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North Atlantic Seafood Forum 2021: Frozen food is ‘sexy’ again and this is straining the Alaska pollock supply chain

“IntraFish is covering the 2021 North Atlantic Seafood Forum LIVE right here. Keep checking back for updates on our coverage, social media commentary and more. If you have any thoughts on the presentations, tweet to @intrafish with the hashtag #NASF21.

The event begins Tuesday, June 8.

Live coverage sponsored by Baader


Wednesday, June 09, 17:27 pm CET

Norebo: China situation creating ‘vacuum’ in market

Due to challenges with imports into China, Russia has seen catches slow down and for the pollock “A” season, which ended in April, the country caught 137,000 metric tons less pollock than last year, a drop of 13 percent.

Likewise, H&G production is down 34 percent because of the issues in China, so there is more of focus on fillet production, which is up 31 percent or 11,000 metric tons.

At the same time, US production of PBO fillets is down 17,000 metric tons, “but this increase in fillet production in Russia did not manage to compensate for the reduction in the US, so overall there has been less production of block so far this year,” said Sturlaugur Haraldsson, managing director of Russian pollock harvester Norebo’s European division.

Due to the disruption in China, Russia exported 90 percent less pollock in the first quarter of the year at just 22,905 metric tons, compared with 231,599 metric tons in first quarter of 2020.

“This is a huge difference in volume,” said Haraldsson, and “the situation is creating a bit of a vacuum in the market.”

The factories in China are very low on raw material at the moment and the markets in Europe and the US are starting to feel this tightness in product, he said.

“And they will probably feel it even more later on as we feel increased demand in various markets.”

Wednesday, June 09, 16:47 pm CET

Norebo predicts 10-15% drop in 2022 cod quota

Wednesday, June 09, 16:15 pm CET

‘Strict controls’ on overfishing leave Chinese market with holes to fill

“Very strict controls” from the Chinese government on overfishing have stilted Chinese seafood production, according to figures from Joe Qiao, president of Chinese seafood processing, sales and distribution company Meichu Foods.

First signs of the crackdown can be seen in 2018’s figures, which show a 7 percent drop in output from the seafood giant, decreasing for the first time in years to 64.7 million metric tons. And it is a dip from which the industry has yet to recover, with 2020’s figures showing just a small nudge back up to 65.5 million metric tons.

There has also been a significant shift in the import-export balance, with 2019 reflecting 6.3 million metric tons of imported seafood versus 4.3 million metric tons of exports. This can be compared to an even balance in 2015 of 4.08 million metric tons of imports versus 4.06 million metric tons of exports.

Wednesday, June 09, 15:31 pm CET

Making it stick

The key challenge for the frozen retail channel now is how to make the new consumers gained during the pandemic stick around, said Stuart Price, Nomad Foods’ head of seafood procurement.

“It does not mean all will remain however, or forever, but there has never been a better more encouraging opportunity for them to remain.”

Consumers were forced to change their habits due to the pandemic and some of these habits such as online purchases, in-home lunches and premium tiering of ranges are expected to remain. “All these are big opportunities for us operating in the frozen fish category,”

Frozen fish retail sales in Western Europe saw a near 12 percent increase from April 2020 to April 2021.

Wednesday, June 09, 14:45 pm CET

Anti-COVID measures hit US imports of cod from China

In the first quarter of 2021 US imports of cod from China were 2,024 metric tons below the same period in 2020, Nordic Group Vice President Frank Bodin said.

This was not necessarily linked to the lack of sea freight containers but driven also by very strict anti-COVID measures implemented from October that saw processing plants shut down 14 days before the Chinese New Year.

“All products had to be tested before going into factories not just those coming in but also from public wholesalers that slowed down production in China and consequently we see that slowdown evolving into January, February and March,” he said.

Wednesday, June 09, 14:38 pm CET

Cape Hake outlook remains stable

The Cape Hake supply outlook remains stable, Sea Harvest Group Sales and Marketing Director Konrad Geldenhuys said.

Europe remains the largest market with Spain as the largest consumer of hake worldwide.

Foodservice demand has been disrupted but retail is expected to remain firm.

Traditional hake foodservice markets are expected to recover with increase COVID-19 vaccinations and during the summer season.

“With increased MSC hake availability from South Africa and Namibia we expect to see more Cape Hake sold at retail in northern Europe, particularly Holland and Germany.”

