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Global seafood company Marine Harvest has officially changed its name to MOWI. The new name is strongly rooted in the history of the company as it was originally founded as Mowi by Norwegian aquaculture pioneers more than 50 years ago, the company stated in a release.
The Government of Canada signed an agreement on Monday in partnership with Quebec’s Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government for the Listuguj First Nation-Canada Fish Framework Agreement.

The Framework Agreement outlines Listuguj's fish interests, positions parties to explore innovative fish arrangements, and reaffirms the parties' commitment to advance Listuguj's fishing rights. The agreement will also help establish a process to help strengthen a nation-to-nation relationship between the Government of Canada and Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government.

"The Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government (LMG) recognizes that fishing is our inherent right that stems from our traditional way of life. Mi'gmaq law recognizes this inherent right,” Chief Darcy Gray of the Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government stated in a release. “As an elected government we will continue to exercise our jurisdiction over and responsibility for our fisheries as a community. Usgaqa'nminew aq ango'tesnug – our fisheries belong to us, and we will take care of it. Through this agreement, we hope that Canada can be a partner in our efforts and look forward to the work ahead."

The Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government is one of three Mi'gmaq communities of Quebec, all of which have a treaty right to hunt, fish, and gather for a "moderate livelihood," as confirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada's 1999 Marshall Decision.

The agreement represents an important act of reconciliation, based on mutual respect and recognition of the rights and interests of the Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government and all Canadians.

"Being part of this achievement with our partners of the Listuguj Mi'gmaq Government is an honour. I wish all the best to the parties in their discussions to move forward on a true and strong reconciliation,” Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, said in the release.

Listuguj consists of approximately 4,100 registered members. The community is located on the north shore of the Restigouche River in Quebec, north of the interprovincial bridge linking Quebec and New Brunswick.

Listuguj's fish interests include: enhancing their fisheries resource capacity, strengthening their fish governance institutions, developing cooperative fisheries management regimes, and improving the economic and ecological sustainability of their fisheries.

After a long planning process, a US$16.4 million renovation project has begun at the Puyallup Fish Hatchery on the Puget Sound in Washington, U.S. The hatchery dates back to 1948 and operations manager Jim Jenkins said the facility will benefit greatly from an update.
Lunenburg, N.S.-based frozen seafood company High Liner Foods has reported a loss in its third quarter 2018 results and provided details of how the company is advancing five critical initiatives designed to drive cost savings, enhance the efficiency of the business and return the company to profitable organic growth by 2020.

The key financial results indicate sales decreased by $41.5 million to $241.2 million compared to $282.7 million.

"Our disappointing third quarter financial performance reflects challenges in both the external operating environment and our internal operations, and reinforces the need for action to realign the business and drive cost efficiencies," said Rod Hepponstall, president and chief executive officer of High Liner Foods. 

Subsequent to the end of the third quarter of 2018, High Liner completed its organizational realignment, resulting in a reduction of 14 per cent of its salaried workforce. The full realignment will generate approximately $7 million in net annualized run rate cost savings, which gives the company full confidence that it will achieve in excess of the previously disclosed $10 million net annualized run rate cost savings that will be generated by executing against its five critical initiatives.  

High Liner said it expects the cost savings to be delivered within the next 12 to 15 months. There will be a one-time charge of approximately $4.5 million associated with the latest round of restructuring, $3.3 million of which will be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2018, with the remainder to be recognized in 2019.

"The good news is that demand for seafood continues to be strong and the company is well-positioned to meet this demand because of its established market position, well-known brands and seafood expertise,” Hepponstall added.

“Over the next 12 to 15 months we will focus on five critical initiatives that will ensure we have the most efficient supply chain, a simplified business with lower costs, the right talent in the right roles, a tighter integration with Rubicon, and a stronger strategic marketing platform to grow consumer demand for seafood and our value-added offerings,” he said. “We are focusing all of our attention on ensuring swift and effective execution…to stabilize the business and create optimal conditions for innovation, industry leadership and growth in support of long-term value creation for our stakeholders."

Halifax, N.S. -based seafood company Clearwater Seafoods has announced strong results in its third quarter of 2018.
The National Aquaculture Association is calling on young farmers to apply for the Mike Clark Aquaculture Farmer Leadership Program.
Maynard, Mass.-based biotechnology company AquaBounty announced its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30, 2018.
The Wild Rose Fish Hatchery in Wild Rose, Wis., has developed an exhibit dedicated to the long history of the lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) in the area.
AquaBounty Technologies says it expects to start commercial production of its AquAdvantage genetically modified salmon in early 2019.

