So far so good. Vietnamese seafood exports in the first half of the year shot up 4% from the same period in 2015, thanks to the recovery in the demand for shrimp and pangasius.




Vietnamese seafood exports up 4% in H1


Vietnamese seafood exports totalled US$3.15 billion during the first half of the year, up 4% over the same period last year, thanks to the recovery in the demand for shrimp and pangasius, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said.


Of the total seafood exports during the six-month period, shrimp exports reached $1.35 billion, up 4.8% compared with the same period in 2015. Out of total export value of shrimp, whiteleg shrimp made up 59% ($794 million, up 5.2%), black tiger shrimp accounted for 33% ($445 million, up 5.3%), and marine shrimp 8% ($113 million, down 0.5% from the same period in 2015).


In the first six months, Vietnamese pangasius exports to 127 markets raked in a revenue of $790 million, up 5.4% from the same period last year. Exports to the US, China and Brazil accounted for nearly 50% of the pangasius exports, a remarkable increase of 17.7%, 66.7% and 41%, respectively over the same period last year.


In particular, Vietnamese pangasius exports to the US hit $187 million, taking up 24% of the total pangasius exports. A significant rise in exports to this market contributed to the rise in Vietnam's total pangasius exports, despite a year-on-year slump from 2% to 23% in exports to the EU, Asean and other markets.




Chile seafood exports down 9% in Jan.-May


Chilean exports in the first five months declined by 9% to 174,030 tonnes, the Undersecretariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture said.


In its latest Situation Report, the undersecretariat said that despite the decrease in volume, value rose 14.3% to US$606.8 million because of higher prices of some major species like Illex squid.


Export data showed that sales of hubbsi hake rose 15.8% to 40,831 tonnes, and 5.3% in value to $94.5 million, despite the average price falling 9%.


Overseas sales of hoki in the period January-May decreased 7.5% and value fell likewise by 6.1% to $10.6 million.


Patagonian toothfish exports also decreased, by 11%, in volume, but rose 1.2% in value to $30 million, as the average price rose 11% year-on-year.


Shrimp exports registered the highest growth, with volume of exports increasing 61.8% to 47,931 tonnes and their value by 50.2% to $284.3 million.


Illex squid exports declined 50.6% in volume in the first five months to 33.042 tonnes valued at $60.2 million.


Scallop exports reached 3,009 tonnes (32.9% increase) worth $33 million (27.1% increase), while exports of white croaker hit 5,294 tonnes (0.9% increase) valued at $8.4 million (14.3% increase).


Spain was the No. 1 importer of Chilean seafood products in January-May with 33,830 tonnes valued at $135.8 million. China was No.2 with 28,878 tonnes worth $96.6 million.


The US was the third-top importer with 10,328 tonnes valued at $70.9 during the five-month period, while Italy placed fourth with 9,596 tonnes worth USD 40.1 million 12,462 tonnes worth $34.8 million.


Italy was in fourth place with 9,596 tonnes worth $40.1 million and Brazil was fifth with 12,462 tonnes worth $34.8 million.


During the period, Chile's seafood imports increased 23% year-on-year to 21,481 tonnes. Their value also increased, by 13.1%, to $77.8 million.




Indian seafood exports to rise 20% - forecast


Indian seafood exports are expected to rise 20% in fiscal year 2016-17, a turnaround from an earlier gloomier forecast.


The more bullish prediction stems from a renewed global demand and an addition of more areas for aquaculture, reported the local paper Business Standard.


"Renewed global demand for disease-free, healthy shrimps from India, over southeast Asia, has made Indian shrimp exporters revise their projection for a year-on-year export revenue growth of 15-20 percent in FY '17", Rahul Kulkarni, director of seafood exporter WestCoast Group, was quoted as saying.


"Even a few months ago, the industry was not so bullish about the new year and was expecting the downturn of last year to continue, primarily owing to lower production", he added.


Kulkarni said exports dropped 10% in the last financial year, pulled down by both production-related issues and lower prices.


A slowdown in global economies and more supplies from competitors like Thailand and Vietnam dragged down Indian seafood exports. In terms of value, Indian seafood exports was about 15% lower in 2015-16 than the US$5,511.12-million exports recorded in 2014-15.


Earlier it was reported that India's seafood sector was suffering from increased refusals of its shrimp exports by the US due to antibiotic residues, as well as from anti-dumping levies. In the first five months of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration refused 39 shrimp entry lines from India, which is more than the 34 entry-line refusals for the whole of 2015.


Last year the shrimp sector was affected by inadequate rainfall, which caused the spread of the non-viral disease microsporidian EHP. The disease stunts the growth of vannamei shrimps. 




GAA, Gfresh stand up for China aquaculture


The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) and Gfresh, an online marketplace for seafood, has agreed to work collectively to promote responsible aquaculture in China.


As part of their memorandum of understanding (MOU), Gfresh will promote on its e-commerce platform products from Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified facilities, encouraging Chinese and international retail and foodservice buyers to source seafood from responsible operations. A section of its e-commerce platform will be dedicated to the BAP third-party certification programme and responsible aquaculture.


In turn, GAA will encourage its network of BAP-certified facilities to capitalise on Gfresh's service, networks and insights.


The agreement involves a number of other cross-promotional efforts, both online and at events such as GAA's annual GOAL conference and the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo.


"We feel this partnership with Gfresh is well-suited for the Chinese market, where food safety is a major concern to customers. The food safety component of the BAP standards really offers Chinese retailers a unique marketing tool they can use to satisfy their customers concerns," said Steve Hart, GAA's vice president of education and outreach.


