In France a total of 1,033 people became ill and 21 needed hospital treatment in what seems to be a norovirus contamination of live oysters, according to Food Safety News. Sweden, Italy, and the Netherlands have all also reported outbreaks which can be traced back to France. Additionally, products have been recalled in Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Mats Lindblad, a communicable disease coordinator at the National Food Agency of Sweden states 31 people are sick linking the origin back to the French oysters through interviews. “Symptoms and incubation time indicate norovirus.
A report by Oceana, an environmental NGO, documents a three-week research expedition in the Quark, a narrow area in the northern part of the Baltic Sea between Finland and Sweden that separates the nearly‑freshwater Bothnian Bay from the more saline Bothnian Sea. The report calls for Finland and Sweden to establish a transboundary marine protected area (MPA) in the Quark in view of the area’s importance for biodiversity and the threats facing marine life present there. According to the report, the area’s changing salinity, depth, and levels of exposure to light, contribute to variations in substrate, flora, and fauna so that it hosts a unique mix of marine, brackish and freshwater species. Of these 71 are threatened or listed under the EU Habitats Directive or Birds Directives.
Adris Group, a major player in Croatia with activities in tourism, insurance, real estate, and healthy food services is behind Croatia’s largest producer of farmed fish, Cromaris. The positive development the group has shown over the last years mean that additional investments will be made into the sector. In the next three-year period, Adris Group plans to invest more than EUR30 million in the food sector through its ownership of Cromaris. Cromaris had a strong 2019 showing an 8% increase in sales for the first nine months of 2019 reaching a net profit of HRK13.2 million (EUR1.8 million), 80% of which is generated on foreign markets. In 2019, Cromaris will reach sales levels of nearly 10,000 tonnes of fresh fish. With the added investment Adris wants to transform Cromaris into a leader in the Mediterranean fish business.
The government and seafood industry are collaborating to create a brand, Russian Fish, under which fish and seafood from Russia will be marketed around the world. The idea is to promote Russia’s resources and boost the industry’s competitiveness in part by highlighting the sustainability of Russian wild-caught fish. The campaign, which has been devised by Expo Solutions Group, the organiser of the Seafood Expo Russia event in St. Petersburg, will also promote the brand as an indicator of quality of fish products from Russia. The brand was presented at the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo at the end of October 2019 as China is the initial target market for Russian seafood sold under the brand. Campaigns in European countries and the USA will follow.
ICCAT, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna, the regional fisheries management body responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic and adjacent seas, concluded negotiations at its 26th regular sesion by adopting a 15-year rebuilding plan for bigeye tuna. Although an imperfect plan in the eyes of many, it’s adoption was significant progress compared to the session last year, when the 52 contracting parties failed to agree on measures to protect the stock despite clear advice from the commission’s own scientists on the need to significantly reduce catches. The adopted plan reduces the total allowable catch forcing countries to make significant cuts to their current catches, a stricter limit on the number of fish aggregating devices (FAD) permitted per vessel, as well as an Atlantic-wide closure of FADs for two months in 2020 and three months in 2021. FAD closure was previously restricted to the Gulf of Guinea for two months. Other business conducted during the 8-day meeting included amending the 50-year-old ICCAT convention to provide the commission with a mandate to manage sharks and rays, which will help in the fight against IUU fishing, and the adoption of a measure to implement rebuilding efforts for Atlantic blue marlin and white marlin stocks.
A new publication in Spanish, Acuicultura marina. Granjas marinas de peces. Diseño y operación (Marine aquaculture. Marine finfish farms — Design and Operation) has been produced following a year’s work by the Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE) and APROMAR, the Spanish Aquaculture Producers Association. The publication covers the design, construction, and proper maintenance of marine aquaculture farms to reduce possible technical and operational failures and to avoid the possibility of escapes caused by accidental impacts during daily operations or by unexpected events. It lists good practices that fish farmers can implement to make Spanish marine aquaculture more sustainable.
The table of contents of the publication can be downloaded at: https://www.une.org/encuentra-tu-norma/busca-tu-norma/norma/?c=N0062824
An improved range of starter feeds for trout has been created following extensive research that provide key nutrients while improving water quality. Alltech Coppens TOP fry feed has an optimised ratio between digestible protein and digestible energy. This results in better performance with higher protein utilisation and lower ammonia excretion, leading to improved feed efficiency and better water quality. Dr Philip Lyons, Global Aquaculture Research Manager at Alltech Coppens says the feed not only improves performance during a critical phase but does so sustainably.
The world needs a new vision for fisheries in the 21st century, said Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General in his speech at the opening of the International Symposium on Fisheries Sustainability. The projected increase in global population to 10bn by 2050 will call for greater aquatic food production, he said, but without jeopardising the health of oceans and rivers, and while improving the social conditions of those dependent on fisheries, who are often the poorest in society. Although millions depend on fisheries for food and livelihoods the state of the world’s oceans is one of grave concern from the impacts of plastic pollution, climate change, overfishing and habitat degradation. Globally over one in ten people depend on fisheries to make a living and to feed their families, while one in three marine fish stocks is overfished.
Wakame, a popular edible seaweed, has been farmed for over 1,000 years, and has long been used in a number of popular dishes in Korea and Japan. It is a main ingredient of seaweed salads, popular in sushi restaurants around the world. Due to its low calorie and high nutrient content many consider it to be a superfood. The marine seaweed farm operated by Gijang Sustainable Seaweed Network, based in Gijang, in the south-eastern part of South Korea, grows wakame (Undaria pinnatifida), which is dried, processed, and then sold for human consumption around the world. The main destinations are China, Japan, the US, Germany, Scandinavia, and the UK. Gijang is the second producer to be certified against the ASC-MSC seaweed standard, after Japanese Euglena Co.but is the first marine farm to qualify for certification.
Maine is undoubtedly the most productive lobster fishing state in the United States and catches has been high for the last few years. This year, however, Maine’s lobster catch is well behind last year’s, with only a few weeks left of the fishing season. Fishermen had landed less than 50 million pounds (~ 22 thousand tonnes) of lobster in Maine at the end of September, according to the Portland Press Herald. Compared to the total landings during the same period last year that is 40 percent less, and nearly 40 percent off the five-year average. Pat Keliher, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Marine Resources stated that some of the decline could be attributed to lobsters shedding their shells late in the year. The lobster catch typically picks up when many lobsters lose their old shells and reach legal size.