A $1.52-million loan (C$2 million) it secured from the Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada will help it complete the construction of a 250-metric-ton production facility on its Rollo Bay site, where the GM salmon will be raised. The site includes an R&D hatchery and a broodstock facility.

“This loan should enable us to complete construction of the growout facility at Rollo Bay by the end of this year and to commence commercial production of our innovative AquAdvantage Salmon in early 2019,” said Ronald Stotish,  AquaBounty CEO. “This facility will demonstrate the superior economics that AquAdvantage brings to land-based recirculating aquaculture systems.  We are very grateful for the support we have received and continue to receive from the Province of Prince Edward Island.”

Roughly 20-30 technical jobs will be created once the facility is in operation, the company said.
China ranks first in farmed fish output thus its efforts toward aquaculture sustainability can be seen as good news for consumers around the world.

China has produced more farmed fish than the rest of the world combined since 1991. But “in recent years China aquaculture aimed for production increase to satisfy the market demand, and didn’t pay much attention on aquaculture regulating and governance, water-resources saving and environment protection,” acknowledged Dr Xinhua Yuan, a senior aquaculture officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The country’s strategies to improve efficiency and sustainability in the sector could mean a large reduction in growth for its aquaculture industry but also enhanced seafood quality for consumers.

The policy changes, laid out in its Five-Year Plan (2016 - 2020), “will enhance consumer confidence on aquaculture products from China, as more and more fish will be produced in ecological and environment friendly models,” Dr Yuan tells Aquaculture North America (ANA).

“Green” farmed fish will be offered at higher prices because of the higher costs of producing them, but “consumers are willing to pay the increased prices, because the awareness on ecological and environmental issues is improving worldwide,” he says.

While these efforts could significantly curtail the growth of China’s aquaculture industry, Dr Yuan believes these will not challenge the general fish supply in domestic and international markets. “China has huge fish production, and the adoption of new policy on greener aquaculture and new technology are carried out step by step,” he says.

Modernization, professionalization, and the emergence of intensive and semi-intensive farms made the crustacean sector the fastest growing aquaculture segment from 2010 to 2016, according to RaboResearch, citing FAO statistics.

Between 2010 and 2016, the global aquaculture industry nearly doubled its value, increasing by $100 billion. Crustaceans represented 28 percent of the total industry value growth over the period. Beyhan de Jong, Associate Analyst Animal Protein, says that shrimp has been a key driver of that growth.

“Major changes to farm design, nurseries, water processing ponds, using better genetics and many other improvements are done to prevent EMS outbreaks,” she said.

De Jong notes that while other regions have suffered from disease outbreaks, India and Ecuador became the main producers and exporters of shrimp and many farmers in those regions have shifted from extensive farming to intensive farming.

For the growth to continue, de Jong says the industry should look at digitalization, which could help reduce costs, improve real-time business and apply more strategy in supply planning, purchases and sales. It will also improve traceability, which is important to consumers. The application of next-generation genetic enhancements will help. Recirculating aquaculture systems could also become a major player in the future, she said.

Another potential issue, de Jong says, is supply and demand. The supply currently exceeds demand, and with lower prices and tight margins, it may be challenging to attract investment. However, this could be an opportunity for processors to create new products and to work on innovation and value creation.
The ability to adapt and innovate is crucial in ensuring the future of the marine ingredients industry, said IFFO’s President Eduardo Goycoolea at the opening of IFFO’s 58th Annual Conference in Rome on Monday.

Goycoolea speaks amidst renewed pressure for the industry to embrace more sustainable practices, and the push for aquaculture to reduce its reliance on marine-derived fish feed ingredients.

“As an industry you have adapted your products to ensure the success of the aquaculture industry, but as resources continue to become scarcer, more innovation will be needed. There are huge opportunities in producing further new marine ingredients from our oceans, your future is in your hands, be true to your name,” he told participants.

Dr George Chamberlain, President, Global Aquaculture Alliance, said marine ingredients are “the gold standard”  but agreed with Goycoolea  that “supply needs to increase through by-products and the development of new innovative sources.”

The IFFO conference wraps up Wednesday.
Canada’s new federal minister responsible for regulating the aquaculture industry on Thursday indicated radical change is coming in the way Canada manages Atlantic salmon farming.