"This partnership with GAA is an important first step that will give Chinese buyers the ability to identify and source seafood that are certified safe and sustainable," said Anthony Wan, vice president and co-founder of Gfresh.


The MOU will be officially signed at the Global Aquaculture Alliance's GOAL 2016 conference in Guangzhou, China, on Sept. 21.


In its first year, Gfresh's online platform generated more than US$100 million in seafood trade. The company opened four offices and expanded to 10 buyer cities in China (Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangsu) and abroad (Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea).


The GAA is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through the development of its BAP certification standards, GAA has become the leading standards-setting organisation for aquaculture seafood.




Innovation award for Scantrol Deep Vision


This year's Nor-Fishing Innovation Award has been awarded to the Scantrol Deep Vision underwater camera system for fish measurement and sorting in the trawl.


Norwegian Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg, presented the award at the official opening of Nor-Fishing on August 16.


Deep Vision is a camera and light system mounted in the trawl that takes images of all fish passing through. The system is currently being used for research purposes where the fish can be measured for size and species without bringing them onboard the vessel and subsequently discarding them.


The system is being developed for use in commercial trawl fisheries where the skipper will be able to program the system for size and species of desired catch. Deep Vision will automatically sort the catch in the trawl so that desired catch goes into the trawl and the rest swims through.


"We are humbled to be awarded the prize and see it as an acknowledgment of the long-term development of a system that will revolutionise the way we harvest the ocean's resources", said Scantrol Deep Vision's sales and marketing coordinator, Hege Hammersland-White.


The system has been developed in close cooperation with the Institute for Marine Research and the award money will be used to connect with and discuss the system with the end users in the commercial trawl fisheries.


Nor-Fishing has been an important national and international meeting place for the fisheries industry. Today it is one of the largest fisheries technology exhibitions in the world, drawing around 15,000 visitors from about 50 countries.




New Zealand celebrates 30 years of sustainable seafood 


New Zealand will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its quota management system (QMS) at this year's New Zealand Seafood Industry Conference in Te Papa, Wellington, on August 31.


Over the last three decades, the QMS has been instrumental in helping achieve and sustain healthy fish stocks.


Of the 157 stocks of known status in New Zealand, 83% are above the sustainable limits set by the government, representing 97% of the country's annual catch.


Seafood seafood export returns totalled NZ$1.75 billion (US$1.27 billion) in the year ended April, which is a record high.


Meanwhile, this year's conference has an impressive line-up of speakers that include John Connelly, the president of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI); and Prof. Ray Hilborn of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington.


Connelly, who is an advocate for seafood on the world stage, will speak about New Zealand seafood in the international context in his keynote presentation. Hilborn, who specialises in resource management and conservation, will talk about the state of the world's fisheries in the conference's Science and the QMS session.




Indonesia unaffected by US seafood monitoring 


The impending implementation of the US' seafood monitoring programme will not affect Indonesian fishery products exports, the head of the Asian country's marine and fishery product competitiveness agency said.


Nilanto Perbowo pointed out that since 2014, Indonesia has been determined to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, by issuing moratorium on fishing permit, establishing the Illegal Fishing Eradication Task Force (Satgas 115) and sinking illegal fishing boats, among others.


"With such corresponding policies, I think we don't have to worry. I hope Indonesia-US trade relations can be compatible," Nilanto said recently, according to local news site


The US will implement the Seafood Import Monitoring Programme (SIMP) no later than September this year. The program stipulates three main issues including the implementation of a classification of 17 species at-risk from IUU fishing; traceability and fishery certification for at-risk species of both wild-caught and farming products; and requiring exporters to provide supply chain information, from the boat to fishing or cultivation location, fishing equipment, shipping process, processing, and export process.


The US accounts for 40% of Indonesian fishery product exports. It contributed US$645 million to Indonesia's total fishery product exports of US$1.6 billion during the period January-May.




Ireland fights high salmon prices


Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), or the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, recently hosted an industry forum for 12 Irish seafood processors affected by the recent high price increases, which has led to volatility and difficult trading conditions on the salmon market.


The average fresh import price of salmon has increased by 23% from 2015-16, with the average retail price increasing by 3% over the same period.


BIM Director of Business Development & Innovation Donal Buckley outlined the agency's plans to assist the industry. "This is the most sustained price increase our processing sector has faced to date. As demand for salmon continues to grow but global production reaches saturation, our processors are losing margin on what is our most popular and valuable product worth €92 million in domestic sales alone", Buckley said.


He added that as a result of discussions at the forum, they would establish a Domestic Seafood Council with seafood processors in order to find solutions and pool resources to mitigate the risk of trading in this sector. "BIM will provide funding and supports to the Council in the areas of common research and business development", he said.


BIM said it will work closely with the processing sector in the weeks ahead to establish and drive the Domestic Seafood Council and provide financial and advisory support.




Ghana seeks to rebuild fish stocks


Ghana is seeking to rebuild its fish stocks in a move to improve food security and increase its foreign exchange earnings to within national and international standards.


Under a fisheries management plan, habitat protection areas for spawning grounds will be created in estuaries or mangroves, NewsGhana reported. The number and capacity of vessels would also be controlled as part of effort to rebuild fisheries stock. 


The action plan also targets a 50% reduction in fishing days over the next five years and strict implementation of the sanctions framework under the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2014 to promote procreation of fishes.


The action plan, moreover, will undertake survey and registration of active canoes, increase the traditional one-day-per-week fishing holiday to two days per week, and implement a moratorium on new entrants to fisheries.

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