Editor's picks: Premium mussels

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
February 11, 2010

 Here's a look at this week's can't-miss SeafoodSource news stories:

• Mussels muscled their way onto the SeafoodSource news lineup this week. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Christine Blank profiled start-up Acadia Aqua Farms, which is producing bottom-cultured product near Bar Harbor, Maine, and marketing them to high-end restaurants and retail outlets. "Is there a market for premium mussels?" was this week's most-read SeafoodSource news story. Meanwhile, Canada's new Mussel Industry Council is promoting its blue mussels as a Valentine's Day treat on par with chocolate, wine and oysters.

• The debate over whether to give Atlantic bluefin tuna an Appendix I listing with CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which would effectively ban international trade of the species, is heating up. On Wednesday, two European fishing organizations urged the European Commission to reject the proposed Appendix I listing, while Greenpeace accused Spanish officials of spreading misinformation about the status of the bluefin tuna industry and ignoring or systematically denying scientific reports revealing the dire status of stocks. Expect this debate to only escalate leading up to CITES' triennial conference in Qatar next month.

• The New Orleans Saints won their first Super Bowl by beating the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, and Louisianans celebrated with seafood. Rouses capitalized on the big game by promoting Gulf shrimp, Lake Ponchartrain blue crabs and Louisiana crawfish tail meat. Saints fans have been tailgating throughout the season and playoffs, boosting overall store sales at the 35-store grocery chain around 25 percent over the past two to three months. Expect the party in New Orleans to run through Mardis Gras this month, which bodes well for the region's seafood restaurants and retail outlets.

• Financial results for three big seafood companies came in this week. Marine Harvest reported a fourth-quarter operational EBIT of NOK 569 million (USD 96.7 million, EUR 70.1 million), up from NOK 317 million in the same period in 2008. Pacific Andes International Holdings watched its first-quarter gross profit increase 7.6 percent to HKD 311.4 million (USD 40 million, EUR 29 million). And Nutreco posted a second-half EBITA of EUR 133.6 million (USD 184 million), up 33.9 percent from the same period in 2008.

• Sales of Label Rouge Scottish Salmon increased 19 percent to 7,251 metric tons last year, up from 6,099 metric tons in 2008, the Scottish Quality Salmon announced on Tuesday. The record sales were credited to support from the Scottish government through a European Fisheries Fund grant.

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