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Friday, November 26, 2010

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There will be no Shrimp News next week, Friday, December 3, 2010.

Shrimp News will return on Friday, December 10, 2010.


Only “Elite” Shrimp Farms Will Be Able to Achieve World Wildlife Fund/Aquaculture Stewardship Council Certification!


The November 2010 issue of Seafood Business magazine contains a long article by associate editor James Wright about the coming certification showdown between the Global Aquaculture Alliance and the World Wildlife Fund.  In the article, Wright quotes Philip Smith, CEO of the World Wildlife Fund’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council, as saying: “One of the aims of the standard-setting process was to have a target of 20 percent of producers capable of meeting the standards.  The aim is to encourage certification of volumes considered mainstream, not niche.”  Wright also said that Smith said: Only elite producers should be able to achieve certification.


Information: Eric Bernard, WWF US, Shrimp Aquaculture Dialogue Coordinator, 1 Carrefour de Longchamps, 75016 Paris, France (cell phone 00-33-6-98405393, email, website



Some Other Information from the Article


How much does certification cost?  The Global Aquaculture Alliances charges an initial audit fee that ranges from $3,000 to $5,000, plus an adjustable annual fee based on production.  GAA has set the adjustable fee at $1.25 per metric ton, not to exceed $6,000 a year.


Smith, of the World Wildlife Fund’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council, which will be based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, said its charges for certification will be based on volume and value, but the cost structure has not been set yet.  Unlike GAA’s certification, ASC certification does not cover food safety, so producers would also have to seek that certification from Global Gap or some other certification agency.


QVD Seafood, based in Bellevue, Washington, is one of the United States’ biggest Vietnamese pangasius [catfish like] importers and, as a vertically integrated company, it oversees product from the hatchery right through to the processing plant.  Chris December, President QVD Seafood, has evaluated both the GAA and ASC programs, but has not officially decided which certification is best suited for its business.  A decision is expected by the end of 2010.  The process, December says, has revealed differences between the two programs that are both subtle and significant, particularly regarding allowable fish density, antibiotic use, feed label verification and traceability.


Information: Bill More.  BAP Management Group, 706 North Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River, Florida 34429, USA (phone 1-352-563-0565, extension #1, email, webpage For more information on BAP, visit



Source: Seafood Business.  Eco-Label Lowdown.  James Wright (jwright©  Volume 29, Number 11, P-18, November 2010.



Country Reports


Why You Vex?


In response to a newspaper survey asking the above question, one reader responded:


“I is vex dat all dem politicians tying up their valuable time in dealing with this hotel construction and management business.  They should instead be ‘politicking’ and getting the Chinese to assist in funding projects to revitalize the economy of my beloved Freeport [a city in the Bahamas] with shrimp farming....”


Source: The Tribune.  Why You Vex?  November 13, 2010.


Virus Testing Equipment


In the October 29, 2010, issue of Shrimp News, an item mentioned a real-time turbidimeter for detecting shrimp viruses that is being developed in Thailand.  Then, the November 5, 2010, issue carried an item on the LC-MS/MS machines that Bangladesh is using to test for shrimp viruses.  That report suggested that the two techniques were used to detect viruses at the same product level.  In an email to Shrimp News, Ramon M. Macaraig, from Alsons Aquaculture Corporation in the Philippines, pointed out the differences between the two techniques:


“The LCMS(MS) are used to detect antibiotics in processed products that are ready for export.  They are very sensitive machines able to detect down to one part per billion (two eye drops in an Olympic-sized swimming pool).  The turbidimeter from Thailand is used to detect viruses while the animals are still in the ponds.”


Shrimp News contacted Macaraig for a little more information on the testing machines.  He responded:


The LCMS(MS) machines are used to detect very low levels of chemical residues in food samples.  For the aquaculture industry, that means antibiotics like chloramphenicol, the nitrofurans and malachite green, which must be as close to zero as possible.  The last time I checked the detection limit of these machines for malachite green, for example, they were accurate down to 0.26 parts per billion.  The rejection point for most countries in Europe on malachite green is 1.0 ppb.


By the way, the Philippines still does not have a LCMS(MS) machine for testing its exports.  The machines are expensive, about $800,000 each.  When you add in the cost of supplies, maintenance and labor, they can be cost prohibitive for some Asian countries.


Source: Emails to Shrimp News International from Ramon Macaraig ( on November 4 and 9, 2010.


GLOBEFISH Shrimp Market Survey


In the spring of 2010, demand for shrimp began to improve.  Most shrimp in Japan is distributed through supermarkets and the primary product is head-on giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).  Japanese consumers prefer to eat at home, rather than at expensive restaurants, thus restaurant demand was limited in early 2010.


