Special Coverage: Coronavirus

The spreading coronavirus is an unprecedented global crisis. IntraFish is dedicated to bringing you coverage from around the globe with our 24/7 news team in Europe, North America and Asia.

Subscribers have full access to our exclusive coverage, including archives, newsletters, ePapers and our dedicated coronavirus page.

Both subscribers and non-subscribers can follow along with briefs on our Live Updates page here, and catch more analysis on the latest episodes of the IntraFish Podcast.

IntraFish is bringing you quick, live updates on the impacts of the coronavirus on the seafood market in this story. For full coverage of the virus' impact, visit and bookmark this coronavirus topic page.

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Friday, March 27, 21:20 GMT

Coronavirus 'patient zero' may have been a shrimp seller

Doctors established a connection between her illness and others who had been at the market.

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Friday, March 27, 17:17 GMT

Marine Stewardship Council offers pause on assessments, certifications

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has offered fisheries a six-month extension on the usual timelines for its assessments and certifications.

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Friday, March 27, 14:12 GMT

Farmed salmon inventory builds as demand plummets: 'We have to get rid of the fish'

Norway's farmed salmon industry is seeing prices soften and inventory build quickly as demand from the global foodservice sector plummets.

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Friday, March 27, 11:02 GMT

Norway continues to supply seafood in coronavirus lockdown

The Norwegian Seafood Council said the industry is working on new ways to ensure the supply of seafood continues as normal.

“We have seen a real drive to keep Norwegian seafood production and exports going amid the coronavirus pandemic," said Norwegian Seafood Council CEO Renate Larsen.

Producers and their customers all over the world are finding solutions and overcoming hurdles to deliver nutritious and top-quality seafood, despite the crisis. So far, production levels and catches are at a relatively normal level."

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Friday, March 27, 08:32 GMT

Company behind huge Nissui-backed shrimp farm secures urgent cash injection as market conditions take disastrous turn

Seafarms Group, the company behind huge Australian land-based shrimp farm Project Sea Dragon, has raised AUD 12.5 million (€6.9 million/$7.6 million) to ensure the company has sufficient cash reserves to "immediately meet current expenditure requirements as they fall due, and continue business during what might be a prolonged period of market volatility."

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Friday, March 27, 05:32 GMT

Cold storage hubs were filling up long before coronavirus. How will the pandemic affect space now?

Seafood importers and exporters moving product through US port cities are facing a new harsh reality as the coronavirus chaos reshapes logistics worldwide, and puts pressure on cold storage space in particular.

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Friday, March 27, 03:16 GMT

Bakkafrost delays dividend payment proposition

Faroese salmon farmer Bakkafrost decided to pull back the dividend payment proposition for 2019 and delay until August 25, due to the uncertainty surrounding the impacts of the coronavirus.

In the release, Bakkafrost stressed it has "a very strong balance sheet and good access to capital."

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Thursday, March 26, 1:16 GMT

National Restaurant Show canceled

The National Restaurant Association Show, which was scheduled for May 16-19 in Chicago, has been canceled, organizers of the event announced this week.

The show attracts over 60,000 attendees, and a wide range of seafood companies exhibit products at the event.

"We recognize the critical importance of the Show to the industry and we know that this will come as a disappointment to those who had planned for months to attend. While it is not the outcome we wanted, amid all the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic and the immense strain it has put our industry, the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, vendor partners and our own staff is paramount," the National Restaurant Association said in a statement.

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Thursday, March 26, 12:16 GMT

Coronavirus is turning us all into Millennials

The changes resulting from the coronavirus outbreak may be good news for the millennials of our era, who much prefer flexibility in the way we work, eat and spend.

Read Demi Korban's latest column.

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Thursday, March 26, 03:20 GMT

Filipino canned sardine producer donates ad budget to fight against coronavirus

Leading Filipino canned sardine company Ligo Sardines pledges its 2020 advertising budget to organizations fighting the coronavirus outbreak, it announced on its social media channels Monday, causing the brand to go viral.

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Wednesday, March 25, 03:19 GMT

Operations at Sanford continue under special measures

New Zealand-based seafood company Sanford announced it will continue to operate under special measures as New Zealand goes on Alert Level 4.

“Our number one focus is on keeping our Sanford people safe and secure, that way we can continue to help the rest of New Zealand by keeping food flowing to supermarkets. In order to do that we have put in place a number of extraordinary measures which include different operating procedures on our vessels and in our factories," said Sanford CEO Volker Kuntzsch.

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Tuesday, March 24, 01:19 GMT

US seafood giants make pleas to Trump as demand 'evaporates overnight'

US seafood companies, including Trident, Pacific Seafoods, High Liner, Cargill, Cooke and Fortune International, have written to the Trump administration requesting urgent support in light of the global coronavirus outbreak that has decimated the foodservice sector, in particular.

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Tuesday, March 24, 21:05 GMT

Chile's farmed salmon producers pare down production, tighten biosecurity to avoid coronavirus contagion

Chilean salmon producers are cutting the number of workers allowed on each shift and reducing production to avoid the potential spread of the deadly coronavirus.

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Tuesday, March 24, 13:00 GMT

UK's 10,000 fish and chips shops urged to close amid coronavirus lockdown

The UK's National Federation of Fish Fryers is advising fish and chip shops across the country to close, saying it is unable to guarantee the safety of employees and the general public.

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Tuesday, March 24, 12:29 GMT

Strict UK shutdown forces Grimsby Fish Market to close

Following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement that placed the United Kingdom on lockdown, Grimsby Fish Market will be closing after a final auction on Thursday, CEO Martyn Boyers told IntraFish.

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Tuesday, March 24, 12:10 GMT

Pleas for help, reassurance for customers: Seafood is mastering social media in the age of coronavirus

In the age of "social distancing," seafood has taken a particular shine to social media to get the word out about the good, bad and sometimes ugly news.

