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Bangladeshi shrimps are now more acceptable to the European Union as it eased rules on imports from that country, doing away with the required analytical test reports that should accompany each consignment.





EU more trusting on Bangladesh shrimp


The European Union has put more faith in Bangladeshi shrimp. It has now done away with requiring exporters to attach analytical test reports that go with shrimp consignments after it found Bangladeshi shrimp generally safe. The analytical tests, which were done to make sure the shrimps being exported to the EU were safe for human consumption, were required for the past seven years.


An EU team that visited Bangladesh in April to evaluate the country's control mechanisms against residues and contaminants in shrimp said early December that it had found the system in place for aquaculture in compliance with EU legislation.


The president of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association, SM Amzad Hossain, said, "We are happy that they (EU) have put faith in us. This will improve our image".


Hossain said, adding that the price of shrimp and overall exports would now rise.


He added that although test certificates are not longer required to be attached to exports, government inspections would continue to ensure shrimps shipped to the 28-member bloc are safe to eat.


The test certificates were required after Bangladeshi shrimp exports had been detected with residues of veterinary medicinal products and unauthorised substances.


Almost 70% of Bangladeshi shrimp exports go to the EU. During the period July-November, the country's shrimp exports declined 25% year-on-year to US$206 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.






Thailand: Exporters still like our shrimp


Despite the controversy brought by issues over slave labour and human trafficking in Thailand's seafood industry, the Thai government said major importers still preferred to buy Thai shrimp.


"Australia's seafood importers told us that even though there are problems, they would continue buying seafood because Thailand is trying to really resolve the human trafficking problem", Songsak Saicheua, head of the foreign ministry's Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, was quoted as saying in a news report filed by Reuters.


"America, Europe and Australia have confidence in importing frozen seafood from us," he added.


Thailand's aquaculture industry was under the spotlight again last month news broke out early that "enslaved migrant workers and children" had been found to be "ripping the heads, tails, shells and guts off shrimp" in Thai processing factories.


Thailand denied the allegations, claiming that government men involved in human trafficking were being punished and that they faced both disciplinary and criminal action.


The AP stood by its report, which also said that despite "repeated promises by businesses and government to clean up the country's $7 billion seafood export industry, abuses persist".






US$452.9 million to boost India aquaculture


India has allocated US$452.9 million to develop and manage aquaculture and marine fisheries, over a five-year period.


The integrated fishery development and management plan aims to start a blue revolution, referring to the remarkable emergence of aquaculture as an important and highly productive agricultural activity, benefiting some 14.5 million fishermen. It also aims maintain a 6% to 8% annual growth in the fisheries sector during the five years of implementation.


The program is seen to stimulate the growth of allied industries and related economic activities, directly and indirectly benefiting the entire fisheries sector.


Total production of the fisheries and aquaculture industry in financial year 2014-15 reached 10 million tonnes worth $5.51 billion.


As of 2013, India is the second-largest aquaculture producer in the world, with the share of inland fisheries and aquaculture having gone up from 46% in the 1980s to over 85% of total fish production.






Nicaragua posts high growths in lobster production, exports


Nicaragua's lobster production and export in the first nine months grew by 61.8% and 31.4%, respectively, compared with the same period last year.


Data from the Central Bank of Nicaragua showed that the country produced nearly 9 million pounds of lobster in January-September. Revenues from exports reached US$65.2 million from $49.6 million in the same period last year.


Armando Segura, head of the Fisheries Chamber of Nicaragua, explained that the Caribbean, from which 90% of lobster come, was not as affected badly by the El Niño weather phenomenon.


The average lobster price in the international market fell slightly this year by 0.5% to $31.41 per kilogramme, but Nicaragua's larger catch volume offset this decline.




Spain's Iberconsa has new owners…


Portobello Capital, a leading Spanish independent mid-market equity manager in the Iberian Peninsula, has acquired majority ownership of seafood company Ibersonsa (Ibérica de Congelados, S.A.)


Iberconsa is a vertically integrated firm involved in the whole supply chain from capture and processing to marketing and distribution.


The third-largest operator in the seafood sector in Spain, Iberconsa's main products are shrimp, squid and hake. It has processing plants in Argentina and Namibia and operates fishing vessels out of those countries plus South Africa.