Imports during January-March 2010 increased by 1.7% compared with the corresponding period in 2009.  Government figures showed that the share of prepared and processed shrimp dropped to 25.4% from 26.5% in 2009, although imports of “sushi shrimp on rice”, mostly from Thailand, surged significantly.


Thailand, Viet Nam, Indonesia and China supply 68% of Japan’s shrimp.  Compared to the same period in 2009, overall supply from Thailand increased to 17,600 tons (up 31.5%) followed by Viet Nam at 9,900 tons (up 7.4%).  Imports from Indonesia and China fell.


During the second quarter of the year, supplies of big shrimp tightened, while prices for smaller shrimp softened in April and then firmed from May onwards, following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


In June, the appreciation of the yen helped Japanese importers finalize some deals, but at relatively high prices.  Price increases in the international market hurt Japanese importers because when they try to raise prices, the consumers stop buying.


Source: GlobeFish (from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).  Shrimp.  November 2010.




On November 11, 2010, after finding three batches of Vietnamese shrimp that contained trifluralin, an herbicide, Japanese authorities began inspecting 100% of Vietnamese shrimp imports.  Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of Vietnam’s seafood exporters association, said Japan had already been inspecting 30 percent of Vietnamese shrimp imports after a warning about trifluralin early in 2010.  Hoe said Japanese companies were dropping the price they offered for Vietnamese shrimp or turning to other countries for supplies!


Trifluralin is a widely used herbicide that, in large doses, can cause cancer in animals.  In April 2010, Vietnam banned its use in aquaculture, but it is unclear how well that order is being enforced, and residues can remain in the soil for many months.


So far in 2010, Japan has imported about 40,000 tons of Vietnamese tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).


The Vietnamese state-run newspaper Lao Dong quoted Ngo Van Nga, director of the Quoc Viet Seafood Processing Co, as saying complete quality control of Vietnamese shrimp was impossible because each container holds shrimp from many different ponds.  “If they decide to check 100 percent of Vietnam’s shrimp, no one knows what will happen,” Nga said.  “When they are rejected, companies lose $10,000 per container on expenses like transport and storage.”


Source: GROWfish (Gippsland Aquaculture Industry Network, Inc., or GAIN).  GROWfish eNewsletter (  Japan to Inspect Vietnamese Shrimp over Pesticide Traces.  November 13, 2010.


Government Boost for Shrimp Farming


The Philippine Agriculture Department said it will help San Miguel Corp produce and export shrimp!  In the 1980s and early 1990s, San Miguel Corp was a major player in a booming intensive shrimp farming industry on the island of Negros.  Then, Vibrio attacks during the first sixty days of growout wiped out the industry!  Today, San Miguel is one of the Philippines’ most diversified companies, producing nearly three percent of the country’s gross national product with its highly integrated operations in beverages, food, energy, power, mining, telecommunications and infrastructure.


Sources: 1. FIS United StatesGovt Joins Conglomerate to Boost National Prawn Sector.  Natalia Real (  November 16, 2010.  2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, November 22, 2010.


Floods Cause $6.7 Million in Shrimp Losses


In early November 2010, in Surat Thani Province, 130 shrimp farms covering 3,200 hectares in six districts were damaged by floods that caused losses worth about $6.7 million, said Akapot Yotpinit, chairman of a Surat Thani shrimp farmer group.


Source: Bangkok Post.  Farmers Fear Huge Shellfish Deluge Losses.  November 13, 2010.


★★★★Asian Feed Co., Ltd., First to Receive Four Stars from GAA


On November 9, 2010, Asian Feed Co., Ltd., part of Asian Seafoods Coldstorage Public Co., Ltd., became the first GAA/BAP-certified feed mill and the first company to receive GAA’s four stars: one for its hatchery, one for its farms, one for its processing plants, and now, one for its feed mill.  The facility manufactures shrimp feed under the “Champ”, “Extra”, “Hero” and “Rambo” brands.


Asian Seafoods Coldstorage operates a BAP-certified seafood processing plant in tandem with its Tawee and Aquapool shrimp farms, several of which are certified as BAP integrated operating modules.  Asian Seafoods produces postlarvae at its Tripetch hatchery and Best Hatchery Farm.  Its processing plant has been BAP certified since 2006.


Information: Bill More, BAP Management Group, 706 North Suncoast Boulevard, Crystal River, Florida 34429, USA (phone 1-352-563-0565, extension #1, email, webpage For more information on BAP, visit


Source: Global Aquaculture Alliance.  News Release.  Best Aquaculture Practices Program Gains First Certified Feed Mill, Four-Star Company.  November 12, 2010.