The South African domestic market is expected to remain stable particularly at retail.

Wednesday, June 09, 14:05 pm CET

Supply pipe dried out

Wednesday, June 09, 13:59 pm CET

Supply chain ‘stressed’ for Alaska pollock

Supply chain challenges have hit the Alaska pollock sector over the past year as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, while demand has remained strong, said Rasmus Sorensen, executive vice president of Global Sales for Seattle-based American Seafoods.

“Especially when it comes to whitefish blocks and surimi, the supply chain got stressed quite fast, there was an over demand and undersupply that developed.”

China had COVID issues and shut down, the global shipping crisis is severely impacting product flow, and product flows in and out of China have been quite difficult and continue to be, he said.

Russia also started changing product format focus and putting more emphasis on value-added products and producing more block and surimi, a trend that’s likely to continue.

Alaska also had its challenges, with COVID outbreaks hindering production and catching.

Sorensen said 2021 will continue to be dominated by supply challenges “everything will be short and late I don’t see anything changing on that front anytime soon,” he said.

Meanwhile demand for pollock will continue to be strong, he said. “Frozen food is sexy again, and all indicators suggest even when the pandemic is behind us all of these new customer are likely to stay.”

Additionally, foodservice will come back online as the world gets vaccinated and people return to restaurants.

“So there will be an enormous pipeline to be filled here in addition to continue strong demand from retail sector,” said Sorensen.

Wednesday, June 09, 13:50 pm CET

Wednesday, June 09, 13:22 pm CET

Global whitefish supply edges down 0.6% to 20 million tons in 2020

Global whitefish supply edged down 0.6 percent to 20 million metric tons in 2020, driven by a decline in aquaculture.

Wild-caught groundfish supplies increased slightly, while supplies from whitefish aquaculture were down 1 percent.

A decline in the pangasius supply was counterbalanced by increased tilapia supply.

An increase in te Alaska pollock supply offset the decline in cod and hake supplies in particular.

However, global whitefish supply from wild-caught and aquaculture sources is forecast to increase 3.7 percent in 2021 to around 20.7 million metric tons, said Ragnar Nystol head of analysis at Kontali Analysis. “This is driven by growth both in fisheries and from aquaculture.”

The global whitefish supply from aquaculture sources is expected to increase 4.1 percent in 2021.

Tilapia and pangasius make up the lion’s share, with barramundi, grouper and other marine finfish, seabass and seabream providing a much smaller share of supply.

Wednesday, June 09, 13:11 pm CET

Price trends for whitefish have moved in both directions

Wednesday, June 09, 12:12 pm CET

DNV launches marine aquaculture forecast to 2050

For the seafood industry to grow sustainably, operators, governments and investors need trusted information on which to base business cases, supportive policies and financial and technical due diligence, says DNV.

The group’s Marine Aquaculture Forecast to 2050 projects the demand and supply for farmed fish and other seafood considering population growth, changes in living standards and dietary shifts.

It also stresses the need to tackle key sustainability barriers and that future demand for seafood can only be met sustainably with a wave of technological innovation in marine aquaculture.

Wednesday, June 09, 11:40 am CET

Dongwon sees great opportunities for farmed salmon

Wednesday, June 09, 11:36 am CET

Salmon ‘not the end of the road’ for Dongwon; plans Norway pelagic expansion too

After recently entering aquaculture for the first time – through its joint venture with land-based salmon farmer Salmon Evolution — South Korea’s largest seafood company, Dongwon Industries, is eyeing further expansion and collaboration in Norway.

Myoung Woo Lee, CEO of the company, said the realization that — as a vertically integrated global company — Dongwon was not involved in aquaculture was an “eye opener for me.”

“It didn’t take long to see aquaculture will be a new growth engine for Dongwon in the years to come,” he said.

South Korea’s Atlantic salmon market has grown from 26,000 metric tons in 2016, to 40,000 metric tons in 2020. Dongwon’s share of this has grown from 13.7 percent to 21.6 percent over the same period. The market is expected to hit 100,000 metric tons by 2050.

“So, there is bright future for salmon,” said Lee.

Dongwon’s land-based project with Salmon Evolution expects to produce 10,000 metric tons by 2025 and 20,000 metric tons by 2030.

“But salmon is not the end of the road,” said Lee . “We wish to expand into other Norwegian pelagic species as well and will move to connect with Norwegian companies,” he said.

