Latest Fishing News
March 18-23, 2020
Coronavirus: As Canned Tuna Fly Off Shelves, Operations of US Boats Are Compromised

Consumers bracing against Covid-19 have raised demands not only for health and safety products but also for many food staples, including tuna. According to an NPR report yesterday, tuna sales were up more than 31 percent last week compared to the same time last year.

StarKist Samoa, located in the US Territory of American Samoa, supplies tuna for the US market.

“The StarKist Samoa operation relies on the US tuna fishermen, and direct fish deliveries to the cannery are a major component of our business model,” said StarKist Samoa in a statement today. “We have seen an increase in sales that has been attributed to the Covid-19 impact, and we are doing our best to keep up with the demand. It’s important to note that the global impact of Covid-19 highlights the importance of keeping US suppliers and producers in business to ensure we can sustain the tuna supply for US consumers. It continues to be a struggle for the US tuna fisherman to stay in business. The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, as well as the continued burdens of the international fishing restrictions, has had a detrimental impact on both our US tuna fishermen and the American Samoan economy. In addition, these measures have had little or no impact on tuna conservation or the protection of sensitive marine habitats. Any interruption to the StarKist Samoa supply chain impacts our company’s ability to provide healthy seafood products to our US customers.” Continue reading here (Source: Fishery Nation).
Warmest Oceans Ever Force Tuna Titan to Start Protecting Fish

Helping the canned tuna industry cope with climate change tops an already lengthy to-do list for Darian McBain, chief sustainability officer at the Thailand company that owns the Chicken of the Sea and John West brands.

In a business long accused by activists of abusing workers and killing dolphins, McBain’s responsibilities at Thai Union Group Pcl typically focused on improving labor rights in the supply chain and reducing the abandoned fishing gear on the high seas.
Continue reading here (Source: Bloomberg Green).
Panic Buying of Canned Tuna Propels Thai Union Into Asian Leader

A surge in demand for canned tuna and other seafood has turned Bangkok-based Thai Union Pcl into one of Asia’s top-performing consumer stocks.

The company that makes the “Chicken of the Sea” brand in the U.S. and “John West” in Europe has rallied 17% in the past week, defying a global stock market rout thanks coronavirus-induced hoarding of canned food. That gain made the seafood processor and wholesaler one of the best performers among consumer stocks in Asia excluding Japan with a market value of at least $1 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Continue reading here (Source: Bloomberg).
Amata Urges Fishing Access for National Food Security

Congresswoman Aumua Amata is urging President Trump to reopen fishing access as a matter of national food security during the worldwide economic and health crisis.

“At this time of global re-evaluation of world health and economics, I simply write to say that food security equals national security. Please use your Executive Order to immediately reopen the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to commercial fishing,” Aumua Amata states in her urgent letter to the President.

“American Samoa is home to the largest tuna cannery in the Country and the cannery needs restored access to the Monument to keep up with demand which has spiked over 30 percent in the past week alone for this key healthy, shelf-stable and staple product for American consumers,” she continues. Continue reading here (Source:
Radewagen.House.Gov ).
Retail Seafood Sales Soar, but Fresh Seafood Counters Closing Across US

Sales of shelf-stable, fresh, and frozen seafood are all soaring in United States supermarket chains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the U.S. restaurant industry suffers unprecedented losses due to closures and reduced traffic at eateries across the country, retailers have benefited from consumers making panicked purchases over concerns that their access to groceries may be limited by travel limitations imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Continue reading here (Source: Seafood Source).
Temporary Suspension of New Crew Members on Foreing Tuna Vessels 

The Fiji Ports Corporation Limited (FPCL) has directed all fishing vessels, local and foreign, to follow set protocols and discontinue any crew changes on high seas or at any port visited.

FPCL has met with local and foreign fishing vessel owners and agents on 16 March 2020, informing them that all transfer and change of crew members have been suspended until further notice.

The FPCL will monitor the fishing vessels and its crew detail. All fishing vessel operators are required to provide vessel and crew details to the Harbour Master prior to arrival. Continue reading here (Source: Fish Information & Services).
Federal Fishery Managers Get Creative To Help Hawaii’s Tuna Fishermen

With the help of federal fishery managers and the governors of three U.S. territories in the Pacific, Hawaii’s longliners have been able to work around international agreements so they can nearly double the amount of bigeye tuna they are allowed to catch each year.

That creative arrangement quietly hit a snag last year when Guam’s new governor decided she “did not want to play ball,” as one person in the industry put it. But it’s only spurred more creativity.

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council came up with a new deal earlier this month that would let the Hawaii longliners catch the same amount of fish as before but they would only need two of the U.S. Pacific territories to participate instead of all three. The proposal goes to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for approval. Continue reading here (Source: Civil Beat).
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