CP’s Third Quarter Results


On November 10, 2010, Charoen Pokphand Foods, which has shrimp hatcheries, farms and processing plants throughout Asia, reported a net profit of $144.9 million, a 4.1 percent increase over the same quarter in 2009.  CP Foods is 47.9 percent owned by the CP Group, Thailand’s largest agribusiness company and one of the largest companies in Asia.


Source: Reuters.  Thai CP Foods Q3 Profit Up 4 Percent, Matching Forecast.  Ploy Ten Kate and Alan Raybould.  November 10, 2010.

United States

USA—Maine, Lobster “The Big Mother Shucker”


Shucks Maine Lobster uses a water-filled compression chamber, affectionately known as the “Big Mother Shucker”, to separate lobster tails from their shells.  A pump pressurizes the water to 40,000 pounds per square inch—almost 2,700 times the pressure of the air around us.


At such extreme pressure, cellular activities cease, causing instant death, and the flesh disconnects from the exoskeleton.  When the lobsters emerge six to eight minutes later, the succulent meat slips right out of the shell.  The meat is then re-submerged in a bag, and the pressure is cranked up to 87,000 psi, destroying listeria and other food-borne bacteria.  Because the force is uniform at all points, the flesh remains perfectly intact.


“Some folks from the FDA were up here last week,” Shucks owner John Hathaway said. “There was one woman who just wouldn’t smile at all.  Then I had her shuck a lobster and she lit right up.”  No one can resist the charm of the Big Mother Shucker.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  A Best Way to Shuck A Lobster?  87,000 Pounds of Water Pressure.  Peter Andrey Smith.  Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  November 12, 2010.

United States

Texas—Whole Foods Market, Nationwide Sale of Farmed Shrimp



Flagship Store and Gobal Support Offices in Austin, TX

Whole Foods Market reports: “On Friday, November 12, 2010, our stores will be offering medium-sized (31/40), tail-on cooked shrimp for $5.99–that’s half off the everyday price!  As with all of our farmed seafood, these shrimp are raised to the highest standards in the industry—ours!  This one-day-only sale has a limit of ten pounds per shopper and is available in the fresh case or in two-pound bags of individually frozen shrimp (easy to stock up for instant entertaining or surprise guests).  Here are a few more reasons why you’ll want to catch our ‘Shrimpsgiving’ sale while you can.”


“Strict farmed seafood standards.  Our standards prohibit antibiotics, added growth hormones, preservatives such as sulfites, and poultry and mammalian byproducts in feed.  And, all farms must pass a third-party audit to ensure our standards are met.”


“Hurry!  This is a one-day sale, and this specially priced shrimp is only available while supplies last.  Raised by one producer with traceability to the farm.  The producer meets our standards for protecting the environment by avoiding sensitive mangrove areas and operating a closed-water recycling system to protect water quality and the surrounding ecosystem.”


Information: Ashley Hawkins, Seafood Promotions, Whole Foods Market, Inc., 550 Bowie Street Austin, Texas 78703-4644, USA (phone 1-512-542.-0381, email, aquaculture webpage


Source: Paramus Post.  Friday Only: Cooked Shrimp 50% Off at Whole Foods Market Nationwide.  Mel Fabrikant.  November 8, 2010.

United States

Washington DC—Food Safety Legislation Comes Back to Life


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is reported to be planning to bring up food safety legislation (Senate Bill  510) again.  The bill has been languishing in the Senate for a year after being voted out of committee.  A companion bill, the Food Safety Enhancement Act, passed the House in July 2009.  If the Senate Bill passes, it would require food companies to submit detailed food safety plans, give FDA the power to order product recalls—and allow FDA greater access to company records!  The Senate bill has some opponents, but, overall, has strong bipartisan support, as well as broad support from both industry and consumer groups.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Food Safety Legislation Giving FDA Broader Powers Could Get Senate Vote This Week.  Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  November 16, 2010.

United States

Washington DC—USDA and NOAA Alternative Aquaculture Feeds Report


On November 18, 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquaculture Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and National Institute of Food and Agriculture opened a 60-day public comment period on their new report, The Future of Aquafeeds.  The agencies will be taking comments online through January 18, 2011.  Click here to view or download a copy of the report and for instructions on how to submit comments.


The report was prepared as part of the ongoing NOAA-USDA Alternative Feeds Initiative.  The Future of Aquafeeds provides a comprehensive view on the current state of knowledge and the challenges and opportunities associated with development of various alternative aquaculture feeds.  The findings, recommendations, and research priorities contained in the report will help identify and prioritize new and ongoing research to be conducted and funded by NOAA, USDA and other partners under the initiative.  The purpose of the joint NOAA-USDA Initiative is to accelerate the development of alternative dietary ingredients that will reduce the amount of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture feeds while maintaining the important human health benefits of farmed seafood.


