Top five commentaries of 2010


Steven Hedlund

Published on
December 16, 2010

Editor’s note: Through year’s end SeafoodSource is running a series of “best of” lists looking back at the news, analysis and opinion that captivated the global seafood trade in 2010.

Here’s rundown of 2010’s five most-read SeafoodSource commentaries:

1) “Where have all the big shrimp gone?” was this year’s most-read SeafoodSource commentary. In October, SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Jason Holland took a look at the voluminous imbalance that exists between consumers’ high demand for shrimp and the comparatively low production, particularly for large shrimp. The imbalance has resulted in historically high prices, which may prevail for the next two to three years.

2) Last month, SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch delved into the looming pangasius shortage and found that availability is already so tight that some Vietnamese processors are stockpiling the fish in cold storage. Demand is through the roof in Europe, where one German retailer says he could sell twice as much pangasius as he’s able to get a hold of. Demand is also strong in the United States, but a pending provision that would transfer responsibility of inspecting the fish from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of Agriculture has the species’ future in the U.S. market in limbo. “Europe faces pangasius shortage” was 2010’s second most-read SeafoodSource commentary.

3) Coming in third was “Conning consumers with CO.” In May, Urch investigated the prevalence of refreshed, carbon monoxide-treated tilapia being sold as fresh, untreated tilapia in retail outlets across the United States. Urch talked to a few tilapia importers who said consumers are being duped because the fish is very rarely labeled as previously frozen or CO-treated.

4) “Will cobia fulfill its potential?” — also by Urch — was this year’s fourth most-read SeafoodSource commentary. Cobia seems to have everything going for it — it’s extremely fast growing, it has a mild taste and it has a firm white flesh with few bones. Cobia is on the brink of popularity, and the time is ripe for the species to make its mark in the European market, explained Urch in February.

5) Rounding out the list of 2010’s five most-read SeafoodSource commentaries was “Don’t read this column,” which ran in September. In it, I question why retailers would sell a seafood species they don’t want customers to buy. As part of its new seafood ratings system, Whole Foods offers species it advises its customers not to purchase because they’re unsustainable. For example, fresh Hawaiian bigeye tuna fillets are labeled as “avoid.” Is this a smart marketing tactic?

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