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Friday, November 23, 2012

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IN BRIEF - Government Accountability Office Calls USDA Catfish Program a Waste for 10th Time

UNITED STATES
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Washington, DC – The USDA’s catfish inspection program wastes millions of taxpayer dollars and does a job already being done by the FDA, according to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO.) For the tenth time in five years the GAO has included the program in its rogue’s gallery of wasteful federal boondoggles.

The GAO pulls no punches when it suggests, “Congress should consider repealing provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill assigning the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsibility for examining and inspecting catfish and for creating a catfish inspection program.” (p.26)

For years the program has been lambasted for its waste:

-“It would be funny if it weren’t so costly…” –Wall Street Journal

-“…they’ve spent about twenty million doing nothing.” –Citizens Against Government Waste

-“If there were legitimate food safety reasons for having USDA inspect catfish, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.” – John McCain (R-AZ)

-“Congress needs to eliminate this new regulation immediately because taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for more bloated bureaucracy.”—Taxpayers Protection Alliance

IN BRIEF - Fish firm denies ‘dodgy wage tactics’ in union row

UNITED KINGDOM
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Chilled fish supplier Icelandic Seachill has denied accusations that its handling of the National Living Wage (NLW) will leave workers worse off, after unions escalated their concerns to the European Commission (EC).

Source: Food Manufacture


IN BRIEF - Panama Papers revelations to hit Iceland fisheries next

ICELAND
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Just weeks after Iceland’s political class was rocked by an exposé of dealings in offshore tax havens, journalists at Reykjavik Media are now preparing to blow the whistle on the country’s powerful fisheries industry.

The ‘Panama Papers’ documents leaked from law firm Mossack Fonseca reportedly contain names of individuals and companies in the Icelandic fishing industry and Reykjavik Media are working through the available data.

Details are to be published “soon”.

Source: Iceland Monitor


IN BRIEF - HCM City bans trade in contaminated fish

VIET NAM
Saturday, April 30, 2016

HCM City - HCM City authorities will work closely with central provinces, where mass fish deaths have occurred because of chemical substances discharged into waterways, to prevent and stop the trade of dead or dying fish from these areas in HCM City.

Võ Van Hoan, chief of HCM City People’s Committee Office, said at a press conference held in the city yesterday: “If we don’t prevent unsafe and unhygienic food, local resident’s health as well as tourism will suffer the consequences.”

He said that the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development had issued a ban on transport and trade of dead or dying fish.

Hoan said that trade in these fish had already occurred.

Many seafood enterprises have shifted seafood purchasing from the central province of Khánh Hòa to the south to ensure safety for customers.

Source: Viet Nam News


IN BRIEF - Environment official apologises for response to fish deaths

VIET NAM
Saturday, April 30, 2016

HÀ N?I  — “As a minister, I am sorry,” Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tr?n H?ng Hà told local media on April the 29th of 2016 as he led an inspection team to take samples of water and sediment in the sea off of Vung Áng in the central Hà Tinh Province.

The team was sent to investigate the cause of mass fish deaths along the central coastal provinces that occurred earlier that month.

“This is the first time an environmental disaster like this is happening to Vi?t Nam,” Hà elaborated. “Although relevant ministries are working hard to fix the problem, the way we dealt with it was still slow and ham-fisted, and failed to meet expectations from people as well as the media.”

The apology was issued after an especially short press conference held at 8pm on Wednesday by the ministry to report on the causes of the mass fish deaths. Based on initial investigations, the causes were identified to be toxic discharge by human activities on land or at sea, and red tie phenomenon - when dangerous algae bloom occurs at an abnormal rate and produces toxins.

Source: Viet Nam News


IN BRIEF - State and federal ministers commit to more cohesive fisheries regulation, biosecurity responses

AUSTRALIA
Saturday, April 30, 2016

State and federal fisheries ministers have reinforced their commitment to harmonising regulations, laws and red tape for the industry at a meeting in Melbourne on Friday the 29th of April 2016.

A similar commitment was made in December 2014, when the ministers last met, and while many of the faces had changed, assistant agriculture minister Anne Ruston said the goals remained the same.