Exports constitute 45% of Iberconsa's sales, and Juan Luis Ramirez, a Portebello Capital partner, said the venture firm was "very excited" about its future with Iberconsa.


The new ownership won't affect the present management team, led by Iberconsa founder David Ramos and company CEO Alberto Freire, Portebello has assured.


…Germany's Rügen Fisch, too


Leading seafood firm Thai Union Group Public Co. Ltd said it has entered into an agreement to acquire majority stake in German canned seafood firm Rügen Fisch AG ('Rügen Fisch').


The deal is expected to be completed by the end of January 2016 subject to merger clearance in Germany.


According to a press release from Thai Union, Rügen Fisch's current shareholders will stay in the company and will continue its successful development together with Thai Union, the world's third-largest seafood exporter.


Rügen Fisch currently generates revenue in excess of €140 million (US$153.7 million). It supplies ambient and chilled fish including herring, mackerel and salmon to Germany's leading retailers under key brands such as Rügen Fisch, Hawesta, Ostsee Fisch and Lysell, along with a significant private label business.


The company employs over 850 people in four primary state-of-the-art facilities in Germany and Lithuania.


Mr. Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of Thai Union, said, "Germany is one of the largest seafood markets and part of our strategic pillars for growth in Europe. Through this partnership with Rügen Fisch, Thai Union becomes a market leader in Germany and further strengthens its position as one of the European seafood leaders".


Berthold Brinkmann, chairman of the advisory board of Rügen Fisch AG added, "Rügen Fisch is known for its strong brands and traditional heritage. We firmly believe that due to our high product quality, modern production facilities and successful distribution network with German retailers, we are the ideal partner for Thai Union".






India's Falcon Marine to expand


Indian shrimp processor Falcon Marine Exports Limited plans to expand and venture into shrimp feed mill and hatchery, as well as build another processing facility, all in Odisha state, according to


The new feed mill is planned to have a capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes a year to serve a hatchery with a 120-million broodstock capacity. The company's proposed processing facility, on the other hand, would handle up to 100 tonnes of whole shrimp a day.


At present Falcon Marine owns four processing plants with annual production capacity of around 18,000 metric tonnes a year.


Falcon Marine's international customers include Costco, Sysco, Darden, Red Lobster, US Food Service, Pacific SeaFoods and Marubeni Corporation.

Processing operation at a Falcon Marine plant  PHOTO FROM FALCONMARINE.CO.IN






Canada federal court OK's GE salmon


Canada's Federal Court has allowed the production for commercial use of the world's first approved genetically engineered animal intended for food.


The court said the production of AquAdvantage Salmon, which is an Atlantic salmon produced by the US aquaculture firm AquaBounty Technologies, was "reasonable and made in the manner prescribed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act".


Earlier, Environment Canada, the government agency responsible for regulating environmental policies and issues, gave AquaBounty's hatchery in Canada the green light to produce eggs on a commercial scale, saying the operation posed no harm to the environment or human health.


The Ecology Action Centre and Living Oceans Society went to court, asking it to overturn Canada's approval to produce GE salmon. But the Federal court dismissed the groups' appeal.


Dr. Ronald L. Stotish, CEO of AquaBounty, said after the court handed its decision on Dec. 24: "We are delighted but not surprised that the Federal Court of Canada has agreed with the Ministers of Environment and Health of Canada that our salmon eggs are not harmful to the environment or human health when produced in contained facilities. This should allay any remaining fears consumers may have about our fish. The ruling also affirms that Canada has one of the most stringent regulatory systems in the world."


The genetically enhanced AquAdvantage Salmon reaches market size in less time than the conventionally farmed Atlantic salmon. The eggs are produced in Canada and are shipped to Panama where the salmons are raised and processed.






A tool to detect shrimp disease fast and easy


An easy and fast method to detect shrimp diseases has been developed by the Philippines' Ateneo de Manila University and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC)-Aquaculture Department.


The developed kit can detect white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) and other shrimp pathogens with the use of a test strip, where the liquid shrimp sample is dropped. If the target DNA of the virus is present in the sample, a line will not appear on the middle of the test zone.


An accompanying application (app) instantaneously allows the results to be uploaded to an online pathogen information resource and biosurveillance data center at SEAFDEC.


Early disease detection can cut losses by 50%, the S&T Media Service write-up said. 

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