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Tuesday, March 24, 07:22 GMT

Vietnam seafood exports crash in wake of 'dizzying' coronavirus spread

Vietnamese seafood exporters have lost up to half their orders in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

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Tuesday, March 24, 05:03 GMT

Royal Greenland CEO on coronavirus impact: Seafood will still find its way onto people's plates

Royal Greenland, the world's largest coldwater shrimp supplier, anticipates massive disruptions in the foodservice sector due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the sector is still luckier compared to other industries, CEO Mikael Thinghuus told IntraFish.

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Tuesday, March 24, 04:27 GMT

UK's £1.2 billion fish and chips sector fears the worst from coronavirus: 'We know there is a storm coming'

UK fish and chip shop owners are scrambling to find alternative means of keeping their businesses afloat as coronavirus brings the UK restaurant economy to a near standstill.

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Tuesday, March 24, 03:21 GMT

Sealord looks for seasonal workers as travel bans thin out workforce

New Zealand-based fishing company Sealord is hiring people looking for work in time to address the approaching hoki season, reported Stuff.

Sealord's factory and vessel operations could continue for the foreseeable future as an essential service, said Chief Operating Officer Doug Paulin. However, a lack of seasonal workers traveling to New Zealand has left the company with vacancies during its busiest time of the year.

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Tuesday, March 23, 23:56 GMT

Sorry, seafood: Omega-3s won't prevent coronavirus

The Global Organization for EPA and DHA (GOED) says science does not support the claim that consuming omega-3 rich products will boost immunity against coronavirus.

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Tuesday, March 23, 23:43 GMT

French retail giant Carrefour guarantees fishermen pre-coronavirus prices and volumes

Leading French supermarket chain Carrefour said it will offer price and volume guarantees to the country's fishermen suffering fallout from the coronavirus health crisis.

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Tuesday, March 23, 22:46 GMT

UK retail giant Tesco shutters fresh fish counters

Leading UK supermarket chain Tesco is temporarily closing its fresh fish counters in response to the coronavirus health crisis, IntraFish has learned.

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Tuesday, March 23, 18:03 GMT

McDonald's closures leading to Filet-O-Fish backlog

Suppliers of deepskin Alaska pollock for the McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwich are facing a stockpile of product for an indefinite period after the fast-food chain shuttered stores across the United Kingdom and Europe.

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Tuesday, March 23, 12:45 GMT

Restaurant distributor Sysco pivoting to supply supermarkets

Food distribution giant Sysco said it is now leveraging its supply chain expertise to provide services to the retail grocery sector, as part of its strategy to counter the fallout of the collapse of the US restaurant sector because of the cornavirus.

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Monday, March 23, 09:21 GMT

Australian kingfish producer Clean Seas withdraws 2020 guidance on coronavirus uncertainty

The company is planning for a different range of scenarios over the coming months. One thing for sure is sales volumes in 2020 and potentially early 2021 will be impacted, it said in a release.

The listed company is focusing on protecting its staff, fish, and ensuring continued supply of its product.

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Monday, March 23, 08:58 GMT

France suffers 'total and brutal redistribution' of seafood demand

Sharp falls in wild caught fish prices, vessels tied up in port, reduced working hours for some fish processing workers and contrasting fortunes between those selling to supermarket retailers and foodservice operators are just some of the details emerging from a sketchy picture of the French seafood and processing industry.

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Monday, March 23, 04:08 GMT

Coronavirus is highlighting major weaknesses in seafood's supply chains

Industry veteran Andrew Mallison tells IntraFish how things need to change in order that the industry can face new threats as they emerge.

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Monday, March 23, 03:56 GMT

PwC, Rabobank: Seafood M&As coming to a screeching halt

The spectacular run of mergers and acquisitions across the seafood sector is likely to slow as businesses focus on managing their increasingly demanding operations in the age of coronavirus.

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Monday, March 23, 03:03 GMT

IntraFish Podcast: A coronavirus storm is brewing for seafood

Join the IntraFish editorial team as we hunker down in our home offices for valuable analysis of the week's biggest coronavirus seafood news.

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Monday, March 21, 01:45 GMT

Covid-19 will force us into an age of online retail. What does that mean for seafood?

A trip to the local supermarket two days ago had me turn on my heels faster than you can say the word "coronavirus". Read Rachel Mutter's latest column.

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Friday, March 20, 21:20 GMT

Landry's activates takeout and delivery network nationwide in response to coronavirus

Waitr Holdings, operators of an on-demand food ordering and delivery service, said Friday it is expanding its partnership nationally with restaurant company Landry's to help the restaurateur distribute food from its more than 600 dining establishments directly to consumers.

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Friday, March 20, 17:45 GMT

Alaska pollock industry scrambles to protect fleet from coronavirus spread

The Alaska pollock industry is mobilizing to prepare for the impact of coronavirus on the single most valuable fishery in US waters.

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Friday, March 20, 15.30 GMT

UK orders pubs, bars, restaurants to close

The United Kingdom government is ordering the closure of pubs, bars, restaurants, theaters and gyms to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement during his now daily press conference.

Restaurants will still be allowed to serve take aways and food for delivery.

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Friday, March 20, 14.48 GMT

Farmed salmon prices at mercy of coronavirus: 'There are cancellations all the time'

The extent of the decline in farmed salmon prices is uncertain in the coming week, largely because of huge uncertainty surrounding logistics of getting product to market.

"There are enormous challenges with logistics especially airfreight," an exporter told IntraFish. "There are cancellations all the time."

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Friday, March 20, 12.16 GMT

Thai Union, Princes: Panic shoppers driving spike in UK canned tuna sales

Similarly to the rest of the world, UK citizens are rushing to supermarkets to stockpile food and other household items as the country comes closer to a lockdown over the coronavirus pandemic.