Senator Ruston said the implementation of theNorthern Australia White Paper, a productivity commission review into fisheries regulation and the involvement of the recreational fishing industry in developing policies were all signs minsters were committed to the previous' meetings objectives.

Source: ABC


IN BRIEF - Tesco – leading on sustainable seafood

UNITED STATES
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tesco has announced on April the 29th of 2016 a number of measures which will see it source even more of the seafood it sells in a sustainable way, in partnership with the Marine Stewardship Council. To achieve this, Tesco is:

-Rapidly expanding the MSC-ecolabel scheme for pre-packed and frozen fish sold in Tesco stores;
-Introducing MSC-certified fish to its 656 fish counters, making sustainable fish accessible to shoppers across the UK; and
-Ensuring that all tuna sold at Tesco stores is sourced in a sustainable way, whether own label or branded.

In April 2016, Tesco introduced the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel across 28 different types of chilled prepacked fish – including cod fillets, smoked kippers, haddock fishcakes and fish fingers.  The following month, it will introduce the label to its 656 fish counters across the UK, and later this year will introduce it to relevant frozen fish lines too.

Source: Tesco Plc


IN BRIEF - Russian Aquaculture FY 2015 net loss widens to RUB 1.34 billion

RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Russian Aquaculture :

FY 2015 revenue RUB 864.8 million versus RUB 1.52 billion in 2016.

FY 2015 loss for period RUB 1.34 billion versus loss of RUB 407.1 million 
in 2016.

Source: Reuters


IN BRIEF - Maine’s lobster season off to an early start

UNITED STATES
Saturday, April 30, 2016

Maine lobster production is the state’s most lucrative fishing industry, bringing in about USD 457 million and 124 million pounds of lobster in 2014. The lobster fishing season in Maine usually kicks off in April. As spring fills the air, lobstermen fill their boats with traps and head out on the ocean to set them. The months of May and June are typically slow for fishing as the water continues to heat up. However, by mid to late July, the Gulf of Maine is typically significantly warmer, which triggers the seasonal molt. Lobsters begin to shed their old shells, which allows them to grow in size and become large enough to meet Maine’s strict size requirements for harvesting. Newly shed, or “new shell,” lobsters are very hungry which makes them perfect for trapping. The meat of a new shell (or soft shell) lobster is extremely sweet and tender and draws many tourists to lobster shacks and restaurants in Maine during the months of July, August, and September.

While this pattern of the spring and summer Maine lobster season is typically consistent every year, this year Maine is experiencing an unusually early start to the lobster season. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute reported that temperatures in Maine’s coastal waters have been warm throughout the beginning of 2016. The temperatures at 50-meters at four coastal buoys in the Gulf of Maine remain approximately one degree Celsius warmer than normal. Across the region, sea surface temperatures have been running 0.5–1 degrees Celsius warmer than normal over the past week, with the Maine coast being at the cool end of the range. Based on the current buoy temperatures, The Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s forecast predicts a 41 percent chance that the season will start three weeks earlier than normal, a 56 percent chance that it will start two weeks early, and only a 3 percent chance that it will begin one week early. Andrew Pershing, GMRI’s Chief Scientific Officer stated, “July 4 is typically considered to be a normal start date for the lobster fishery in Maine.” He went on to explain that “if the timing is off by just a few weeks, it can have a major impact throughout the supply chain.”

Source: The Colby Echo



IN BRIEF - EDS questions motivation of fisheries companies

NEW ZEALAND
Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Environmental Defence Society has responded to the media release and High Court proceedings filed today by the Fishing Industry Association and a number of fishing companies challenging the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

"We are gob-smacked by this announcement," said EDS CEO Gary Taylor.

"We are hugely disappointed that the industry, after extolling its acceptance of good corporate behavior in recent years, is reverting to its previous narrow and self-interested approach to marine management issues. I couldn’t be more disappointed.

"We intend to liaise with the primary drivers of the Kermadec initiative - Pew, WWF and Forest and Bird - and will consider joining the proceedings and vigorously opposing them. We will first instruct senior counsel and get good advice on the merits of doing so.

Source: Voxy


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