There will be no Free News report next Friday, December 26, 2008. Free News will return on Friday, January 2, 2009.
USA Supermarkets Feature Shrimp Over the Holidays
Instead of discounting its cooked shrimp party trays, United Supermarkets of Lubbock, Texas, is running a contest between the seafood departments in its 48 stores. The departments with the highest shrimp party tray sales receive cash toward the store’s employee appreciation days and its seafood department receives other prizes. Several United stores have created islands of shrimp trays with tailgating and holiday themes, complete with decorations. Employees dress up to match the theme. “I don’t have the numbers yet, but I know we are selling a lot more trays than in the past,” says Scott Nettles, director of market and seafood for United Supermarkets. The trays retail for $25.99 for 3 pounds and $35.99 for 4 pounds of 31/40-count cooked-and-peeled shrimp.
Party tray discounts are working well for some retailers. Winn-Dixie in Jacksonville, Florida., promoted a 16-ounce bag of Fisherman’s Wharf medium cooked cocktail shrimp on a “buy one, get one free” (BOGOF) promotion for $10.99 per bag. A 10-ounce Fisherman’s Wharf cocktail shrimp ring was also BOGOF from December 10 to December 16, a savings of $5.99 per ring.
A recent ad put out by Publix Super Markets in Lakeland, Florida, compared the price of making a shrimp linguini entrée with salad and bread at home to the price of a similar restaurant meal. The circular explains that it can cost shoppers $17.95 to buy all the ingredients for the meal at Publix versus $68 for buying the same meal for four adults in a restaurant. The promotion is designed to “get families back to the dinner table, especially since all families are experiencing this economic pinch,” says Publix spokesman Dwaine Stevens.
GAA and Five Others Selected for FDA Pilot Shrimp Program
The Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification program developed by the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the leading standards-setting organization for farmed seafood, has been selected by the United States Food and Drug Administration to participate in Phase II of the Voluntary Third-Party Certification of Imported Aquacultured Shrimp Pilot Program! GAA Executive Director Wally Stevens (email@example.com) said the news is a validation of the global organization’s rigorous certification as a path to enhanced food safety in the USA market.
What sets BAP certification apart from the other groups in the FDA pilot program? BAP covers all aspects of shrimp farming, from the hatchery to the processing plant, while encompassing four major areas of concern: the environment, social justice, food safety and traceability. The standards are independently audited through the Aquaculture Certification Council in a comprehensive process that creates and bolsters consumer confidence, not just in shrimp, but in other seafood products as well.
Phase II of the pilot, which will allow FDA to identify technical issues related to assessing and processing certifications, will run through June 2009. During this period, the BAP program will introduce a new food safety verification process that complements existing facility inspections and traceability with final product testing.
If the results of the pilot study are acceptable, FDA proposes to grant products from BAP-certified facilities expedited entry into the USA market! This would create additional value for farms and processing plants that participate in the market-leading BAP certification program.
Information: Jeanne McKnight (Media Contact for the Global Aquaculture Alliance), PhD, President, McKnight and Company Strategic Communications, 7225 Southeast 36th Street, Mercer Island, WA 98040 USA (phone 206-230-0404, cell 206-963-6478, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.gaalliance.org).
FDA Reports on Its New Shrimp Certification Program
Phase II will help the FDA develop the process for evaluating third-party certification programs. The pilot will allow the FDA to identify and address technical and operational issues in assessing certification programs and processing certifications. This information will assist the agency in moving towards broader recognition of voluntary third-party certification programs.
The participants in Phase II of the program are:
* Bureau Veritas Group Company
* Global Aquaculture Alliance/Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc.
* Inspectorate America Corporation
* SGS United States Testing Company
* Seafood Inspection Service, National Marine Fisheries Services
* Thailand Department of Fisheries
Information: Stephanie Kwisnek, Food and Drug Administration (phone 301-827-0955).
SeafoodSource.com Reports on FDA’s Action
The Global Aquaculture Alliance, based in St. Louis, Missouri, has developed a set of farmed-seafood standards called Best Aquaculture Practices (BAPs). The BAPs are licensed by the Aquaculture Certification Council, Inc., of Kirkland, Washington, which carries out inspections and manages the certification process. BAP standards address environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety and traceability for shrimp farms and hatcheries, tilapia and channel catfish farms and seafood processing plants.
