Weekly Seafood Report

Healthy & light entrees are forecasted to increase in popularity in 2016 compered to Asian, Italian & Mexican food. Seafood checks all the boxes for high protein, low calorie, low fat & all natural that US consumers are demanding. Especially now with modern day technology more people are tracking their progress with wearable devices.
2) More than 66% of seafood in the US is consumed away from home, take advantage by featuring seafood more for your Blackboard Specials.
3) The USDA released their 2015 Dietary Guidelines, this is the 8th edition. The guidelines recommend that Americans eat at least 8 oz of a variety of seafood per week. According to their scientific data, farm raised finfish, like salmon are more sustainable than animals raised on land when greenhouse gas emissions, land & even water use are considered.
4) As a follow up from last week’s report regarding Shrimp, overall the market is tightening on both the farmed & wild side. Prices are moving higher as suppliers look to replace product. Experts predict prices of farmed white shrimp will remain stable for 2016. I look for the market to continue to increase for the next 3 months before settling back down.
5) The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will allow for aquaculture in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. This area is conducive for shrimp to be raised there as water temperature & salinity are ideal in this region.
6) The US is looking to invest to promote & grow aquaculture along the Atlantic especially in the North East. Maine is planning a 50 acre Oyster farm in the northern part of the state.
7) There is a US federal lawsuit playing out over regulations of Red Snapper quotas between the commercial & recreational fishing sectors. The commercial fishermen contend the laws are allowing recreational fishermen to deplete scarce stocks.
8) The strong Canadian & Chilean Salmon markets have pushed imports to record levels, over 400 million pounds as of November. Chilean farmers cut stocking in November by 28% in order to obtain higher asking prices & now they are getting them. Also asking prices for Norwegian & Scottish fish have moved higher mainly due to poor weather in Europe. In fact Norway’s major producers are laying off employees because of the lack of fish to be harvested. We here in the US haven’t experienced this as much as the rest of the world because of the strong US dollar compared to the Euro. Overall prices are higher for farm raised salmon but they still remain at money making levels for food service operators.
9) The US Tuna fleet remains prohibited from fishing in the Western Pacific because of a dispute for unpaid fees. Meanwhile Congress is concerned with the $21 million that the US provides in aid to the Pacific Ocean fishery management council. In a related matter the Mexican Pacific Ocean Tuna fishing season will run from January 18th until November 18th.
10) Grouper will be closing in Mexico for February & March, we will not see any new shipments until April. Grouper closes this time every year because of the government imposed moratorium, to protect the stock. Product from other regions will be available but costs are higher due to poor cutting yields.
11) Oregon & Washington have opened for Dungeness Crab harvesting, opening prices are high. Dungeness caught in Southern California are deemed safe but the commercial fishery remains closed.
12) Florida Stone Crab Claws are plentiful this season, prices are very reasonable. The season starts mid-October & runs through the middle of May.
13) Live Hard-shell Crabs are tight due to a sudden drop in the ocean water temperature in North Carolina. Also from January 14th to January 31st, all crab pots must be out of the water. The NC Marine Police patrol the waterways to make sure all pots are out, if not a $1,000 per pot fine is imposed. Crab harvesting is allowed to resume February 1st.

Tim Sloan
V.P. Sales & Marketing
E.Frank Hopkins Co.,Inc.
215-468-9189 Fax
215-588-8017 Cell


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