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Other Media | SeafoodSource:US seafood industry hopes for help from USD 2 trillion stimulus package

UNITED STATES
Thursday, March 26, 2020

The United States Congress is nearing finalization of a third COVID-19 stimulus bill totaling up to USD 2 trillion (EUR 1.85 trillion) in across-the-board relief.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the package on the afternoon of Wednesday, 25 March, and the House of Representatives – currently in recess – is expected to reconvene for its own vote “as soon as possible,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) told CNN. President Donald Trump has also expressed his support for the bill on Twitter.

The legislation includes financial support for companies of all sizes that have lost customers as a result of the public response to the COVID-19 crisis. It also features incentives to encourage companies to keep employees on their payrolls. It also includes direct payments to low- and middle-income families, and unemployment insurance that will pay out up to four months’ worth of income for laid-off workers and those who have faced reduced work hours. Also on the table, according to a press release from the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York), are loans for small businesses that would be considered forgivable if the money is used for payroll, mortgage, rent or utility costs.

While the bill continues to be fine-tuned, the Republican senators from Alaska, U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowksi and Dan Sullivan, and their Democratic counterparts from Massachusetts, U.S. Sens. Edward Markey and Elizabeth Warren, sent a letter to Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) asking them to ensure the COVID-19 bill also includes provisions for the fishing industry.

Author: Steve Bittenbender / SeafoodSource | Read full article here


Other Media | FishFarmer: Anger over Mowi and Lerøy processing exemption

NORWAY
Thursday, March 26, 2020

A DECISION by Norway’s food safety authority to grant Mowi and Lerøy Seafood exemption from some of the country’s tough processing rules has come under fire from other sections within the industry.

The main rule, brought in a number of years ago to protect the reputation of Norwegian seafood, states that salmon and other fish with certain defects should be sorted and processed at home before being exported.

But a number of smaller processing businesses have said they plan to launch an appeal against the decision, which was made in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Their appeal will be on the grounds that the food safety authority does not have the power to make such a decision because the scheme is administered by the seafood council. They also believe it could do long term damage to the industry’s good name.

The food safety authority is reported to have granted the exemption on the grounds that Mowi and Lerøy, two of the largest salmon exporters, may not be able to find enough processing capacity in Norway and will want to do some of the work overseas.

But Robert Eriksson, CEO of the seafood processing companies’ trade organisation, said he believed there was plenty of spare capacity in the country.

Author:Vince McDonagh / FishFarmer | Read the full article here


Other Media | aqua.cl: Including Chile, a group of countries seeking to guarantee the connectivity of supply chains

CHILE
Thursday, March 26, 2020

"We affirm the importance of refraining from imposing unnecessary export controls or tariff and non-tariff barriers," stressed the Minrel.
 
The covid-19 pandemic (coronavirus) is a serious global crisis. And as part of a collective response to combat it, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, New Zealand and Singapore pledged to keep supply chains open and connected. In turn, they said they will work in coordination to identify and address trade disruptions that may affect the circulation of essential supplies.
 
"We recognize that it is in everyone's interest to ensure that our commercial ties remain open, including air and sea transport, in order to facilitate the flow of essential goods and supplies," said the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minrel).
Later, the Secretary of State emphasized: «We affirm the importance of refraining from imposing unnecessary export controls or tariff and non-tariff barriers, and the importance of removing at this time all the restrictive measures on trade in essential goods, especially those that affect to medical supplies. "
 
Source: Aqua.cl | Read full article here (Spanish)

Other Media | Audlindin: The status of the fisheries sector was discussed by the government

ICELAND
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The country's fisheries companies are now responding to the consequences of the Covid-19 Corona virus. Demand for fresh seafood in Europe has almost collapsed and the result is that fish producers have to look for other ways for the products and also reduce the production of fresh fish. This results in a significant disruption of production and loss of income, as fresh products produce the most benefits. Then the companies will slow down fishing during this time.

In addition, companies need to be particularly attentive to quarantine and meet the maximum permissible requirements in each workplace. They do this by dividing the processing into a processing chamber, where the number in each of them is limited and communication between them is stopped. Unnecessary visits to the companies have been stopped and staff asked not to travel unnecessarily and reduce communication with other people.

Source: Audlindin | Read full story here (Icelandic)


Other Media | Industrias Pesqueras: The French and German fishing unions also claim aid for the stoppage

EUROPEAN UNION
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The scream is unanimous in the European fleet. In two separate communications, the French National Fisheries Commission (CNPMEM) and the German Fisheries Association (DFV) call on the European Commission to allow the FEMP to finance the cessation of activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizations, who agree on this common idea, also plan other issues such as private storage or liquidity injections.
 
In the case of France, the CNPMEM published an extensive document in which it recounted all the measures already approved by the French Government against the disease, both generic for all companies and specific to the fishing sector. The French fleet has a complete guide for shipowners to act if there is suspicion of infection. In the fish markets the activity continues but a distance of one meter must be kept. The French Government has also extended the validity of all certificates for navigation, safety or medical fitness.
 
The French fleet asks the Commission to support fishing companies for temporary stops and private storage, for which they have contacted their MEPs in order to be aware of the regulations that will be approved this week.

GERMAN FLEET
 
The German fleet is already suffering from the effects of the Covid-19, and gives an example of the 50% drop in the stock price of the Baltic plaice or the difficulties in selling flounder that has forced the mooring of the boats.
 
Source: Fishing Industries | Read the full article here (Spanish)

Other Media | FiskerForum: Does UK Goverment aid hit the target?