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Friday, March 20, 12.00 GMT

Thai Union surges as tuna and toilet paper top panic-buyers' shopping lists

The stock price of the world's largest canned tuna producer, Thai Union, skyrocketed in the last week as panic-buying consumers stockpiled products in preparation for global lockdowns.

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Friday, March 20, 11:17 GMT

Fresh sales to China back up and running for New Zealand King Salmon

New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) is planning a greater focus on retail and online channels as well as smoked and frozen product with a view to its foodservice markets being affected by the global coronavirus outbreak.

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Friday, March 20, 09:19 GMT

UK fishermen cry out for help

As the fishing industry struggles through the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, UK-based fishermen are calling for help, as prices for pollock in Newlyn, Cornwall, dropped from £3.00 ($3.55/€3.29) to £.041 ($0.48/€0.45) per kilogram.

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Friday, March 20, 03:43 GMT

Skretting calm and cautious in battling coronavirus

As coronavirus uncertainties unfold, feed manufacturing giant Skretting is putting a lot of effort into ensuring its feed production continues with the least disruption to the global food supply chain, CEO Therese Log Bergjord told IntraFish.

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Friday, March 20, 02.50 GMT

Californians ordered to stay at home

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday evening issued a statewide, mandatory "stay at home" order.

The order affects everyone aside from critical sector workers in hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores and banks.

"We need to meet this moment and flatten the curve together," he said on Twitter.

Several seafood companies have operations in California, including Bumble Bee, H&N, Pafco, Cooke, Santa Monica Seafood, Ocean Beauty’s Lassco and Santa Barbara Smokehouse.

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Friday, March 20, 00.06 GMT

Boston, Brussels seafood show owner facing $35 million hole

Diversified Communications is at risk of losing a huge amount of money should the Brussels and Boston seafood shows not happen this year.

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Friday, March 19, 23.10 GMT

Trident clamps down on processing workers

Trident Seafoods restricted workers at its Akutan, Alaska processing factory in order to thwart the coronavirus spread.

Trident is so far the only processing plant to announce restrictive measures at its Alaska plants.

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Thursday, March 19, 12:31 GMT

Brazil 'Seafood Summit' postponed

Brazil’s bi-annual "Seafood Summit" has been postponed until next year, processors association ABIPESCA confirmed.

The event bringing together the leading lights in the Brazilian seafood processing industry with producers and buyers was scheduled to take place in late July in Brasilia, the South American nation’s capital city.

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Thursday, March 19, 08:15 GMT

Scottish Skipper Expo 2020 postponed

The event was originally scheduled for May 15-16 in Aberdeen. Organizer Mara Media said the priority is the health and safety of those involved.

“Postponing now also brings an end to any uncertainty among exhibitors and visitors about whether the expo was going ahead on the planned dates," said Hugh Bonner, managing director of Mara Media.

Mara Media is working to identify a new date for the Scottish Skipper Expo 2020.

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Thursday, March 19, 04:54 GMT

Coronavirus puts chokehold on Brazil processors, forces suspension of fresh seafood exports to US

Brazilian seafood processors have suspended fresh seafood exports to the United States under measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus and keeping their businesses afloat.

It follows a sharp fall in orders from the US foodservice sector for species such as red snapper, yellowtail, black and red grouper.

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Wednesday, March 18, 02:00 GMT

US, Canada close border

President Trump confirmed on Wednesday that Canada and the United States will close their border to non-essential traffic.

"We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!" Trump wrote on Twitter.

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Wednesday, March 18, 02:30 GMT

Chile farmed salmon suppliers forced to rethink strategy amid coronavirus retail 'boom'

As consumers prepare for a long-haul battle against coronavirus, products of all types, including seafood, have been flying off US shelves.

This is forcing Chilean salmon companies to scramble to keep US customers supplied with fresh salmon against an ever-changing landscape of demand, logistics and government edicts.

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Tuesday, March 17, 01:00 GMT

BAP certifications will be decided 'case by case'

In light of current travel restrictions and social distancing advice, certifiying bodies for the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) will decide on a case by case basis, how to deal with ongoing Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) certifications.

"Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAA is working closely with the certification bodies that conduct BAP audits on a weekly basis to carefully evaluate the circumstance of each processing plant, farm, hatchery or feed mill and decide how to best continue the certification process," read a release from the group.

"It is important to remember that, while BAP administers the certification process, the certifying bodies make the certification decision and issue the BAP certificates, therefore this coordination is required to grant extensions on a case-by-case basis."

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Tuesday, March 17, 21:58 GMT

BluGlacier, Camanchaca staff working from home in US

US office staff at Chilean suppliers BluGlacier are already working from home, the company's CEO Sebastian Goycoolea told IntraFish. They may be soon joined by Camanchaca, which held a successful dry run this week, expecting at least half its office staff to work from home from now on.

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Tuesday, March 17, 13:00 GMT

The dangerous practice of prediction

The impact of coronavirus on the seafood sector is changing hour by hour. But some things are clearly going to change forever for the industry.

Editor-in-Chief Drew Cherry highlights nine areas that he sees shifting completely, regardless of when the crisis ends.

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Tuesday, March 17, 11:55 GMT

Grimsby and Humber Seafood Forum rescheduled for June

Grimsby Fish Merchants Association and Seafish decided to postponed the Grimsby and Humber Seafood Forum that was set for March 26 due to current situation with coronavirus.

“Our purpose here at Seafish is to give the UK seafood sector the support it needs to thrive," Seafish CEO Marcus Coleman said.

"The Coronavirus looks set to disrupt how we go about our day to day activities."

The invitation-only event to seafood processors in the Humber region will take place in June instead.

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Tuesday, March 17, 9:40 GMT

Norway to continue supplying seafood despite coronavirus

The Norwegian seafood industry is committed to continue operating and supplying Norwegian seafood both in Norway and abroad together with the transport sector.

