Editor’s picks: Holiday cheer

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
December 30, 2009

Here in the United States and throughout much of the world, the past two weeks were abbreviated work weeks, with Christmas last Friday and New Year’s Day this Friday. A quieter-than-usual news cycle gave SeafoodSource the opportunity to reflect on 2009 and prepare for 2010. Here’s a recap of the “best of” lists that piqued our readers’ interest, as well as a roundup of the top news stories:

• SeafoodSource published six “best of” lists in the last two weeks of December, taking a look back at the news stories, commentaries, Q&As and blogs that grabbed our readers’ attention this year. Of all six, SeaFood Business Associate Editor James Wright’s 10 most captivating news stories of 2009 was the most read. What’s the No. 1 news story? Take a look.

• U.S. seafood consumption is stuck in neutral. As 2009 neared its exit, it looked more and more like U.S. seafood consumption would remain flat at 16 pounds per-capita this year (the numbers won’t be available until summer 2010). So what’s in the way of U.S. seafood consumption breaking the 17-pound mark? In my commentary this week — What’s holding back U.S. seafood consumption? — I delve into the U.S. seafood industry’s top five obstacles.

• So what were U.S. seafood retailers and restaurant operators up to this holiday season? A lot, reported SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Christine Blank. Shrimp and squid were among the seafood items on ad at supermarket chains nationwide, while restaurant chains promoted “affordable luxuries” such as American lobster. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Chris Loew reported that Japanese seafood dealers are enjoying brisk sales this holiday season.

• Do seafood eco-labels confuse consumers? Yes, according to a new University of Stirling report. The Review of Fish Sustainability Information Schemes took an in-depth look at the array of advice available to seafood consumers. Seafish backed up the report’s findings that seafood eco-labels are buying guides are too simplistic and can confuse consumers agreed that there is a need for them to be more consistent.

• After being rejected by the U.S. Department of Commerce due to numerous technicalities, the Southern Shrimp Alliance re-filed a petition with the agency to rescind U.S. antidumping tariffs on Thai shrimp, originally filed in early November. But not everyone in the domestic shrimp industry is in favor of the settlement, including the American Shrimp Processors Association.

Editor’s note: The SeafoodSource Web site and e-newsletter will not be published on Friday, 1 January in observance on New Year’s Day. The e-newsletter will return on Monday, 4 January.

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