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Groundfish
Groundfish quotas are increasing slightly and supplies are expected to be stable [October 2016]
The Icelandic Marine Research Institute is recommending a 2% increase in its TAC (to total 244 000 tonnes). At the same time, ICES is recommending a 9% cut in the quota in the Barents Sea. For 2017, ICES has recommended a cod quota of 805 000 tonnes, down from 894 000 tonnes in 2016. The haddock quota suggested by ICES for 2017 was set at 233 000 tonnes, down from 244 000 tonnes in 2016.
In the North Sea, ICES has recommended a 2017 cod quota of 47 431 tonnes, down from 49 259 in 2016. The saithe quota in the North Sea, on the other hand, will be increased by 60% to 116 605 tonnes.
Canada's Atlantic cod stocks are reported to be slowly recovering. According to a report by the CBC News, the stocks are the largest they have been since 1992, but this does not mean that large-scale commercial fishing is being resumed. The Canadian Government imposed a moratorium on this fishery in 1992 because the stock was in danger of extinction. As a result, the stock is now recovering, and has grown to 300 000 tonnes in 2013 and to 538 000 tonnes in 2015.
The 2016 quota for US hake (also called Pacific whiting) has been increased by 13% to 367 553 tonnes. Of the total quota, 17.5% (64 322 tonnes) is reserved for Native Americans, 1 500 tonnes are set aside for by-catch, and the rest is for commercial operations.
The FAO General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean has announced that countries bordering on the Mediterranean have agreed to limit the fishing for hake in the Strait of Sicily in an effort to rebuild the resource. The measures introduced include closure of bottom trawling in three breeding areas, the introduction of a minimum reference size of 20 cm, and catch limits for 2017 and 2018.
Surimi production expected to increase significantly, which may lead to a pronounced price fall [October 2016]
The Alaska pollock A season fell short of expectations, but the US surimi industry still believes that 2016 will be a good one, if not a bumper year. Production is expected to pick up in the B season, which started 10 June. In the 2014/2015 season, global surimi production was estimated at some 800 000 tonnes, of which Alaska pollock surimi accounted for 200 000 tonnes. Tropical fish surimi accounted for about 500 000 tonnes, with other fisheries contributing the rest (Source: US Surimi Forum, April 2016).

In Alaskan waters, pollock tends to stay longer in colder waters, and consequently the fish grows slower. This smaller fish has prompted some processors to shift from filleted pollock production to surimi production. This is a trend that started in 2015, and is expected to continue. Also contributing to a shift in surumi production is the increased Alaska pollock quota and problems in the European block industry.
According to some analysts, these shifts towards surimi production may lead to a significant increase in surimi that will result in a price crash following a slight price increase since 2014.

The expected additional production may amount to 30 000 to 40 000 tonnes, and it is doubtful whether the market can absorb that amount without a major price reduction. Adding to the concern is a longer-term trend that consumers are increasingly preferring "natural" products, which is leading them to move away from processed foods, such as surumi. However, there is also still a significant demand for high-protein products, with surimi filling that need. With all of these developments and trends, it will be interesting to see how demand does with a possible over supply.

In the Faroe Islands, a fishing and processing company is building a surimi plant to produce surimi based on blue whiting. Rather than using the blue whiting for fishmeal production, as they currently do, they think they can get a higher price for their catch by turning it into surimi. The company has a blue whiting quota of 70 000 tonnes for 2016, and expects to produce about 6 000 tonnes of surimi in 2017. The plant is expected to open in December 2016.

In Japan, buyers are demanding even lower prices for Alaska pollock surimi after they fell in April. Compared with the 2015 A season, Japan's purchasing price for middle- and low- grade products went down by JPY 20 per kg. This is the first time in six seasons that Japanese surimi prices have declined, which demonstrates that it is largely due to currency exchange fluctuations as the yen has appreciates against the USD. Prices in USD have remained stable.

Groundfish supplies stable, changing trade patterns [August 2016]
The supply situation is stable, with an expected slight (+2-3%) increase in supplies in 2016. However, there may be an oversupply of pollock, resulting in some pressure on prices. Overall, trade flows will undergo some shifts in 2016, as more processing of raw material from Europe and North America will be shipped to Viet Nam instead of China.

Total supplies of groundfish will increase by just over 3% to reach 7.27 million tonnes in 2016, according to estimates presented at the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in March. Supplies of Atlantic cod are forecasted to be about the same as in 2015, while there will be slight increases for pollock, haddock and saithe. Various types of hake will also increase marginally, while supplies of hoki will decline by 3%.

In terms of management measures, scientists have recommended a 14% reduction in the 2017 pollock TAC in Russia, which means a TAC for industrial vessels of 1.3 million tonnes. Russian cod supplies in 2016 will remain stable at just under 900 000 tonnes.
For the southern African hake fishery, the outlook for 2016 is optimistic. After three years of slight declines in total landings, a slight increase in production is forecasted for 2016. Estimates by the main South African company Irvin & Johnson indicate that South African production will remain level at 148 000 tonnes, while Namibian landings are expected to increase slightly from 140 000 tonnes in 2015 to 145 000 tonnes in 2016.

The Norwegian skrei (spring cod) fishery, which runs from January until April each year, started slowly this year, but picked up quickly in February and early March. The slow start in the beginning of the year was partially due to the fact that the spawners were somewhat slow in reaching the Lofoten and Vesterålen regions in North Norway, and also due to poor weather, as most skrei fishing is done by small coastal vessels. Fishers report strong catches of high quality, large fish, with such good volumes landed that prices for smaller sizes were higher than their larger counterparts in mid-March. In general, prices for Norwegian fresh cod are high at the moment, and demand for this high-quality fish is very good in Europe.

Hake Market Report - Argentina - January 2010 [January 2010]

Lower landings of hake in Argentina

Argentinean landings of hake in the first half of 2009 totalled 186 467 tonnes, which represents an 11% fall compared with the same period in 2008. The lower level of landings is a trend observed in all species, hubbsi (-2%), hoki (-29%) and southern hake (-32%), with hubbsi being the main captured species with a 72,5% share in total landings. Taking into consideration landings in the first nine months of 2009, the reduction is lower (-7%), but the fall in hubbsi landings is more significant (-4%).
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Groundfish Market Report - June 2009 [June 2009]

Lower prices of Alaska pollack reported

The groundfish market continues to be well supplied and prices are declining. More availability of Alaska pollack from Russia has created a downward spiral for groundfish prices. Demand is not expected to improve in coming months.
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Wednesday 20 September 2017
Top Info


Fish Info Network Directors meet at Conxemar, Vigo
In October each year the Spanish Association of Wholesalers, Importers, Manufacturers and Exporters of Fish products and Aquaculture (Conxemar) organizes the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition in Vigo, Spain.

Back to back with this event Conxemar jointly holds an international conference together with FAO. This year the conference was dedicated to cephalopods, a group of molluscs that includes squids, cuttlefishes, and octopus. The conference also provides the backdrop for various side events such as the Vigo dialogue on decent work in fisheries and aquaculture, and the meeting of the Fish Info Network (FIN).
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