[i]t is notoriously difficult to get timely and accurate numbers on global shrimp production, since the industry is mostly located in the developing countries, many of which do not have resources to collect the data in detail".
Anderson said the rapid price increases between 2011 and 2013—in some markets as high as over 20%—were consistent with the industry responses that shrimp production declined.
The EMS disease broke out in Asia in 2009, and caused high mortalities in shrimp farms in Thailand, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Vietnam delays ice-to-fish ratio rule
The Vietnamese government postponed the implementation of a regulation limiting ice and moisture ratios in exported pangasius or tra fish fillets to Jan. 1, 2009.
The new rule, which would better meet importing countries' requirements of ice ratio not exceeding 10% and a maximum moisture ratio of 83% of net weight of pangasius fillets would have taken effect at the start of 2016.
The government is also extending the deadline (reportedly until Dec. 31, 2017) for pangasius farms to get VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice) certification or the international equivalents.
Enterprises will not also b required to register their pangasius export contracts with the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VN Pangasius) as a customs clearance condition for their shipments.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recommended that enterprises be allowed to register their pangasius export contracts every month in an agency under the ministry, instead of VN Pangasius.

Ecuador's Omarsa to expand with US$10M loan from IFC
Operadora y Procesadora de Productos Marinos Omarsa S.A., one of Ecuador's biggest shrimp exporters, has been granted a US$10-million loan by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
Omarsa General Manager Sandro Coglitore said the loan would fund the company's expansion project.
Omarsa is the first establishment in the world to receive the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification. It also implements the good practices of the Aquaculture Certification Council (ACC) in its laboratories, on its farms, and in its processing plant.
Coglitore said his company has a philosophy of sustainable production, the reason why IFC "has confidence on Omarsa".
Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC head of the Andean Region said its loan grant to Omarsa "demonstrates the commitment of IFC to the sustainable development of Ecuador and seeks to encourage the use of the global best practices in the environmental and social areas".
Shrimp is Ecuador's second-biggest export after oil and derivatives, and bananas.

US to grant permits for fish farms along Mexico Gulf
In a move to make more seafood American-grown, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Jan. 11 it would start granting permits for fish farms in federal waters in a 4.4-million-square-miles stretch in the Gulf of Mexico.
An Associated Press news report said up to 20 fish farms could get 10-year permits and produce 64 million pounds of fish annually. This would bolster the US aquaculture industry, which produced 662 million pounds of seafood in 2013, valued at $1.4 billion.
Michael Rubino, director of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture, said during his visit to salmon farmers in Maine, he was impressed with their responsible practices.
"Their locations are properly sited in terms of water quality, their feeds are efficient in that they don't sink to the bottom, they vaccinate the fish instead of using antibiotics, they've had few if any escapes in recent years, and they even fallow between crops like land-based farmers to allow the bottom to recuperate," he said.
US aquaculture regulations are stricter than many of the countries it imports aquaculture products from, including China and Thailand, which means, according to a Tech Insider article, American consumers would have "a better grasp on what is in their fish and how responsibly it had been produced".
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