Editor's picks: Shrimp suit
Here's a glimpse of this week's must-read SeafoodSource news stories, commentaries and market reports:
- The United States' third largest club-store chain is the target of a breach-of-contract lawsuit involving shrimp. International Marketing Specialists (IMS) alleges that BJ's Wholesale Club, seafood broker Paul Dembling and Dembling's company, Sinco, conspired to cut the Newton, Mass., company out of a big shrimp deal. As a result, IMS suffered more than USD 1 million in damages and remains in possession of about 256,000 pounds of unsold shrimp that BJ's had agreed to buy. Now it seeks unspecified damages. "BJ's, broker sued over breach of contract" was this week's most read story.
- SeaFood Business Editor and Associate Publisher Fiona Robinson was in New Orleans last week for the National Fisheries Institute's annual meeting. Of particular interest were a chef panel and a consumer seafood focus group, both organized by NFI. The chef panel revolved around purveying sustainable seafood, while the focus group centered on consumers' qualms about seafood safety.
- On Wednesday, disaster struck several seafood-producing nations in the South Pacific. Typhoon Ketsana tore through Southeast Asia, causing widespread flooding and killing dozens in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. A 7.6-magnitude earthquake rocked western Indonesia, killing at least 75 people on Sumatra Island. Earlier in the day, an 8- to 8.3-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that pounded the Samoan Islands. The tuna-packing plants in American Samoa operated by Chicken of the Sea and StarKist were both hit by the waves.
- Andrew Jackson of the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization is out to set the record straight. Environmental NGOs are constantly distorting the fish-in-fish-out (FIFO) ratio for farmed salmon, he said in an interview with SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Nicki Holmyard. "In reality, it takes less than 2 pounds of wild feed fish to produce 1 pound of salmon," he explained.
- There was a time when a 20,000-metric-ton fishing quota increase drew little, if any, fanfare. But not in today's eco-conscious society. On Tuesday, New Zealand increased its 2009-10 hoki quota to 110,000 metric tons. The government and industry defended the move, while the environmental camp criticized it. Who's to believe? Check out my commentary, "Heat's on hoki, pollock."