Editor’s picks: Financial results abound

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
August 12, 2009

Traditionally, the news cycle slows to a crawl in August. U.S. Congress goes on recess and Washington, D.C., turns into a ghost town. North Americans flock to the coastline to catch a little R&R and, hopefully, devour a little seafood. And many European companies close for a week or two, or more.

But that was Old August. This is New August. The year-round realities of the global economy and the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle — thanks to cable TV and the Internet — have accelerated a once lethargic August news cycle.

This week, there was certainly no dearth of news on SeafoodSource, especially of the financial sort. A number of seafood heavyweights — including Japan’s Maruha Nichiro, China Marine Food Group and Norway’s Cermaq — reported their first- or second-quarter results. This week’s coverage also featured the aftermath of deadly typhoon in Taiwan, the Marine Stewardship Council’s redesigned eco-label and a Q&A with Seattle’s self-proclaimed “sushi whore.”

Here’s a roundup of this week’s can’t-miss stories (in no particular order):

• SeafoodSource reported the first- or second-quarter results of seven seafood companies this week: China Marine Food GroupMaruha Nichiro Holdings and Nissui in Japan, Norway’s CermaqHigh Liner Foods and Clearwater Seafoods in Canada, and HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries in the United States. If you’re looking for signs that the worst of the global recession is over, you may find it here. Most of these companies’ posted positive results. Click on the company name to view the results.

• The catchiest headline of the week came from SeaFood Business Associate Editor James Wright, whose Thursday commentary, “H-2B or not to be”, touched on the difficulties U.S. Mid-Atlantic crab processors face in hiring seasonal workers. In a scenario that plays out every year now, the U.S. government doesn’t make additional H-2B visas available to summer- and fall-dependent employers until the eleventh hour, and it probably wouldn’t unless Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski stepped in. The problem has hamstrung the region’s seafood-processing industry.

• SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch also chimed in this week with his take on the Marine Stewardship Council’s redesigned eco-label. “It may just be a small step, and it was a long time in coming, but it is to be applauded,” said Urch in his Monday commentary. “The MSC claims that worldwide more than 2,500 seafood products bear its blue eco-label. From now on customers will begin to have some idea as to what that label signifies.”

• Over the weekend, Typhoon Morakot unleashed the heaviest flooding Taiwan has experienced in five decades. The storm caused nearly USD 90 million (EUR 63.5 million) in damage to the country’s flourishing aquaculture industry, the most by a typhoon in almost 20 years. Tilapia, shrimp and clams were among the species affected by the storm.

• What would an August week be like without a fun read? SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Christine Blank caught up with self-proclaimed “sushi whore” Hajime Sato, owner of Mashiko Japanese restaurant in Seattle. Sato talked about not only his love of sushi but also his passion for sustainable seafood. Just this week, Sato debuted a revamped menu featuring only sustainable fish, a culmination of years of research.

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