“The Norwegian seafood industry plays a very important role in the food supply chain, not only in Norway, but also across the world. In these difficult times it is important to keep society going, and ensure that everyone has access to healthy and nutritious foods,” Minister of Fisheries and Seafood in Norway Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen said.

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Tuesday, March 17, 8:52 GMT

30-day EU travel ban to mitigate spread

The European Union is implementing a 30-day travel ban on all "non-essential" foreign nationals in order to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Monday.

Accordingly, only residents, family members and essential staff within the healthcare and medical sectors are spared from the decision.

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Monday March 16, 18:52 GMT

Ecuador shrimp producers donate medical supplies

A donation of medical supplies is being transported to medical centers by Ecuador's National Chamber of Aquaculture CNA representing the country's shrimp and tilapia producers.

"We are already in contact with some of them to immediately attend to this requirement," CNA President José Antonio Camposano said.

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Monday March 16, 14:14 GMT

Don't book your tickets for Boston yet

New guidelines from the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) about gatherings over 50 people make Diversified's proposed new Boston seafood show dates a moving target.

On Sunday, the CDC recommended that no gatherings with 50 people or more take place for the next eight weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The agency said these gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings among others.

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Monday March 16, 07:44 GMT

Russian crab industry faces huge losses as China market folds to coronavirus

Supplies of crab from Russia’s Far East to China have now plummeted to almost nothing due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to Russian Association of the Far Eastern Crab Catchers (AFECC), marking a notable shift on last month.

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Monday March 16, 05:45 GMT

Coronavirus lockdown clamps brakes on Italian shrimp orders

Italian shrimp buyers have cut back on orders with the country in lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic, although help could be at hand as shipments to China start to recover.

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Monday, March 16, 00:15 GMT

India's farmed shrimp industry braces for coronavirus shock waves

Prices are stable, and sales for now remain steady, but the timing of the outbreak in the Indian shrimp production calendar may mark this as the calm before the storm.

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Saturday March 14, 03:00 GMT

Trump extends European flight ban to UK, Ireland

US President Donald Trump has extended his travel shutdown to include the UK and Ireland. Previously exempted in his initial European ban, the extension will cause more headaches for European seafood exporters for whom Heathrow was a major transport hub.

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Friday March 13, 7:46 GMT

Cruising for trouble

Another major purveyor of seafood is off the books. Major cruise lines are suspending service, dealing foodservice suppliers reliant on the sector a major blow.

IntraFish sister publication TradeWinds reports:

The world's four largest cruise companies — Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and MSC Cruises — have suspended operations for a month in a concerted effort to get the quickly spreading virus under control.

The suspensions, effective midnight Saturday New York time, mean that 195 ships with over 360,000 berths — more than half of passenger capacity worldwide — will suddenly disappear, albeit temporarily, from an already reeling market.

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Friday March 13, 21:00 GMT

US declares coronavirus a national emergency

US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, where he invited several CEOs of major US retailers such as Walmart and Target to discuss opening testing centers at stores.

The move is set to provide $50 billion in federal aid to states battling the virus currently.

Critics have argue the Trump administration has moved too slowly to address the growing novel coronavirus cases nationwide.

"I don't take responsibility at all," he told reporters at a press conference Friday.

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Friday, March 13, 2:02 GMT

Nova Scotia revives live lobster shipments to China

After more than a month of disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak, the first shipment of live lobster left Nova Scotia for China on Saturday, reported CBC News.

The flight was considered a test run in order to gauge the current status of the Chinese market.

Shipments to China decreased in late January following travel restrictions and the decrease in

the country's restaurant trade given restrictions on travel in the country in an effort to contain the virus.

"Modest shipments" have gone through to three major destinations in China in the last couple of weeks, Steward Lamont, managing director of Tangier Lobster, told Cape Breton Post.

“This is a very modest first step to try and re-establish the marketplace," Lamont said.

In a related move, lobster buyers and processors in Nova Scotia have called for a halt to lobster fishing in the province due to the coronavirus outbreak impacting the market, which the association called "[an] unprecedented market situation," CBC News reported.

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Friday, March 13, 1:23 GMT

Oslo Bors building partially closed for disinfection

Part of the Oslo Bors building will be closed off, after an employee tested positive for coronavirus. The temporary closure will not affect operations, as employees continue to work from alternate workplaces, a release said.

The employee was already at home in quarantine, after having been in close contact with an infected person.

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Thursday, March 12, 1:01 GMT

Seattle Surimi Industy Forum going ahead, for now

A decision will be made March 31 on whether to postpone the upcoming Surimi Industry Forum and OSU Surimi School due to take place May 5-8 in Seattle.

In the meantime, registrations can still be made, said organizer Jae Park.

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Thursday, March 12, 22:41 GMT

Canadian Prime Minister now in self-isolation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now in self-isolation and his wife, Sophie, is being tested for the coronavirus, the prime minister's office said in a statement on Thursday.

Mrs. Trudeau had recently returned from a speaking engagement in London and soon after began “exhibiting mild flu-like symptoms, including a low fever late last night,” the statement said.

She is self-isolating at home awaiting test results, and her symptoms have subsided. The prime minister is exhibiting no symptoms, the statement said.

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Thursday, March 12, 16:45 GMT

NFI launches coronavirus information page

The US National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has launched seafoodsafetycovid19.wordpress.com/ as a resource to the seafood community.

The site contains frequently asked questions and suggested talking points for counter and foodservice staff who may receive inquiries from the public.

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Thursday, March 12, 12:47 GMT

BioMar shuts down Danish HQ as coronavirus impact heightens

Danish feed giant BioMar on Thursday temporarily closed its head office in Denmark in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, all production and supply chain activities continue as normal, and all corporate functions are maintained through home office facilities.

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Thursday, March 12, 12:44 GMT

Cermaq, Grieg will rely on Americas operations to supply US salmon market

Cermaq and Grieg two of Norway's largest salmon producers will be relying on their Chilean and Canadian operations to serve the US market after President Trump closed borders to European passenger planes in an attempt to stop the spread of covid-19 in the country.