In 2010, management of aquaculture became the responsibility of the federal government as per a Supreme Court decision (Morton v. British Columbia) in 2009. The significance of that decision was that it declared that fish (and shellfish) farming was in fact a “fishery” and gave exclusive authority to the Government of Canada for the management of that "fishery." Prior to 2010 provinces were responsible for managing most to all of aspects of the industry, including licensing and regulating the industry around production, animal health, compliance and enforcement.

At the launch of the International Year of the Salmon in Vancouver, BC on Thursday, Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said that is about to change. He said the government is looking at area-based management of the industry, which will include “tenuring decisions” on farm sites in the province of British Columbia.

“This is a new departure with respect to how we are actually addressing aquaculture going forward. It is also an area where expect to work collaboratively with our partners in the province and with First Nations communities because it is obviously a critical issue for many of them,” Wilkinson said.

BC Premier John Horgan said the area-based tenuring that Minister Wilkinson is advocating is a “sea change in how we look at issuing tenures in our oceans.”

“From the provincial perspective we have a modest responsibility for anchoring tenures. About 10 percent of the activity is the responsibility of the province, (but) the remainder of what happens in the water column, the fish, the animals, what they eat, what medicines they require, are a federal responsibility.

“Minister Wilkinson and I are working cooperatively on two orders of government to ensure that when we’re talking to communities, when we’re working face to face, nation to nation with indigenous peoples as well as with industry, that we’re very candid with what we’d like to see with the industry, we’re harmonizing the tenures now between federal and provincial governments. These are very positive steps forward but we’ve got a lot more work to do,” he said.

Wilkinson has not indicated how the new management approach will look like as discussions are still in progress.

Salmon faming is a contentious issue in some First Nation communities in BC. Beginning June 2022, applications for new or renewal of fish farm licences in the province will have to meet two new criteria before the province approves them: consent from local First Nations that own the territories, and a stipulation from the federal Fisheries Department that the farm won’t endanger BC wild salmon.

Bob Chamberlain, the elected chief councillor of Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis First Nation in the Broughton Archipelago said his council “is now getting closer to finalizing a set of recommendations” for a transition plan for the industry in the Broughton archipelago.

He said they have been exploring “a transition plan for the industry that is not going to further impact the wild salmon, but at the same time is respectful of the overall operations.”

“We feel confident that with the support of the provincial government and the federal government that we’ll be able to arrive at a set of recommendations for an agreed-upon transition plan for the industry,” he said.



UK retailer Marks & Spencer has launched an interactive website that answers one of the questions often asked by today’s consumers: where is my food sourced?

On the site, consumers can find out where the seafood it sells comes from; the farming or capture method used and other sustainability-related information for every farm or fishery.

The retailer offers a wide range of products -- from fish fillets to pre-made salads, sandwiches and ready meals – that feature 11 farmed species from eight countries. Ninety-seven percent of the suppliers are third-party certified.  The type of farming method they used is also indicted, for instance net pen farming or suspended rope grown, and each type is explained to the consumer.

For wild catch, the website lists 47 marine species across 71 fisheries, accounting for every kind of seafood that M&S uses in its product lines.

“Transparency is an important part of the trust that our customers and stakeholders put in us - that’s why we’ve published this smart tool which lays bare our whole fish supply chain, wherever it is in the world, and however it is fished or farmed,” said Hannah Macintyre, the company’s marine biologist.
The Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is investing around $500,000 (C$588,000) to boost employment opportunities in the province’s aquaculture industry.

The fund, which was disbursed to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), will be used to develop “labor market information tools and products.”

“The development of labor market tools specific to aquaculture will further help build the industry and create the jobs needed to support a bright future for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians,” said Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, who announced the grant at NAIA’s Cold Harvest Conference and Trade Show in St John’s on September 26.

The funding comes at a time when the Canadian aquaculture industry is suffering from a labor shortage. Latest data from the Canadian Agriculture Human Resources Council indicates that there is an 11-percent vacancy rate in the industry and millions of dollars in lost revenue because of the labor shortage.

The initiative builds on over $396,000 provided to NAIA to support the development of an Aquaculture Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

“Through this initiative with the provincial government we will be positioned to succeed in providing additional year-round employment to dedicated farmers of the sea in rural coastal communities,” said Mark Lane, Executive Director, NAIA.
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