In brief: Mercury-testing program expanded


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 12, 2010

Micro Analytical Systems (MASI) has expanded its Safe Harbor certification program to include real-time testing for histamines and select pathogens. The announcement came on Monday as the of Emeryville, Calif., company launched a partnership with seafood distributor Supreme Lobster & Seafood Co. in Las Vegas.

“We chose Las Vegas for the launch of the expanded … Safe Harbor certification program because Las Vegas is one of the world’s leading culinary destinations, with top chefs and diverse dining options. The city’s reputation for embracing innovation along with the large volume of seafood brought in from around the world on a daily basis made Las Vegas the obvious choice for the expanded Safe Harbor launch,” said MASI CEO Malcolm Wittenberg.

Founded in 2002, MASI has developed mercury-testing technology that provides results in about one minute; results for histamines take one hour, and results for select pathogens  take 20 to 24 hours. Among the Las Vegas restaurants already participating in the program are Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand, Spago Las Vegas at Caesars Palace and Mizuya at Mandalay Bay.

Scallop processor pledges responsible fishing

Seafish on Sunday announced that UK-based Coombe Fisheries has pledged to source all of its scallops from Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) vessels after sponsoring four boats through the program. The remainder of the vessels supplying the company are already RFS-certified.

“Achieving RFS certification shows that, with the right methods and knowledge, scallops can still be responsibly sourced,” said Iain Spear, Coombe’s director. We want to achieve a fairer and more accurate perception of the scallop industry from opinion formers, and ultimately reassure our customers that they’re eating a quality, well-sourced product.”

Catch limits for young bluefin reduced

Japan, China, Samoa, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States are among the countries that have agreed to reduce catch limits of young bluefin tuna in the central and western Pacific in 2011 and 2012.

The agreement sets catch limits below the 2002-04 annual averages and requires Japan to slash its annual catch limit of bluefin ages three or less by about 26 percent from the current level of 6,100 metric tons. The country’s annual harvest averaged 4,500 metric tons between 2002 and 2004.

Japanese restaurant group expands overseas

Japanese restaurant group Kanmonkai on Monday announced that it will invest in a Honolulu fishmonger to serve as its first overseas sales outlet for processed and frozen seafood.

The company will acquire a 33.5 percent stake in Seafood Hawaii, which sells seafood at Sam’s Club supermarkets in Hawaii. Kanmonkai will supply Seafood Hawaii with product, aiming for JPY 200 million in sales in the first fiscal year.

Canada, B.C. sign aquaculture agreement

The governments of Canada and British Columbia on Friday signed a new aquaculture management agreement. The deal defines federal and provincial responsibilities for the management and regulation of British Columbia’s fish-farming industry, effective 18 December.

The agreement replaces the Canada/British Columbia Memorandum of Understanding on Aquaculture Development that’s been in effect since 1988. It specifies that the federal and provincial governments will make best efforts to harmonize their planning and decision-making criteria and will share all relevant aquaculture-related information, coordinate inspections, compliance and enforcement, and synchronize stakeholder engagement activities.

“Our economy is stronger when governments work together to support development of B.C.’s agricultural industries,” said British Columbia Agriculture Minister Ben Stewart. “This new agreement will ensure aquaculture continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in wages, investment and economic activity in our coastal communities and is a respected source of great tasting, sustainable seafood, both locally and worldwide.”

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