April’s most read: Bianfishco’s collapse
Curious what your fellow SeafoodSource readers are viewing? Here’s a rundown of the website’s five most-read stories and commentaries of April 2012.
5) Premiering to more than 1 million viewers in early April, National Geographic Channel’s “Wicked Tuna” is the newest TV program to showcase the lives of fishermen. The show follows the crews of five bluefin tuna vessels based in Gloucester, Mass., and is as educational as it is entertaining. National Geographic launched a multi-tiered effort, including public-service announcements and a dedicated website, to help audiences become more knowledgeable about the plight of bluefin, which is widely regarded as overfished.
4) Whole Foods Market announced that it would no longer sell red-rated, wild-caught seafood species as of 22 April, one year ahead of its self-imposed deadline of Earth Day 2013. The United States’ No. 1 natural foods retailer discontinued sales of a number of species, including Atlantic halibut, grey sole, skate and trawl-caught Atlantic cod, and will instead recommend alternatives such as MSC-certified Pacific halibut and yellow-rated Dover sole and Atlantic flounder.
3) Kaviari and Prins & Dingemanse were the winners of the 12th annual Seafood Prix d’Elite new products competition at this month’s European Seafood Exposition in Brussels. Kaviari of Paris took the best new retail product with its En K de Caviar, while Prins & Dingemanse’s Zeeuwse Creuse Caresse captured the best new foodservice product. The products were recognized by the judges for their orginiality and quality, respectively. Kaviari also won a special award for packaging. The products were judged on taste and overall eating experience, packaging, marketability, convenience, nutritional value and originality.
2) Eight major Alaska salmon processors’ decision to phase out financial support for Marine Stewardship Council certification of the state’s salmon fishery in January was still reverberating worldwide when a Seattle-based group announced that it would serve as client for re-certification this fall. The Seattle-based Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association, which represents more than 400 vessel owners throughout the West Coast and Alaska, will take over from current client Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation. “We are optimistic that by restarting the certification now we can avoid any interruption in the availability of the MSC label,” said Bob Kehoe, PSVOA executive director. “The MSC is the trademark for sustainability in many salmon markets, especially Europe.”
1) The collapse of one of Vietnam’s largest pangasius processors, Bianfishco, early this month sparked fears of a domino effect, but the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) urged farmers not to worry. VASEP said more export contracts would be signed during the next month or two, and the demand for fish will increase rapidly and sales prices could skyrocket due to the lack of raw material. Meanwhile, Bianfishco’s chairwoman and general director, Pham Thi Dieu Hien, has reportedly ben ordered back to Vietnam with the company’s debts potentially as high as USD 71.8 million.