The pilot program responds to a recommendation in President Bush’s Action Plan for Import Safety, issued in November 2007, which called for the development of voluntary third-party certification programs for foreign producers who export to the United States. FDA’s Food Protection Plan, also issued last November, emphasizes qualified and legitimate third-party certification as a way to help verify the safety of products from both foreign and domestic food companies.
TraceRegister Will Keep the Records
The Aquaculture Certification Council uses TraceRegister’s traceability system to follow the movement of shrimp around the world. TraceRegister CEO Phil Werdal said his company’s participation in the FDA pilot is a “significant acknowledgment of the role of supply chain traceability in assuring the safety of the food supply.” He pointed out that the FDA inspects only one percent of the USA’s food imports. The use of third-party certification, combined with comprehensive product traceability information, has the potential to significantly improve food safety by enabling the FDA to monitor a significantly higher percentage of imported food. The pilot project addresses farmed shrimp, but it could easily be expanded to cover other food products, Werdal said.
USA Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, who has oversight of the FDA, has been widely quoted as saying that you “can’t inspect your way to food safety,” Werdal noted.
Werdal is confident the FDA pilot will help regulators understand the value of complete supply chain traceability as a tool to give the green light to those who play by the rules, while keeping out those who do not. “Supply chain traceability brings much-needed transparency to a very complex market,” Werdal said. “When a company or industry can trace a product back to the hatchery or farm and track it forward to the point of purchase, it introduces trust, adds value, and reduces risk.”
The TraceRegister system offers supply chain traceability for the seafood and produce industries and is currently used by more than 190 customers in 16 countries. Headquartered in Seattle, the company also has offices in Japan and China.
Information: Andy Furner, TraceRegister (phone 206-621-1507, email email@example.com).
Sources: 1. The Global Aquaculture Alliance. News Release. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Selects Best Aquaculture Practices Certification For Phase II of Shrimp Pilot Program. December 4, 2008. 2. The webpage of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA News. FDA Announces Participants of Pilot Program for Third-Party Certification of Imported Aquacultured Shrimp. December 2, 2008. 3. SeafoodSource.com. GAA, ACC Tabbed for FDA Farmed Shrimp Pilot Program. December 4, 2008. 4. Email from Jeanne McKnight to Shrimp News International. Subject: TraceRegister System Used in FDA Pilot. TraceRegister to Participate in FDA Pilot Program on Aquaculture Shrimp: “A Significant Acknowledgement of the role of Traceability in Food Safety.” December 5, 2008.
“Like a Kind of a Bloodworm” Removes Pond Sludge
The discovery of a marine worm on a fish farm in northern Australia is being touted as a cost effective way to remove pond sludge.
When Adam Body drained one of his fishponds in October 2008, he did not find what he expected, a black layer of bottom sludge. “It had no black sludge. You could walk across the pond. The only thing that was different were all these two millimeter holes everywhere,” said Body.
Dr. Chris Glasby of the Northern Territory Museum identified the animals living in the holes as being “like a kind of bloodworm”. “It’s...like a thread worm, and it’s red in color,” said Glasby.
Body said, “We can cycle our pond straight back into production, so we don’t have a delay. We don’t have the cost of scraping the bottom of the pond, or dealing with all of that sludge.”
Inspection by the European Union
A two-member delegation of the Food and Veterinary Department of the European Commission (EC) has expressed its satisfaction with the shrimp farming industry in the country. The EC team inspected Kolatali Hatchery and Juliarchar Sea Foods in Cox’s Bazar district and said they complied with EC-prescribed rules and regulations in a fair manner.
[Editor: Check out this link for a different slant on the inspection.]
Source: The New Nation. EC delegation witnesses shrimp cultivation process in Cox’s Bazar. December 1, 2008.
Zeroing In on Dumping Duties
On December 11 and 12, 2008, the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the United Nations, at the request of the European Union, held an open hearing at its headquarters in Geneva on “zeroing”, a statistical procedure that leads to artificial and inflated dumping duties. The session is crucial to India because the USA dumping duties have hit it hard.
Countries like Brazil, China, Egypt, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway and Thailand have also lodged complaints against the practice of zeroing. By implementing zeroing, the USA protects its domestic fishing fleet from lower-priced imports, while disregarding various GATT and WTO agreements, global standards and international laws.
Source: Business Standard. WTO body to hear anti-dumping duty case on December 11-12. George Joseph. December 4, 2008.
Tamil Nadu—Cyclone and Floods Put 10,000 Shrimp Farmers Out of Work
A recent cyclone and flood that hit the coastal districts in the state of Tamil Nadu in southeast India destroyed over 1,000 hectares of shrimp ponds, mainly in Nagapattinam District. The floodwaters destroyed farm equipment and washed away over 1,500 tons of shrimp that were ready for harvest. The total loss was estimated at $300 million.