Wednesday, June 09, 10:55 am CET

Untapped potential

The seafood industry needs to work closer with small-scale producers in some of the poorer parts of the world if it wants to transform food production system, said Samuel Thevasagayam, Deputy Director, Global Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Aquaculture accounts for 52 percent of fish production for human consumption and 70 percent of that volume is produced by small-scale producers.

“Industry and small-scale producers can come together to innovate and transform the food production system,” said Thevasagayam.

With growing demand in Africa and South Asia there is an opportunity for the industry to come together to solve the main issues hindering growth and find shared value.

“The industry has the technology to help the small-scale producers realize their full potential … and there is a lot of untapped potential lying dormant,” he said.

There is a big difference between what is being realized, and the actual potential of aquaculture in these parts of the world, and the established industry has the tools to help improve husbandry, health, feed, genetics, and move the sector closer to its potential productivity.

“Rather than look at poor people as a charity case, think of them as an underserved market segment – we believe everyone can win.”

Wednesday, June 09, 10:30 am CET

The health of the oceans is “off track”

Wednesday, June 09, 10:25 am CET

The oceans can contribute six times more to the world’s food supply

Better utilization of the world’s oceans can be an important part of the solution for both climate emissions and food supply, according to Manuel Barange of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) fisheries division.

An investment of $2.8 trillion today could yield $15.5 trillion in 2050, if it takes place within sustainable ocean-based investments, he said.

However, he also points out that continued negative development in climate change could lead to some countries in West Africa experiencing an 85 percent decline in fish stocks, and destruction of coral reefs can lead to tourism decreasing by 90 percent.

The FAO expert also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the ocean-related economy, but that this has not been seen as something that needs to be rebuilt.

— Nils Torsvik

Tuesday, June 08, 15:25 pm CET

Collaboration is the new innovation

With at least 75 million metric tons of aquaculture destined to be produced by 2030, there will be a need for an additional 30 million metric tons of raw materials for feed ingredients, and this is a challenge.

Today there is simply not enough raw material available meeting these requirements, said Petter Johannesen; CEO of the Marine Ingredients Organization (IFFO).

Supplemental ingredients such as insect meal and other newer sources of protein and EPA/DHA are struggling with upscaling and the industry needs to look at other sources for volumes, he said.

For example capture more by-products in the supply chain, develop mariculture and develop sustainable harvesting of lower trophic species such as mesopelagics.

“I think collaboration is the new innovation,” said Johannesen.

Marine ingredients which today represent total volume of 6 million tons annually will continue to be the key nutritional cornerstone for aquaculture, but there is need for much more.

Better utilisation of marine by-products and trimmings from processing represents a “vast potential but needs more attention” Johannesen said.

“Innovation also does not trump sustainability, and new sustainable ingredients need to come as an addition to already existing and assured ingredients, for there to be any chance of reaching the necessary volumes for growth.”

Tuesday, June 08, 15:05 pm CET

ASC feed standard is coming

Tuesday, June 08, 14:40 pm CET

Novel ingredients: ‘Just claiming sustainability will not suffice’

Petter Johannesen; CEO of the Marine Ingredients Organization (IFFO), said with sustainability so important to consumers, producers of novel ingredients still have a way to go to prove their credentials.

Comparatively, 51 percent of all marine ingredients are MarinTrust certified.

“No other natural raw material can show this level of third party certification and it is concerning that so few novel ingredients can provide a third party certification of the claims of being sustainable,” said Johannesen.

“With the experience IFFO has from stakeholders and their focus on the assurance of marine ingredients, I would expect that just claiming sustainability will not suffice, consumers will demand verification of responsibility and sustainability.”

Tuesday, June 08, 14:06 pm CET

Rabobank: Insect proteins no longer crawling along

The insect protein industry is no longer crawling along and will “come of age” in the 2020s, according to Rabobank’s Justin Sherrard, and the environment is right for investors interested in novel solutions to get onboard.

The global market potential of insect protein is half a million metric tons by 2030, he said.

Scaling up insect protein will be driven initially by the pet food sector but then by aquafeed as it gets closer to maturity, said Sherrard.

“It is really starting to get a little but more interesting,” he said. But aquafeed is the key to scale, with a potential market of 200,000 metric tons.

“I’m very positive but it’s not going to be all plain sailing,” said Sherrard. Four issues stand out as ongoing risk factors the could hold back growth of insect protein.

