In the News: April 2013

First published in Landings, April, 2013.

Cozy Harbor certified by the British

Cozy Harbor Seafood has achieved British Retail Consortium (BRC) Grade A certification for its food safety and quality management program. The BRC evaluates both manufacturers and retailers in the food industry, based on food safety, quality control, site standards and other categories. Cozy Harbor is the only U.S. lobster processor to receive the Grade A certification.

The company also introduced its new Frozen Lobster Grill Cuts at the International Boston Seafood Show in March. “The lobster market in the U.S. has exploded over the last year, with lobster roll trucks and lobster shacks popping up not just in Maine, but throughout the country, as far west as California,” said John Norton, president. “Lobster is an affordable luxury for consumers any time of year. Our new Frozen Lobster Grill Cuts take the mess out of preparation, and allow foodservice operators and retailers to enter the untapped market for convenient lobster.”

 

Massachusetts contemplates sale of lobster tails

A Massachusetts law since 1997 has allowed wholesale lobster dealers to process lobsters into frozen, shell-on tails for distribution outside the state, but not for in-state sale and use. A proposed bill would allow Massachusetts lobsters that are processed into frozen, shell-on tails and parts to be sold and used. The bill would put Massachusetts on a legally level playing field with Maine, which authorized the production and in-state sale of lobster parts in 2010. “We believe that by allowing the in-state sale of this product we can increase local demand and production and thereby improve the price per pound paid to our Massachusetts commercial lobstermen,” said William A. Adler, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association.

 

NOAA to conduct surveys in Penobscot Bay next month

The NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson will be conducting hydrographic survey operations throughout Penobscot Bay from May 1 through July 31 this year. Thomas Jefferson is a 208-foot, white survey vessel and deploys two, 31-foot aluminum survey launches. The survey vessels carry NOAA markings, can be identified on AIS, and will be monitoring VHF channels 13 and 16. Survey operations will be conducted 24-hours a day from the ship and from 7:30 a.m. through 6 p.m. with survey launches. Mariners are requested to exercise caution when transiting the operational area. When towed hydrographic instrumentation is deployed, the Thomas Jefferson will be restricted in her ability to maneuver. Questions or concerns can be addressed to the ship’s Field Operations Officer via phone at 757-647-0187 or 808-434-2706 or via email at: ops.thomas.jefferson@noaa.gov.

DMR spring trawl survey starts in May

The Department of Marine Resources will start its annual spring trawl survey on May 6. Prior to 2000, fishery-independent data were not available for nearly 80% of the Gulf of Maine’s inshore waters. The inshore trawl survey was established to fill that gap by collecting data on the fish and biological communities in this area and create a time series for long-term monitoring of inshore stocks. Each spring and fall since 2000 the department has conducted a trawl survey using commercial fishing vessels as a survey platform. This spring the trawl survey will begin in New Hampshire waters and make its way east during the month. After two days in New Hampshire the survey will move into Casco Bay, then to the Boothbay and Pemaquid area by May 15, followed by Penobscot Bay during the week of May 20, Stonington and Mount Desert Island during May 27. The trawl survey will take place in Downeast waters during the week of June 3. A mailing giving the specific times and places will be mailed to all lobstermen in early April. For more information contact Sally Sherman, sally.sherman@maine.gov

Lobster tops list as Canada’s most valuable seafood export

First published inCBC News, March 10. Reprinted with permission.
The federal Fisheries Department says $4.1 billion worth of Canadian seafood landed on tables in more than 100 countries last year, with lobster remaining the most valuable export.
Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield said Sunday that Canada exported $41 million more in fish and seafood products in 2012 than the year before.
“The strong exports in 2012 demonstrate the trust consumers place in our fish and seafood products worldwide,” he said in a statement.
More than 60 per cent of Canada’s seafood exports were shipped to the United States last year at a value of $2.6 billion.
But the department said China and the European Union remain major markets, each taking in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Canadian seafood products last year.
The federal government is calling for a trade agreement with the EU that would scrap costly tariffs on most fish and seafood products.
Gerald Keddy, parliamentary secretary to the minister of international trade, said he hopes to gain support for a trade deal while attending an international seafood show in Boston this week.
“Canada has a historic opportunity to gain preferential access to the European Union, a 500-million consumer market and the world’s largest importer of fish and seafood, importing an average of $25 billion annually,” he said in the statement.
Aside from lobster – which accounted for $1 billion of Canada’s overall seafood exports last year – the department said snow and queen crab, Atlantic salmon and shrimp were among the country’s most valuable.
New Brunswick was Canada’s largest exporter of seafood last year, with exports valued at $967.2 million, followed by Nova Scotia at $915.4 million and British Columbia at $871.5 million.
The department said some 80,000 people work in the industry, including commercial fishing, aquaculture and processing.