Already fighting rising cost and falling prices when the cyclone hit, many shrimp farmers will not be able to resume farming after the floodwaters recede.
As a result of the December 2004 tsunami, the number of hectares dedicated to shrimp farming in Tamil Nadu dropped from over 10,000 to 4,500. After the recent cyclone and floods, the shrimp farming area may drop to 2,000 hectares, rendering thousands of people jobless and penniless.
According to V. Balasubramaniam, general secretary of the Prawn Farmers Federation of India, the November 27, 2008, cyclone affected over 10,000 aqua farmers and their families in Tamil Nadu. The lives and earnings of this whole community were wiped out in a single day of unprecedented rains and hailstorms. More than 100-cm (40 inches) of rain was recorded in a single day in Nagapattinam District, and along with it, cyclonic winds and huge waves that tore apart low-lying shrimp ponds. The machinery used for aerating the pond water and pumping were submerged, and some equipment was carried away by rampaging floodwaters.
Ali Hussain, the president of the Tamil Nadu Coastal Aqua Farmers Federation, said the loss of live shrimp, infrastructure, machinery and equipment could be assessed only after the floodwaters recede. “Once we get the actual figures for the losses, we will meet with the chief minister and make an appeal to bail us out from this massive calamity,” Hussain said.
Source: The Financial Express. Flood, cyclone add to 10,000 aqua farmers’ woes in Tamil Nadu. Joseph Vackayil. December 2, 2008.
The Blue Archipelago Shrimp Farm
Dr. Shahridan Faiez, chief executive officer of Blue Archipelago, says, “Over the past eleven months, we have been able to gain management control of a farm in north Kedah, known as Kerpan.”
“At present, we are number three [in the production of shrimp in Malaysia]. By the end of 2009, when the shrimp park is operational, we will be the biggest player in the market,” Shahridan said, referring to his plans to set up three integrated shrimp aquaculture parks in the country.
The first integrated shrimp aquaculture park, called “i-Sharp,” will cost $85 million, according to Shahridan.
He said: “i-Sharp will be a model for getting small and medium enterprises in the aquaculture sector to locate themselves in the park and to produce shrimp. Small operators in the country who face problems with scale and no access to the premium markets will be able to locate there and produce in a controlled environment.”
The company has already identified sites on the East Coast, Sarawak and Johor for the i-Sharp projects.
“At the end of 2009, we hope to have our first i-Sharp fully operational,” Shahridan said, adding that he expected a revenue of $60 million from each i-Sharp project.
Source: The Star Online. Khazanah aims to be biggest producer of shrimps. Eileen Hee. December 2, 2008.
The state of Sabah on the eastern tip of the island of Borneo has the potential to become the biggest producer of aquaculture products in all of Malaysia by 2010, said Datuk Yahya Hussin, state Agriculture and Food Industry Minister.
Yahya said his prediction was based on a forecast by the Department of Fisheries Malaysia for 207,200 metric tons of aquaculture products valued at $700 million by 2010. He said that by 2010 Sabah expected to produce 33,000 metric tons of shrimp worth $300 million.
No Antibiotics Found in Imported Shrimp from Around the World
The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) tested 30 random samples of imported aquacultured shrimp, prawns and crabs from Thailand, Vietnam, India, Japan, China and Peru for triphenylmethylene dyes, nitrofurans, chloramphenicol, sulfonamides and tetracyclines and found no detectable levels of residues from antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs.
In July 2007, when NZFSA last sampled land-based aquaculture foods from China, it found a few samples that had very low levels of residues that were no risk to human health.
NZFSA’s principal adviser on chemicals Paul Dansted said the latest round of monitoring was in addition to routine checks on high-risk goods that are tested at the border.
Source: Otago Daily Times. Imported seafood shows no antibiotic residues. December 1, 2008.
Pescanova/Camanica Open Processing Plant
Grupo Pescanova, which runs the largest shrimp farm in the Western Hemisphere, has completed a new processing and freezing plant in the city of Chinandega. Equipped with the latest technology, the facilities can process over 150 tons a day and store over 2,000 tons. The plant will create 2,000 stable jobs.
The opening ceremony of the processing plant was presided over by the President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and President of Pescanova, Manuel Fernández de Sousa.