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Thursday, March 12, 11:59 GMT

Scottish salmon farmers implement crisis measures to ride out coronavirus

Scottish salmon producers are implementing crisis measures, including keeping fish in the water for longer with the Scottish Salmon Producers Organization (SSPO) indicating the situation is "likely to get worse before [it] gets better."

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Thursday, March 12, 10:10 GMT

Thaifex-Anuga Asia postponed to September

Thaifex-Anuga Asia 2020 has been rescheduled to Sept 22 to 26. The trade fair was originally scheduled to be held at the IMPACT Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok, Thailand, from May 26 to 30.

"The decision was made after careful deliberation and extensive discussions with stakeholders, including exhibitors, visitors and other partners," said the organizers.

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Thursday, March 12, 09:24 GMT

Ocean Beauty puts coronavirus measures in place

Ocean Beauty Seafoods, the Seattle-based processing and distribution company, is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of its employees during the coronavirus outbreak.

Workers traveling through Seattle -- the epicenter of the virus -- will be screened at a local clinic starting in May.

If the test is clear, the worker can head to Kodiak, and if not he or she would have to head back home.

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Thursday, March 12, 09:08 GMT

FDA postpones foreign inspections on coronavirus

The US Food and Drug Administration is putting off foreign inspections through April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, inspections outside the United States seen as "mission-critical" will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The agency put interim measures in place to ensure the safety of products imported to the United States, which include refusing the entry of unsafe products to the country, physical examinations and product sampling at the borders, reviewing the company's previous compliance history and going through information sharing from foreign governments as part of mutual recognition and confidentiality agreements.

"The FDA’s action should have little impact on the seafood community,"Gavin Gibbons, vice president of communications for the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), told IntraFish.

"HACCP requirements remain in place, and random inspections at the border will continue. Likewise, while FDA is postponing most foreign inspections, any deemed “mission-critical” can still be addressed by regulators," he said.

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Wednesday March 11, 02:45 GMT

US clarifies countries under ban

The Department of Homeland Security has now issued a statement clarifying Trump's public address earlier, stating that it is indeed the Schengen zone from which people will be banned from entry, but that goods and cargo will not be included.

Shengen zone countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

This does not apply to legal permanent residents, (generally) immediate family members of U.S. citizens, and other individuals who are identified in the proclamation.

This does, however, leave a large question mark for the seafood sector, the majority of whose cargo is carried in the hold of passenger planes.

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Wednesday March 11, 02:20 GMT

Trump bans flights from Europe, UK gets exemption

US President Donald Trump, in a Wednesday evening national address, announced a ban on travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, beginning Friday at midnight.

The ban includes cargo "and all things coming from Europe," said Trump, but he added there would be exemptions for US citizens returning home.

It is unclear whether the ban applies to EU member states or geographical Europe, but some news reports indicate that it is the Schengen Area that Trump is targeting, which includes most but not all of the E.U.

The United Kingdom and Ireland are not in the Schengen Zone and are not affected by the restrictions. But while not members of the EU, Norway, Iceland Liechenstein and Switzerland, have signed agreements in association with the Schengen Agreement, so it appears for now that they are included in the ban.

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Wednesday March 11, 17:20 GMT

WHO categorizes outbreak as a pandemic

The World Health Organization's director-general has now categorized Covid-19 as a pandemic, meaning restrictions on travel and business could start getting very restrictive.

"WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction," he said.

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Wednesday, March 11, 09:00 GMT

Working from home? These seafood companies explain what they're implementing amidst coronavirus chaos

Seafood companies are torn between proceeding with contigency plans or business as usual as Covid-19 cases grow globally.

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Tuesday, March 10, 14:20 GMT

A lot is on the line for Diversified

Trade shows continue to be cancelled left and right, and with Boston postponed, Diversified Communications, which owns the show, is taking its time before making a decision on Brussels.

There's a lot at stake: the trade show sector has already lost billions in revenue, according to trade show association UFI.

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Friday, March 6, 18:38 GMT

Brim to workers: Stay away

Icelandic fisheries giant Brim is urging staff not to schedule any visits to the company's offices until further notice. Employees have also been told not to not plan trips to defined coronavirus risk areas.

Cleaning has been stepped up at the company's workplaces with employees advised to wash hands well, before and after meals and more often than usual using both soap and alcohol.

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Friday, March 6, 14:20 GMT

Canadian authorities closely monitoring seafood, trade impact

Following the postponement of the Boston seafood show Canada's Oceans and Fisheries said it is in constant communication with the Minster of International Trade, and that it is closely monitoring any impacts on trade and Canadian exporters, including seafood harvesters and farmers.

"We will continue to work with provincial partners, industry, and harvesters, to maintain those international relationships."

An official was looking into what will happen about the Brussels seafood show.

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Friday, March 6, 11:00 GMT

Irish Skipper Expo 2020 postponed

Organizers Mara Media announced the Irish Skipper Expo 2020 show scheduled for March 13-14 in Limerick has been postponed. No later date has yet to be announce.

“The advice we have received from Health Service Executive Ireland (HSE) is that while coronavirus in Ireland is still in the containment phase, it is a rapidly evolving situation, and as such, rescheduling the show is the only sensible and pragmatic option," said Hugh Bonner, managing director of Mara Media.

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Wednesday, March 4, 19:00 GMT

Samherji halts visits to its sites

Icelandic fishing giant Samherji has told its employees that no visits are allowed at the company's premises for an indefinite period due to coronavirus uncertainty.

Employees are also being encouraged to minimize travel as much as possible and to cancel travel to areas defined as risk zones where coronavirus infection is widespread, following advice from Icelandic health authorities.

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Tuesday, March 3, 22:GMT

What about Brussels?