Source: Email from the NOAA Aquaculture Program.  News Flash.  NOAA, USDA Open 60-Day Public Comment Period on Alternative Aquaculture Feeds Report.  November 18, 2010.

United States

Washington DC—Shrimp Imports Through September 2010


In September 2010, USA shrimp imports continued to rebound, reaching 122.2 million pounds, up 0.7 percent from September 2009, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on September 10, 2010.


After dropping in 10 of 11 months, USA shrimp imports have increased in each of the last four months (June, July, August and September).


What’s more, imports through September 2010 were up 0.2 percent to 852.8 million pounds, compared to the same period in 2009.  In August, they were up over last year for the first time in 2010.


Among the top six suppliers, the biggest increase in September came from Vietnam, whose exports grew 27.8 percent, to 15.2 million pounds.  Through September, USA shrimp imports from Vietnam were up 2.5 percent to 66.1 million pounds.


China’s exports to the USA market in September jumped 10.6 percent to 11.8 million pounds.  Through September, USA shrimp imports from China were up 8.7 percent, to 71.2 million pounds.


Imports from Thailand, by far the No. 1 supplier to the USA market, were down 7.1 percent in September 2010, to 41.9 million pounds, but were up 5.4 percent in the first nine months of 2010, to nearly 300 million pounds.


India bounced back in September, as its exports were up 103.2 percent, to 7.2 million pounds.  Through September, USA shrimp imports were up 21.6 percent, to 40.3 million pounds.


Once again, the biggest drop among the top six suppliers in September 2010 came from Mexico; its shrimp exports to the USA market plummeted 67.8 percent to just 3,600 pounds.  Through September, USA shrimp imports from Mexico were down 41.6 percent to 27.2 million pounds.


Source:  Editor, Steven Hedlund (  U.S. Shrimp Imports up Again in September.  November 10, 2010.

United States

Washington State—Don’t Buy Shrimp at Costco says you should not buy shrimp at Costco,the third largest retailer in the United States and the ninth largest in the world, because:


Most shrimp sold in the USA is imported from countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia, where environmental regulations are often lax or not enforced, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an education and advocacy non-governmental organization.  The EDF classifies shrimp imported from these regions as “eco-worst” for the environmentally destructive ways in which they are often farmed.  Greenpeace took aim at Costco’s seafood sustainability practices in June 2010 with an aggressive campaign called “Oh No Costco”.  While Costco seafood buyer Bill Mardon says his company has entered into a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to set global standards for shrimp farming, the specific objectives are still being discussed.


“Costco gets credit for starting down the road,” says Tim Fitzgerald, senior policy analyst for oceans at EDF, “but they are still very early on.”  In the meantime, you’re better off buying shrimp at Trader Joe’s, which is much further along on the same path.  After Greenpeace launched its Traitor Joe campaign in early 2009, Trader Joe’s pledged to remove all non-sustainable seafood from its stores by the end of 2012, and it’s already taken concrete steps in that direction.


Source:  4 Things Not to Buy at Costco.  Louise Tutelian.  November 17, 2010.


USDC Certification!


Vietnam is ramping up its use of United States Department of Commerce inspections to verify compliance with its HACCP and food safety requirements.


The Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) held a recent meeting and seminar with David Moisan, Regional Director for USDC Seafood Inspection Program (SIP), Charles and Lisa Cardile of C&S Laboratory Consultants and Jim Bugbee, a consultant and former head of QVD (a leader in Pangasius and seafood products from Vietnam) in the USA, to discuss the requirements, benefits and future trends of the program.


About 50 companies attended the meeting, including some shrimp exporters.


The USDC program is gaining prominence in Vietnam as USA-based customers now look to the USDC Seafood Inspection Program (SIP) as a third-party verification of HACCP compliance and food safety for all exported seafood products.


There are currently three processing plants in Vietnam in the SIP program all of which have worked with C&S Laboratory Consultants to assure compliance with USDC and FDA regulations.


There are over 38 processing plants currently in the overseas USDC program from 12 countries.  The recent memorandum of understanding between FDA and USDC could make this program an integral part of HACCP compliance and food safety assurance for both exporters and importers.  The USDC is the only USA government regulatory agency specifically focused on seafood safety, quality and HACCP compliance.


In 2011, USDC is planning to make available a new seal that can be used on both food service and retail consumer packaged goods highlighting compliance with this USA government program focused on overseas producers.


Jim Bugbee is currently working with companies in Asia as a consultant on USA export requirements and quality control programs with his new company, Pond and Sea.  He is also a special correspondent for News.  Formerly he was head of QVD USA, one of the major pangasius importers in the USA.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Vietnam Ramping up Use of USDC Overseas Inspection Program; USDC Seal to Be Introduced Next Year.  Jim Bugbee.  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  November 12, 2010.

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