Pescanova is one of the biggest companies in the international seafood business. It’s doing business on four continents, in 21 countries, with a staff that surpasses 6,000 people. In 2007, the Pescanova Group had sales of $1.6 billion. Pescanova’s shrimp hatcheries produce 500 million postlarvae a month.
Information: Pescanova (phone +34-986-818100, fax +34-986-818220, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: FIS.com. Pescanova Opens Processing Plant in Nicaragua. November 25, 2008.
Will Build Eleven Model Shrimp Farms
The Fisheries Development Board is establishing eleven model shrimp farms, eight in Balochistan Province and three in Sindh Province, under the “Aquaculture and Shrimp Farming Project”, sponsored primarily by the Federal Government. The project will train shrimp farmers and build shrimp hatcheries. Once production begins, it will also help with processing and marketing.
Baculovirus Virus in Wild Penaeus monodon
Abstract: In this study the prevalence of monodon baculovirus (MBV) was determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracts from the hepatopancreas of the wild black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon, collected from seven sampling sites in the Philippines, the same sites used by commercial hatcheries to collect broodstock. MBV was detected from all sites, except Palawan Island during the dry season and Negros Island during the wet season. The prevalence of MBV was unaffected by season, or the sex and size of the animals.
These results show that MBV is an established viral infection in wild populations of Penaeus monodon in the Philippines.
Source: Aquaculture. Prevalence of monodon baculovirus (MBV) in wild shrimp Penaeus monodon in the Philippines. Leobert D. de la Peña (email@example.com), Celia R. Lavilla-Pitogo, Corina Belle R. Villara, Milagros G. Panera and Geimbo C. Capulosa (Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department, Tigbauan 5021, Iloilo, Philippines). Volume 285, Issues 1-4, Page 19, December 2008.
National Prawn Company to Invest $300 Million in Fish Farming
National Prawn Company, owner of the largest shrimp farm in the Middle East, plans to develop fish farming projects in Gulf countries and in Asia and Africa. It will start in Saudi Arabia with an investment of $300 million.
The aim is to farm kingfish, cobia, barramundi, mahi mahi and milkfish on coastal desert land. “We are looking at fish farming in various Gulf countries,” said General Manager Peter Fraser. “There are lots of opportunities to develop waste desert land in coastal areas in the region. We are also looking at viable projects in African countries that have deserts adjoining coastal regions.”
At its shrimp farm, NPC produces 15,000 tons of shrimp a year from a farm developed on 50 square kilometers of coastal wasteland, 200 kilometers south of Riyadh. A second phase of the project—which will bring the total cost of the project up to a billion dollars—will cover an additional 50 square kilometers.
Frazer said: “This is a unique project utilizing wasteland. About 3,000 employees work at the desert shrimp farm and within the next two years 5,000 people will be working in the expanded project. By 2011 our production capacity will go up to 50,000 tons of shrimp per year. ...Saudi Arabia is known as an oil exporting country—but shrimp is the second-largest Saudi export to Japan after oil. We currently export to 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.”
NPC is owned jointly by the Saudi business groups Al Rahji, Al Balla and Al Subaiei. That group also owns Al Watania, the Middle East’s largest poultry producer, which produces a million eggs and 500,000 chickens a day.
Source: Business 24/7. NPC to invest $300m in fish farming. V.M. Sathish. November 25, 2008.
CP Executive Wins Award
Adirek Sripratak, an executive at CP Foods, a major producer, processor and marketer of farmed shrimp, has won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award from CNBC News Asia. Adirek has initiated efforts in environmentally friendly shrimp farming, planted mangrove forests and participated in alternative energy projects, including bio-gas, bio-diesel and cogeneration projects. He reports directly to the King of Thailand.
Source: The Nation. Two Thais named winners of CNBC Award. November 27, 2008.
California—Shrimp News International
Hi, I recently uploaded a new report to the Free Reports Page. It’s titled “Polychaetes, Maturation and Methyl Farnesoate” and summarizes a discussion from The Shrimp List that took place in November 2008.
You can check it out at: http://www.shrimpnews.com/PolychaetesMaturationFarnesoate.html.
Source: Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International. December 14, 2008.
New Jersey—Epicore, What Recession?
Epicore BioNetworks, Inc., a USA corporation that supplies probiotics and hatchery feeds to shrimp farmers worldwide, experienced strong business growth in the first quarter of fiscal year 2009, despite challenging market conditions and a near collapse of the world financial system. Revenue increased by 31% compared to the prior year quarter and set a new quarter one record. Some highlights:
• Net income increased to $0.18 million compared to $0.04.