Now that the Boston seafood show has been put on hold, what is the likely fate of April's show in Brussels?

Show officials at Diversified Communications said Tuesday afternoon that Seafood Expo Global, scheduled for April 21 - 23, remains on-track at this point. The show organizers said they are continuing to track the spread of coronavirus and its impacts.

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Tuesday, March 3, 22:00 GMT

Boston Seafood Exp postponed

America's premier seafood show in Boston has been postponed, with organizers stating they will look at future options.

The organizers have not set a date yet for when the show could be rescheduled, but said other options are being analyzed, and described what attendees could expect next.

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Tuesday, March 3, 19:27 GMT

Great Eastern pulls out of Boston event, halts showgoers plant tours

On Tuesday afternoon Massachusetts-based Great Eastern Seafood said it would not be attending the Boston event and that is has sealed off its processing plant to visitors during the show which typically run to hundreds.

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Tuesday, March 3, 17:00 GMT

UK retailers work on strategy to handle stockpiling

British supermarkets have announced newly-formulated contingency plans in an effort to ensure that the public will have access to produce, should the potential of panic-buying amidst the coronavirus outbreak take place, according to retail tech firm Ubamarket.

"In order to support increased demand and mass-buying of products, supermarkets will work to increase the provision of staple goods and daily produce in their stores, whilst scaling back shipments of non-essential products," the firm said.

An executive with a major grocer in the UK reported consumers are stockpiling goods such as bottled water, canned food, and cleaning supplies, according to The Guardian. UK officials said supermarkets and their suppliers would work together to agree to “a major reduction in ranges” so that suppliers can run their plants more efficiently, the news site said.

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Major US retailers skipping Boston show

US retail giants Kroger and Costco have canceled their participation in the upcoming Boston seafood show, joining a growing list of major buyers and suppliers choosing not to attend the event over concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak, IntraFish has confirmed.

Retailer Whole Foods will have a reduced team at the show this year. The company issued travel restrictions on employees, requiring that they curtail any non-essential business travel, according to an internal email obtained by IntraFish.

Friday, Feb. 28, 16:00 GMT

Greece Food Expo 2020 postponed

Due to the surge in coronavirus cases, as well as the Greek Ministry of Health's decision to cancel all outdoor meetings and events in the country, Food Expo 2020 will be postponed until the 16, 17 and 18 May 2020.

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Wednesday, Feb. 26, 15:00 GMT

A Boston seafood show without handshakes?

Organizers of the Seafood Expo North America event in Boston next month sent an update to attendees and exhibitors detailing further efforts to reduce the threat of the coronavirus at the show, the most draconian of which is to follow what it termed a "No-contact, no-handshake policy."

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Thursday, Feb. 27, 15.47 GMT

Birds Eye, Iglo parent hoards inventory, diverts fish processing from China as coronavirus spreads

Frozen foods giant Nomad Foods -- parent of the Birds Eye and Iglo brands -- is building up stock and finding alternatives for fish processed in China in case the coronavirus global health emergency situation deteriorates further.

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Thursday, Feb. 27, 05.09 GMT

High Liner's stockpiling of product just might save it from coronavirus

Canadian frozen seafood giant High Liner said it has built enough Chinese-processed product inventory to see it through at least the opening five months of this year.

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Wednesday, Feb. 26, 9.40 GMT

World Ocean Summit canceled

The Economist Group announced the cancellation of its World Ocean Summit 2020, scheduled to take place in Tokyo on March 9 and 10.

“Naturally we’re disappointed to have to cancel our most important global event,” said Charles Goddard, executive director of The Economist Group’s World Ocean Initiative.

“But the safety of attendees and our staff must be the priority.”

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Tuesday, Feb. 25, 1.52 GMT

Bangkok feed conference canceled

Organizers of specialized aquaculture feed conference Aquafeed Horizons 2020, due to take place March 24 in Bangkok, have canceled the meeting.

“This was a very difficult decision, and we waited as long as we could in the hope that the coronavirus epidemic would slow, but unfortunately we are not seeing that," said organizer Suzi Dominy.

“It would have been irresponsible to go ahead with an international meeting in this region; we really didn’t have a choice.”

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Thursday, Feb. 20, 4:50 GMT

Rabobank: Coronavirus could offer opportunities for international companies

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak continues to impact Chinese consumer spending, but may offer some opportunities for international seafood companies to position themselves as a reliably food-safe supplier, according to Rabobank.

With the looming protein shortage in the country -- exacerbated by a massive coronavirus-related chicken cull (below) -- seafood may be a winner.

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Thursday, Feb. 20, 23:50 GMT

GAA provides certification extensions for impacted companies

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is granting extensions to Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP)-certified processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills in China that are due to be audited for annual re-certification in the near term or are due to submit corrective actions for non-conformances cited during a recent audit.

The extensions are being granted on a case-by-case basis, the GAA said.

BAP-certified facilities with questions about an upcoming audit are encouraged to contact their BAP certification specialist.

"The health and safety of our associates in China and around the world is a priority for the GAA and its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) third-party certification program," the GAA said Thursday.

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Tuesday, Feb. 18, 08:00 GMT

Coronavirus hits South African lobster exports

South Africa's rock lobster exports to China have halted, reported 2OceansVibe, with one fisherman telling the publication, "Our boats are standing still."

Hazel Wickham, a representative of the Cape Lobster Export Association, said orders from China ceased completely on Jan. 24.

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Monday, Feb. 17, 07:04 GMT

IntraFish Podcast: Inside the coronavirus effect

IntraFish Editor-in-Chief Drew Cherry, Executive Editor John Fiorillo, Editor Rachel Mutter and Reporter Rachel Sapin discuss coronavirus, the Alaska salmon processing implosion and land-based farming's controversial "dirty little secret".

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Monday, Feb. 17, 06:29 GMT

Mowi CEO: Coronavirus impact will soon blow over

The coronavirus is no different to any other global event that has rattled the seafood market and will soon blow over, Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim said.