UNITED KINGDOM
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

As the UK government announced a financial package to alleviate the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, with the largest proportion set aside for loans to struggling companies, as well as a massive intervention to support those in paid employment, the NFFO points out that there is a clear gap as this support does not reach those in self-employment – including share fishermen.

‘That is why an urgent support package shaped to provide meaningful aid to the fishing sector is needed and is being worked on. We expect an announcement shortly,’ and NFFO spokesman commented.

‘It will be important that the package keeps those boats at sea, and supply chains operational, where this is an option, and creates the conditions that allows vessels and crews which have had to tie-up to bounce back, as soon as the crisis is over.’

According to the NFFO’s analysis, some of the measures announced so far will be relevant and significant for the fishing sector.

‘Many will not because of the peculiarities of the way our industry is organised. The immediate challenge is therefore to identify the support measures available which can be used and the gaps which will need to be filled by additional tailored interventions.’

Workers in the food industries have been designated as key workers, along with those employed in transport and so exempt from some social distancing requirements, which should help to ensure that supply chains remain operational.

Author: Quentin Bates / FiskerForum | Read the full article here


Other Media | SeafoodSource: EU opens door for coronavirus-hit seafood operations to receive aid

EUROPEAN UNION
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Acknowledging that fishing and aquaculture have been “among the hardest hit” sectors by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission has introduced a temporary state aid framework that enables E.U. member states to provide financial support to affected operators.

Seafood demand across the bloc has declined dramatically in recent weeks as retailers, restaurants, canteens, and other large-scale buyers have been reducing or temporarily closing down their activities. At the same time, supply chains have been affected by various logistical disruptions.The new framework allows member-states to provide aid up to EUR 120,000 (USD 130,476) per industry undertaking and can be in the form of grants or tax advantages, with the promise of swift assessments and decision-making.

In many cases, this can mean the difference between permanently closing activities and long-term survival of healthy businesses and thousands of jobs, the Commission said.

“Our fishermen and women and our aquaculture farmers are among the first to suffer the economic consequences of Coronavirus, as the demand for seafood has experienced a dramatic slump. But let me say it loud and clear: The European Union stands with you through this crisis,” European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius said. “Together, we will ensure that the E.U. maintains a strong seafood industry and thriving coastal communities, now and in the future.”

Author: Jason Holland / SeafoodSource | Read the full article here


Other Media | fishfarmingexpert: Salmon farming First Nation declares state of emergency

CANADA
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nation community of Klemtu, British Columbi, Canada has declared a state of emergency amid the Covid-19 pandemic which causes severe respiratory complications in humans.

The Kitasoo/Xai'xais have worked together with Mowi Canada West for over 20 years. Mowi operates salmon farms in the ancestral waters of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais and employs many of its 517 band members.

As a response to the state of emergency Mowi Canada West reached out to its employees living on Swindle Island on BC’s central coast located approximately 500km from Vancouver.

 “Mowi Canada West fully supports Klemtu’s decision to isolate the community. The health and wellness of the community members, particularly of children and elders is of paramount important to us,” said a letter from Mowi Canada West to its employees living in Klemtu.

“Klemtu employees who are not able to work as a result of the quarantine starting on Friday, March 20, 2020 at the completion of their shift will be eligible to receive employment insurance benefits.”

Eligible employees will be entitled to sick benefits which includes 15 weeks of income repayment.

Soure: fishfarmingexpert | Read the full article here


Other Media | iLasks.no: COVID-19 trouble made it difficult to handle production fish

NORWAY
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Therefore, Mowi and Lerøy applied for an exemption from the ban on exports of so-called "prodfish".

On Monday evening, iLaks was able to report that the processing order for production fish was temporarily set aside. However, the exemption applies to only two companies: Mowi and Lerøy big fish.

- Mowi and Lerøy have submitted independent applications. According to our information, this will end in April, says communications manager Øyvind Haram in Seafood Norway to iLaks.

- These applications are own and have nothing to do with us. Seafood Norway has drawn its letter as you mention. We did that on Friday, he points out.

Both Mowi and Lerøy justify their applications on the grounds that the corona problem is an extraordinary situation.

- When we applied for an exemption from the ban, we had to choose between destroying the fish or sending it to our own factories in Europe. As a food producer in those times, the first alternative was obviously out of date, says Mowi's communications director Ola Helge Hjetland to E24.

Soure: Aslak Berge / iLaks.no| Read the full article here


Other Media | SalmonBusiness: Dutch salmon processor: 'We have tripled our volume during the corona virus'

NETHERLANDS
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

While a lot of processors of salmon are at the moment experiencing a decrease Noordzee Internationals sale of salmon is reaching its’ highest ever.

Last year the big frozen seafood supplier bought a salmon processing company to expand its horizon and intake. The corona virus has now boosted the demand of salmon for the still new salmon processor.

“We are experiencing an extreme growth in the demand on salmon. We are just trying to keep up. Our volume has tripled during the corona virus,” says Rein Kramer, commercial director at Noordzee International, who is also responsible for the salmon processing factory.

Since December Noordzee International has been handling salmon. Even though the company started with a great start, the last couple of weeks the company has been in a whole other league.

“Prices are down at the moment, due to dropping demand of fresh from food service, cancelation of air-routes and exchange rate from Norwegian kroner to Euro. The demand for frozen products just keeps increasing,” says Rein Kramer.

The processor sends out about 60 truck of salmon a week to Europe. This levels to around 120 tons a week.

Author: Katrina Poulsen / SalmonBusiness Read the full article here


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