• Net income as a percentage of sales revenue reached 22%.
• Diluted earnings grew from $0.002 per share to $0.008.
• Sales revenues increased by $0.2 million (31%).
• Stockholders equity increased to $2.2 million from $1.5 million.
• Cash on hand increased by $0.2 million.
Aquaculture and shrimp farming are Epicore’s strongest market sectors, producing 94% of total sales.
After months of torrential rains earlier this year, Ecuador recovered and contributed significantly to sales revenue during quarter one. The rest of Latin America also produced strong sales making it the most important market in the period. Distributors in Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, India and Thailand made major contributions to fiscal 2008 results.
Source: Epicore BioNetworks, Inc. News Release/Epicore BioNetworks Inc. Reports Strong Results in 2009 Quarter One for the period ended 30 September 2008. November 26, 2008.
Texas—Farmed Shrimp Production in 2008
According to Dr. Ya-Sheng Juan at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, farmers produced an estimated 3.67 million pounds of shrimp from 971.5 acres of ponds in 2008. The official production figure will be announced sometime after January 10, 2009, when the farms must file official production reports with TPWD as part of their exotic species permits. Currently, one farm is still harvesting because its harvesting equipment broke down earlier. The 2007 production estimate was 3.4 million pounds.
Information: Granvil Treece, Aquaculture Specialist, Texas A&M University, Sea Grant College Program, 2700 Earl Rudder Freeway South, Suite 1800, College Station, Texas 77845 USA (phone 979-845-7527, fax 979-845-7525, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website http://texas-sea-grant.tamu.edu).
Source: Emails to Shrimp News International from Granvil Treece on December 2, 2008.
Last Man Out, Turn Off the Pumps
On December 1, 2008, Ta Minh Phu, the deputy head of provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said Bac Lieu Province in the Mekong Delta lost 197 hectares of shrimp farms in the past week because of the declining price of shrimp and increasing operating costs. That adds up to 21,550 hectares of lost shrimp ponds in 2008, most of them in Bac Lieu Town and Hoa Binh, Dong Hai and Gia Rai districts.
The cost of raising shrimp has increased by 20-40 percent due to surging input prices, while the price to the farmer has dropped by nearly a third compared to the same period last year. Shrimp farmers are losing anywhere from $590 to $2,362 per hectare!
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Southern province suffers major loss in shrimp aquaculture. Tran Thanh Phong. December 2, 2008.
Shrimp Prices Dropping
The international economic downturn has affected Vietnamese shrimp exports to the USA and Japan, its largest markets, and shrimp prices have dropped from 19% to 32%, compared to the same period in 2007. Shrimp is at its lowest price in the last ten years.
Source: Vietnam News Agency. Price of Mekong Delta shrimp falls 15-20%. Nguoi Lao Dong. December 2, 2008.
Uni-President to Build Two More Shrimp Hatcheries
The Uni-President Group, a Taiwan-based food conglomerate, plans to build two more shrimp hatcheries in Vietnam, after opening its first hatchery in the country in April 2008, which employs 60 workers and produces one billion postlarvae a year. With the completion of the two new hatcheries, Uni-President hopes to produce four billion postlarvae a year in Vietnam. Currently, shrimp farmers in Vietnam use 25 billion postlarvae a year. Uni-President was attracted to Vietnam by its growing shrimp production and low labor costs.
Uni-President also has two feed plants in Vietnam, which, in the first nine months of 2008, yielded profits of $11 million.
Vietnam is the world’s third-largest shrimp exporter, after China and Thailand.
Source: The Earth Times. Taiwan’s Uni-President Group to add two shrimp farms in Vietnam. December 3, 2008.
Branding Shrimp Products
Most Vietnamese shrimp exporters ship under distributors’ and importers’ brands. They also have their own brands, but have failed to popularize them in export markets. Dr. Andrew Graffham of the Natural Resources Institute in the United Kingdom says Vietnam should create a national brand for its shrimp products. He says that would create confidence in buyers who would then choose Vietnamese products over rival products. Graffham said the national brand should be built on quality and the environmental and social standards demanded by buyers. Consumers want guarantees of food safety, like full vertical and horizontal traceability from “farm to fork”, quality control, environmental protection and animal and social welfare, said Graffham.
The strategy for a national brand should focus on frozen shrimp and value-added products processed under certification standards accepted by European, Japanese and USA retailers, he said.
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Vietnam shrimp exports need brands to add value: UK experts. Minh Quang. November 29, 2008.
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