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It’s difficult to believe, but the first half of 2011 has come and gone. As you settle in for the second half, here’s a look at this year’s five most-read SeafoodSource stories and commentaries:

5) Two companies caught SeafoodSource readers’ attention this year when they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection: Contessa Premium Foods of San Pedro, Calif., in January and M. Slavin & Sons of New York in March. Both attributed the decision to the global financial downturn.

4) Japan’s 11 March earthquake and tsunami has captivated the world, bringing the country’s fishing industry in the northeast to its knees and temporarily paralyzing the world’s single-largest seafood market. But Japan is picking up the pieces, as the country’s seafood trade gets back on its feet. Perhaps the biggest challenge it faces is countering the misperception that Japanese-caught fish is contaminated with radiation. Since Day 1, SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Chris Loew, who’s based in Osaka, has been continually reporting on the tragedy’s fallout. “Quake rocks Japan, fishing ports washed out” was the fourth most-read story of the first half of 2011. 

3) No one has been on top of Vietnam’s pangasius industry more than SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch. He has turned in a number of commentaries exploring the industry’s explosive growth as well as clearing up any misinformation surrounded the catfish-like species, one of the world’s most-popular fish. Here are two of Urch’s can’t-miss commentaries on pangasius: “WWF’s hatchet job on pangasius” and “For pangasius, squeeze is on.”

2) This year’s second most-read SeafoodSource story is actually one of the most-popular SeaFood Business features — the annual list of North America’s top seafood suppliers, which appeared in the magazine’s May issue. Trident Seafoods, High Liner Seafoods and Beaver Street Fisheries are among the companies on this year’s list. Who else made the list?

1) The effect on U.S. seafood consumption won’t be immediate. But the U.S. government’s eat-fish-twice-a-week recommendation — part of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans released at the end of January — may mark a turning point for a government that hasn’t exactly been consistent with its seafood-consumption advice. The new recommendation may prompt the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency to change their methylmercury warning, which urges pregnant and breastfeeding women to limit seafood intake to 12 ounces per week. Now numerous lawmakers are calling on the Obama administration to resolve the discrepancies.

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