Editor’s picks: Farmed salmon

Too busy to check out SeafoodSource this week? Here’s a roundup of this week’s can’t-miss news stories and commentaries:

• Farmed salmon heavyweights Grieg Seafood and Leroy Seafood released their second-quarter results this week, and both Norwegian companies watched profits soar, the result of increased farmed salmon prices and reduced supplies. The firms’ second-quarter numbers ran in contrast to the preliminary results of a survey Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries released on Wednesday. According to the survey, Norway’s fish farmers experienced a 13.2 percent drop in profitability from 2007 to 2008, due largely to a 14.3 percent increase in average production costs per kilogram of fish and a decrease in productivity. Meanwhile, the environmental NGO Pure Salmon Campaign used this week’s Aqua Nor aquaculture trade show in Trondheim, Norway, by calling on Norwegian King Harald V to urge Norwegian-owned salmon farms in Canada to tighten environmental restrictions to protect British Columbia’s wild salmon populations.

• Earlier this month, the journal Science published Boris Worm’s and Ray Hilborn’s two-year study on global fisheries, and SeafoodSource columnist Lisa Duchene, who specializes in sustainability matters, dissected the much-anticipated report. “A variety of management tools are working,” wrote Duchene in analyzing the study. “Any seafood buyers who used bleak predictions about the state of global fisheries as a reason to throw their hands up would be wise to think again. Sustainable fisheries are within reach.”

• SeafoodSource contributor Christine Blank caught up with two esteemed U.S. chefs this week. Peter Davis of Henrietta’s Table at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., chatted about his passion for local, sustainable fish, while Pat Donahue of Anthony’s Restaurants talked about the menu at his 24-restaurant Pacific Northwest seafood chain and his patrons’ ever-changing dining habits.

• Historically low lobster prices — the result of reduced demand due to the global recession and increased supplies — are making the crustacean accessible to more consumers. But they’re also killing lobstermen in New England and the Canadian Maritimes, who are struggling to make ends meet. In my column on Monday, I examined the good, the bad and the downright ugly of rock-bottom lobster prices.

• Friday marked the debut of "Media Watch", a bimonthly column assembled by SeafoodSource Assistant Editor April Forristall. The column is a synopsis of the mainstream media’s coverage of all things seafood. So when your customers ask you about something they read in a newspaper or magazine or on the Internet, you’ll know where it came from.

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