In brief: Pacific Andes acquires stake in Tassal

After rejecting an offer from Pacific Equity Partners, Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal Group on Wednesday agreed to sell 20 percent of its shares to frozen fish supplier Pacific Andes Resources Development (PARD). The deal totaled AUD 51.6 million (USD 50.6 million, EUR 38.3 million).

“As Australia’s largest producer and marketer of salmon with highly recognized brand names, Tassal is well-positioned as a clear market leader to benefit from the growing Asian demand, particularly in China and metropolitan Southeast Asia for salmon,” said Ng Joo Siang, PARD executive director. “PARD is always on the look-out for opportunities to invest in high-quality resources that are limited in supply, yet enjoy a strong demand. Tassal is a perfect investment for the group.”

Umami acquires Baja Aqua Farms

Umami Sustainable Seafood on Tuesday announced that it acquired Mexico-based bluefin tuna producer Baja Aqua Farms.

Umami acquired a 33 percent interest in Baja Aqua Farms along with the option to acquire the remaining shares, which Umami exercised, making Baja a 99.98-percent owned subsidiary of the aquaculture company.

“In addition to doubling our annual production of northern bluefin tuna, the completed acquisition of Baja Aqua Farms should increase our global market share of this premium food to over 20 percent,” said Baja CEO Vilhelm Gudmundsson. “The corporate synergies and expected operating efficiencies from the merger with respect to marketing and distribution should help create cost savings and improved operating margins. Moving forward, our goal is to seek additional strategic acquisitions to complement our existing operations in Croatia and Mexico to help build market share.”

Mackerel talks resume in Denmark

Another round of talks aimed at settling the ongoing mackerel dispute in the North Atlantic kicks off in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Thursday, and Scottish Pelagic Fishermen’s Association CEO Ian Gatt is hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the Faeroe Islands.

“The Faroese are one of our nearest neighbors and have been a long-standing partner in mackerel management for over 20 years. We are encouraged that they are still willing to talk, and hopefully this will pave the way for an agreement with other coastal states,” said Gatt on Wednesday. “However, while reaching a deal is important, it must not be done so at any cost and it needs to ensure that Scotland’s traditional mackerel catching rights are not compromised.”

Gatt accused Iceland of “walking away” from the last round of negotiations in Oslo, Norway, with Norway and the European Union. Last week, Tomas H. Heidar, Iceland’s chief negotiator for mackerel, countered the accusation, pointing to Norway’s “inflexible” position that a share of the mackerel catch for Iceland beyond 3.1 percent was unacceptable.

Sodexo’s UK restaurants, cafés MSC certified

Foodservice provider Sodexo on Wednesday announced that all of its restaurants and cafés in the United Kingdom have been certified to offer seafood from fisheries certified under the Marine Stewardship Council program.

“This is a landmark achievement for us. MSC certification of our restaurants and cafés was an ambitious target that we set ourselves as part of the Better Tomorrow Plan, our sustainability strategy to 2020,” said Michelle Hanson Sodexo UK & Ireland commercial director. “Through MSC certification, we believe we are making a real difference in helping to protect the world’s fish stocks. We are passionate about sustainable sourcing at Sodexo and have really engaged with our staff and customers at each of our sites with training initiatives and promotional material to get everyone working together to support sustainable fishing.”

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