Editor’s picks: What about shellfish?


Steven Hedlund

Published on
June 23, 2010

Here’s a look at this week’s can’t-miss SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:

• Shellfish is one of the best dietary sources of protein available — it contains all nine amino acids essential for human health, none of the negatives of red meat and a bevy of minerals and vitamins. But why is it overlooked by the British Food Standards Agency, which completely ignores shellfish in its seafood-consumption recommendations? That’s the question SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch asked in his column “Shellfish: The missing seafood.”

• Feed availability, fishmeal use, NGO entanglements … The list of challenges facing the global aquaculture industry is seemingly endless. But a new challenge is fast emerging as a hindrance to fish-farming growth — space. There’s a shortage of land available to freshwater farming, and a similar predicament exists with “best use of space” in inshore areas, according to participants in Offshore Mariculture 2010 in Croatia. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Jason Holland attended the biennial conference and shared his perspective in his column “Aquaculture’s battle for space.”

• Offshore Mariculture 2010 attendees also explored aquaculture’s potential in Croatia, a relatively small player on Europe’s fish-farming scene despite its 5,790 kilometers of coastline. The Mediterranean country produces just 12,000 metric tons of farmed seafood annually, valued at around EUR 120 million. Conference participants suggested that Croatia use its provenance and high standing with tourists to focus on the fresh, local seafood market instead of trying to rival Greece or Turkey.

• Product innovation has escaped Ireland’s seafood industry in years past. But it appears those days are over. BIM (Bord Iascaigh Mhara) opened the Seafood Development Centre in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, eight months ago, and this week SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Nicki Holmyard checked in with BIM coordinator Dr. Susan Steele to get a progress report on the 768-square-foot facility.

• The shelf-stable seafood category is staging a comeback of sorts. The economic downturn is partly responsible, as cost-conscious Americans increasingly look to value-oriented food items like canned and pouched tuna and salmon. But the biggest marketing push in years by the likes of Chicken of the Sea and StarKist is waking a once sleepy category. This week I talked John Sawyer, Chicken of the Sea’s senior VP of sales and marketing, about shelf-stable seafood attributes — affordable, nutritious and convenient — and the category’s potential for growth.

• One of the United States’ largest seafood suppliers is being accused of violating federal antitrust laws by monopolizing four West Coast seafood markets — Dungeness crab, coldwater shrimp, groundfish and whiting. Pacific Seafood is the target of a class-action lawsuit filed this week by two Brookings, Ore., fishermen filed in U.S. District Court in Medford, Ore. They seek damages of up to USD 520 million for seven different illegal anti-competitive tactics. Pacific Seafood says the case is baseless.

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