Christine Blank

Contributing Editor

Christine Blank, a veteran freelance writer and editor, covers all aspects of the seafood industry, from fishing to processing to selling and serving the final product. When she is not writing for SeafoodSource, Christine gets to taste scrumptious seafood dishes at U.S. restaurants for her food and travel blog, Flavorful Excursions (www.flavorfulexcursions.net). Christine loves to eat seafood of any kind, but lobster, crab and crawfish are among her favorites. In addition to SeafoodSource.com and SeaFood Business, Christine’s articles have been published in hundreds of leading magazines and newspapers, such as The New York Times, USA Today and Associated Press.

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Published on
June 17, 2009

After years of working on their respective organic rules, the United States and Canada agreed on Wednesday to accept each other’s organic standards.

The agreement, between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), will allow the continued smooth trade of certified organic products between the two countries. It is the first “equivalency” agreement for the organic industry worldwide.

“This is the

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Published on
June 17, 2009

Earlier this week Whole Foods Market of Austin, Texas, opened its first new Rocky Mountain-area store in three years.

The 58,000 square feet, store in Centennial, Colo., is expected to have a large selection of sustainable seafood items. The store’s seafood department receives fresh fish from its own boats six days a week, according to the store’s Web site.

After suffering from lagging sales during the recession, new Whole Foods stores may be

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Published on
June 17, 2009

The trend of U.S. shoppers flocking to store-brand products — including fresh, frozen and shelf-stable seafood items — is not a temporary one.

A whopping 91 percent of shoppers said they will continue buying store brand products after the recession is over, according to a new poll conducted this month by GfK Custom Research North America for the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) in New York.

In fact, 35 percent of shoppers are

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Published on
June 14, 2009

 Swordfish ex-vessel prices have strengthened somewhat this year, thanks, in part, to higher demand and lower global supplies earlier this year.

"The demand for swordfish is better than it has been in the past. The average price is about 50 cents better [at wholesale], then in prior years, which might be because of a shortage of supply," said Scott Vitrone, fresh purchasing and sales manager for Pacific Trade International and South Bay Seafood

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Published on
June 7, 2009

Restaurants must offer value to get guests in the door this summer, and even though they may be eating out more frequently while on vacation, Americans' thrifty habits will stick around for a while, according to restaurant analysts.

"Consumers will continue to be value-minded, spend less than they have in the past and eat more at home," Darren Tristano, executive VP of research and consulting for Technomic in Chicago, told SeafoodSource. "The new

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Published on
May 31, 2009

U.S. supermarkets chains are banking on summer, pushing seafood specials for the grilling season, particularly wild seafood.

Kroger in Cincinnati, Ohio, is urging its customers to “Get Wild” about seafood and grilling. In a column on its Web site, www.kroger.com, “seafood specialist Robyn” urges shoppers to grill wild Alaska salmon and other seafood this summer.

“Now that we are experiencing warmer weather, the neighborhood grills are

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Published on
May 21, 2009

U.S. supermarket and restaurant chains are jumpstarting the summer grilling season this weekend with aggressive Memorial Day seafood promotions.

“For the Memorial Day holiday our ad is focusing on grilling with shrimp skewers, salmon fillets and swordfish steaks,” said Maria Brous, spokesperson for Publix Super Markets in Lakeland, Fla., which has more than 1,000 stores.

This weekend, Publix is retailing 10 shrimp skewers for USD 10,

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Published on
May 19, 2009

New Brunswick lobstermen are asking for the government’s help with the glut of lobster and absence of demand, which is resulting the lowest prices they’ve seen in decades.

However, they are not requesting a government bailout, even though some officials are suggesting subsidizing the lobster industry at CAD 1 per pound. With average annual landings of 10 million pounds, that could amount to a CAD 10 million (USD 8.7 million, EUR 6.4 million)

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Published on
May 18, 2009

 The aquaculture industry needs to look to new products and opportunities and do a better job of publicizing success stories, said buyers on a panel at the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago on Monday.

"There is such great progress within the aquaculture industry. There is the great stuff that Kona Blue [which raises sushi-grade kampachi] is doing, and there are developments with tuna farming," Mary Plitt,

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Published on
May 18, 2009

The seafood industry constantly is constantly battling misinformation on mercury in seafood. But the misinformation popped up in an unusual place this month — a women’s fashion magazine.

The May issue of Vogue featured the article “Mercury Rising,” which focused on the writer’s concerns about eating seafood high mercury.

Studies show an “avalanche [of] danger” linked to mercury in seafood, said Bronwyn Garrity, the author. “Every

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