“Scale is coming, but there are some potential barriers in regards to legislation, marketing and R&D,” he said.

Fundamentally the sector is going to need ongoing capital inflows into the industry to build scale and bring down the cost of production, he said.

Tuesday, June 08, 13:25 pm CET

Cargill urges industry to support FIPs in wake of North Atlantic pelagic MSC loss

Helene Ziv-Douki, president and group leader at Cargill Aqua Nutrition, has called on the industry to support sustainable fisheries and initiatives such as fisheries improvement projects (FIPs) in the wake of the North Atlantic pelagic fisheries losing their Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.

At the end of 2020 the North Atlantic coastal states failed to reach allocated quotas within scientific advice and as a result the MSC and MarinTrust certifications were taken away from the blue whiting, herring and mackerel fisheries.

“Last year Cargill became a member of the North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPAG) and we gladly pledged not to buy material from blue whiting caught after the suspension of the certificates until a FIP is established,” she said.

Since then, NAPAG has launched comprehensive FIPs for herring and mackerel and is in process of launching one for blue whiting.

“It is an industry wide challenge, and we all know if we cannot manage fisheries sustainably we will be forced to use even less, and perhaps even stop completely,” warned Ziv-Douki.

“So I strongly encourage all of you to support the actions of NAPAG and FIPs – your actions will speak for you commitments to ocean stewardship and long term seafood business an sustainable source of nutrition for the global population,” she said.

Tuesday, June 08, 13:10 pm CET

Cargill launches new “Sea Further” sustainability program

The plan will help salmon farmers reduce their environmental footprint of fish 30 percent by 2030, said Helene Ziv-Douki, president and group leader, at Cargill Aqua Nutrition.

Feed currently represents up to 90 percent of salmon farmers environmental footprint.

“By doing so this will help the industry save 2 billion kilograms of CO2 — more or less the equivalent of removing 430,000 cars from the road in one year,” she said.

Tuesday, June 08, 12:24 pm CET

Norway sees significant reduction in chemical sea lice treatments

Tuesday, June 08, 12:15 pm CET

Production of large smolt goes a long way to tackling sea lice problems

Producing larger smolt before transferring the salmon to sea is a crucial step in the industry efforts to tackle the sea lice problem, according to Esbern Patursson from Faroese salmon farmer Hiddenfjord.

Large smolt being put into more exposed sites means the salmon show faster growth, and therefore spend less time in the sea, reducing the risk of sea lice, he said.

Hiddenfjord produces around 18,000 metric tons of salmon per year.

The company grows its smolt to 650 grams on average before putting them in the sea.

This means the company has “flipped production time upside down” in 10 years. Now the fish spend 20 months on land and just 10 months in the sea.

“Production cycles are faster, and therefore there is less biological risk of diseases and sea lice,” said Patursson.

“A short production time will reduce the number of sea lice regardless of the dynamics of the site, and even means fewer treatments.”

Tuesday, June 08, 12:00 pm CET

Norway’s direct sea lice costs reach $630 million


Tuesday, June 08, 11:25 am CET

Never be complacent, but Scotland is in a “good place” when it comes to sea lice

Scotland is in a “good place” in regards to sea lice management, and over the last 3-4 years has managed to keep lice levels “at a fairly constant low level,”according to Iain Berril of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO).

In 2020, the average sea lice number per salmon was at 0.52, down from 1.33 in 2016.

Like elsewhere, there is seasonal pattern to lice on fish in Scotland “but that has also been suppressed over the past few years – so we believe we are in a good place.”

Berril stressed the challenges of “what we can loosely term fake news,” in regards to what “we know and science tells us,” versus popular beliefs about sea lice.

“This creates a challenge for us as it feeds into public acceptance of our sector and that impacts relevant stakeholders, which has knock on implications for us.

Berril hopes Scotland will be able to maintain its good sea lice control, but thinks collaboration on national and international levels is critical.

“We can never be complacent – sea lice are a challenge and will always be a challenge for us and we will continue to need to keep one step ahead of them.”



https://www.intrafish.com/events/north-atlantic-seafood-forum-2021-frozen-food-is-sexy-again-and-this-is-straining-the-alaska-pollock-supply-chain/2-1-1021663 North Atlantic Seafood Forum 2021: Frozen food is ‘sexy’ again and this is straining the Alaska pollock supply chain

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