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Friday, Feb. 14, 08:24 GMT

Thai Union donates King Oscar tuna to Wuhan

Thai Union China donated more than 52,000 cans of King Oscar tuna as humanitarian assistance to the city of Wuhan, which has been heavily impacted by the coronavirus.

The donation was conducted through a local logistics service and an online food delivery operator in China.

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Friday, Feb. 14, 04:07 GMT

Mowi shuts down Shanghai salmon processing over coronavirus fears

Norwegian salmon giant Mowi has shut down its Chinese operations and laid off processing staff, CEO Ivan Vindheim told TDN Direkt, with no idea yet as to when things will get back to normal.

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Thursday, Feb. 13, 13:59 GMT

Boston seafood show organizers brace for hit on Chinese attendance

Mainland China typically represents 5% of the visitor and exhibitor attendee base and 9% of the exhibit space.

Read the story here

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Wednesday, Feb. 12, 13:17 GMT

Coronavirus delays Chinese orders of Ecuadorian shrimp

Trade association chief says not shipping shrimp to China would be "unthinkable" as it takes 45 days to transport product to Chinese ports and would leave Chinese importers with no Ecuadorian shrimp at the end of March.

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Tuesday, Feb. 11, 03:32 GMT

Shrimp prices take a blow as coronavirus rumbles on

Global shrimp prices are already feeling the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, suppliers are telling IntraFish.

"China has all of that shrimp inventory for the Chinese New Year and they probably aren't going to need to replace it," one US importer told IntraFish. That would mean, at least in the short term, that there will likely be downward pressure on prices.

"[The coronavirus] couldn’t have happened at a worst time, as importers and distributors were all loaded with expensive inventory ahead of Spring Festival," Peter Redmayne, president of Sea Fare Expositions, organizers of the annual China Seafood & Fishery Exposition," told IntraFish.

Read the story here.

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Friday, Feb. 07, 12:36 GMT

Clearwater giving little away on China business impact

After previously reporting no impact on its critical China market from coronavirus, Canadian shellfish giant Clearwater Seafoods is giving little away.

"We are monitoring the coronavirus situation in China closely and are working to determine the near-term impact on our business related to the government’s control measures," Clearwater Vice President of Sustainability and Public Affairs Christine Penney told IntraFish.

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Friday, Feb. 07, 00:25 GMT

Are China's online seafood sales immune to coronavirus?

As China's burgeoning foodservice industry flounders in the face of the coronavirus, other channels are grabbing market share in a country where food is not only an essential of everyday life, but a cultural institution.

And while it is still early days to call judgement, arguably the biggest "winner" will be online sales.

"Everybody needs to eat," Rabobank China Consumer Foods Analyst Michelle Huang told IntraFish.

Read the story here.

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Thursday, Feb. 06, 18:51 GMT

Coronavirus: Chilean farmed salmon exports to China remain ‘paralyzed’

Chilean salmon exports to China remain halted with no shipments sent for a second consecutive week in the face of the coronavirus global health emergency, Chilean salmon producers trade body SalmonChile told IntraFish.

This has led to a weakening of spot prices and only minimal placing of orders by Chinese buyers, sources are reporting.

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Tuesday, Feb. 04, 22:34 GMT

The show must go on in Honolulu

John Cooksey, the executive director of the The World Aquaculture Society, told IntraFish the Aquaculture America 2020 conference set to happen next week in Honolulu is not changing any plans as a result of the coronavirus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the virus is not yet a pandemic, reports CNN.

The last pandemic reported was the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, which killed hundreds of thousand worldwide.

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Tuesday, Feb. 04, 06:00 GMT

Chinese seafood giant reports rising sales

As the coronavirus continues its spread, the Chinese government has extended its country-wide shutdown, telling businesses in China to cease operations until Feb. 10, which extends the current period by another week. However, for some seafood businesses, the outbreak means a rise in sales.

Read the story here.

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Monday, Feb. 03, 17:00 GMT

Coronavirus sends shareprices reeling

The share price of China's biggest publicly listed seafood companies plummeted Monday as stock exchanges opened after the extended Chinese New Year break.

Read the story here.

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Monday, Feb. 03, 16:00 GMT

US producers on high alert as Chinese New Year comes to an end

Rob Hallion, who is president of Massachusetts-based Crocker & Winsor, which sources frozen tilapia, shrimp, squid and crab meat from China, told IntraFish it has been "extremely difficult" to get any information from China during the outbreak on requests as simple as where a container is located.

While US seafood is not yet feeling a direct impact from the virus, the market is starting to become jittery, he said.

"Some of the bigger companies in our industry are trying to buy every piece of fish they can of of Chinese origin because they believe there are going to be shortages," he said.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Monday, Feb. 03, 06:00 GMT

Feed sector braces for impact

Any potential impacts from the coronavirus global health emergency have yet to filter through to the international fishmeal markets, IntraFish has learned.

With authorities controlling logistics in China, workers could return late to processing plants if they are unable to return on time from visiting relatives in other parts of the country.

"What one could expect as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak is a contraction of the catering business, as people are shunning restaurants in China at the moment," Enrico Bachis, market research director at the Marine Feed Ingredients Organisation (IFFO) told IntraFish.

Read the story here.

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Friday, Jan. 31, 17:00 GMT

Boston show organizers 'monitoring events'

Diversified Communications, organizers of the Seafood Expo North America trade show set for March in Boston, said Friday it is working with the appropriate authorities in the city of Boston to monitor events related to the coronavirus pandemic, both in the United States and internationally.

"The current situation has not impacted attendee and exhibitor registration, and we look forward to a successful event," the company said in a statement.

Read the story here.

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Friday, Jan. 31, 14:00 GMT

Canadian lobster exports look for temporary new home

Canada is working to figure out what to do with live lobster exports to China following the coronavirus outbreak.

A representative for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport Authority said shipments are temporarily impacted as a result of travel restrictions in place within China connected to the coronavirus, the Tri County Vanguard reported.

The airport said the shutdown could impact two to three weekly cargo flights containing seafood products that normally go out of Halifax Stanfield to the Chinese market.

The coronavirus is also putting the brakes on Nova Scotia lobster sales and shipments to China, which is a crucial market for Nova Scotia lobster exporters, reported the CBC Friday.

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Friday, Jan. 31, 11:00 GMT

US issues "do not travel" alert for China, Delta, United to suspend China routes

The US State Department has raised its travel alert to level 4 (the highest) with the message: "Do not travel to China."

The alert was posted following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a global health emergency for the coronavirus this week.

"Those currently in China should consider departing using commercial means," the agency said. "The Department of State has requested that all non-essential US government personnel defer travel to China in light of the novel coronavirus."

Starting Feb. 6, Delta will suspend temporarily suspend flights to China through April 30, due to "ongoing concerns related to the coronavirus," ABC News reported.

"Until Feb. 5, flights will continue to operate, in order to ensure that passengers who want to leave China can do so. The final China-bound flight is scheduled to depart Feb. 3," the news site said.

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Thursday, Jan. 30, 03:03 GMT

Scotland scrambles to find options

With China being Scotland's third-largest overseas market for salmon, producers fear a dramatic shift of exports in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"The early indications are that the demand for imports of salmon has slowed as a result of the ongoing health issues in the country, particularly in the restaurant and hotel trade," a spokesperson for Scottish Salmon Producers Organization (SSPO) said.

Read the story here.

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Thursday, Jan. 30, 18:03 GMT

Coronavirus declared global health emergency

Coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread to countries outside of China, BBC News reports.

This comes amid concern is that the virus could spread to countries with less advanced health care systems.

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Thursday, Jan. 30, 19:17 GMT

Chilean producers halt all salmon shipments to China

Chilean salmon producers stopped shipping their products to China this week and are now looking to other markets to offset the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Read about how producers are trying to divert products to Brazil and the United States.

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Thursday, Jan. 30, 13:21 GMT

Royal Greenland wary of potential coronavirus pandemic impact

The company hasn't felt any major impacts on its business yet, however, it remains wary of any potential setbacks.

Read the story here.

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Thursday, Jan. 30, 1:39 GMT

Mowi to escape 'dramatic' impact from market disruptions

Norwegian exporters on Wednesday claimed orders have slowed down due to the outbreak of coronavirus, but there is not too much reason to worry, at least not for large salmon farmers, analysts say.

In line with what exporters report, price changes have mainly been contained to sizes above 5 kilograms.

Read the story here.

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 22:15 GMT

Canadian lobster giant not yet feeling impact

Canadian shellfish giant Clearwater Seafoods is not yet feeling an impact on its business from the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak in China, an executive told IntraFish.

Clearwater's sales to China increased more than 8 percent to $43 million (€39 million) in the third quarter of 2019 compared to the same period the year prior, making it one of the most important single markets for the company.

Read the story here.

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 22:00 GMT

Norway fears for one of its most promising farmed salmon markets

As Chinese health authorities tighten controls on seafood trade in the face of the coronavirus, the impact on exports to China remain unclear -- but already Norwegian salmon producers are feeling the pinch.

Norwegian salmon shipped to China is often fresh and in larger sizes, within the 5 kilogram and above category, for which there are only few other markets, such as Korea or Vietnam.

"You have the European market, but they aren't willing to pay the same prices, which is why I think it will have an impact on the pricing during the week," one exporter said.

Read the story here.

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 20:35 GMT

Exporters fear impact on shrimp imports

All Ecuador and India's shrimp producers can do is hope and pray against the collapse of their key market in China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

"If importers and distributors can not sell their inventory during Chinese holidays they won’t be able to put in new orders, affecting the market," the head of the Ecuadorian Chamber of Aquaculture Jose Antonio Camposano told IntraFish.

Read the story here.

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 15:13 GMT

National Fisheries Institute: Don't believe the scare stories

The National Fisheries Institute told IntraFish it doesn't yet have an impact on potential trade impact.

"But one of the things we’ve been noting is how important it is for buyers and consumers, ultimately, not to be confused about things they may have read or heard," NFI spokesman Gavin Gibbons said.

"It’s important to understand that the coronavirus is not related to seafood from a health perspective."

Gibbons noted that the outbreak comes during China's New Year celebrations, which naturally affects seafood sales.

China is one of the largest US trading partners, though sales have been disrupted by recent trade battles.

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Tuesday, Jan. 28, 19:13 GMT

Norway's farmed salmon sector braces for coronavirus impact

As Chinese health authorities tighten controls on seafood trade in the face of the coronavirus, the impact on exports to China remain unclear -- but already Norwegian salmon producers are feeling the pinch.

Read the story here.

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Tuesday, Jan. 28, 01:35 GMT

Coronavirus pandemic impact on Chinese seafood industry 'will be huge'

"The impact on the seafood industry will be huge," one exec told IntraFish referring to the coronavirus outbreak, as he stepped off a plane from Shanghai to Seattle where all his fellow passengers were wearing masks.

Read the story here.

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Tuesday, Jan. 27, 18:13 GMT

McDonald's, Starbucks, Ikea and more shut doors on some units

Major retail and foodservice outlets across China are beginning to close their doors, adding further woes to seafood exporters who count them as customers.

McDonald's, Ikea, KFC and Starbucks are among the list of western chains that are shutting down operations as the Chinese government struggles to contain the impact.

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Monday, Jan. 27, 09:05 GMT

Coronavirus outbreak halts Tasmanian lobster exports to China

Tasmanian rock lobster exports to China came to a halt as restaurants canceled orders thanks to Chinese citizens being advised to stay indoors as the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus continues.