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The unsurprising salmon cartel; land-based skeptics; whitefish recovery; Brexit fears

It was a very, very busy week.

Whew, what a week.

As ever at this time of year, the North Atlantic Seafood Forum dominated the news agenda over the week and IntraFish was busy as usual keeping our readers fully updated.

This year though, along with our usual live blogging and tweeting, we also published several stories during the event.

Stories ranged from insurance giant AXA conceding that, for the moment at least, insuring land-based aquaculture facilities is very much a loss business, to Mowi’s CEO explaining why the company changed its name.

We had stories on analysts overestimating the speed of impact of land-based salmon farming; Atlantic Sapphire hitting a long-established goal in Denmark; IFFO calling it "shortsighted" to remove fishmeal entirely from feed; and on significant growth expected for Russia’s Atlantic cod fillet processing sector.

We wrote how the recovery in the Alaska pollock industry was no accident; how Chile is launching Patagonia-focused branding in US market; and how the fear factor is still the main obstacle for UK seafood processors.

We heard how North Atlantic mackerel prices have hit an all-time high and are likely to keep increasing as herring prices on the other hand are bottoming out.

Rabobank analyst Gorjan Nikolik told how the fishmeal sector doesn’t have much to worry about yet when it comes to alternative feed ingredients, while the Austevoll CEO said growing aquaculture is not just an opportunity but an obligation.

But there were many more stories from the conference and all can be found here.

Other stuff too

While NASF was the main talking point during the week, other things were going on too, we promise.

For example, in North America, Cooke Aquaculture unveiled it is using a CAD 45 million lease package to combat one of its biggest salmon farming problems, while land-based salmon farmer Whole Oceans revealed it is eyeing West Coast sites in addition to its one on the East Coast.

The salmon cartel story has not gone away, and buyers told IntraFish the EU probe was not much of a surprise.

Meanwhile, John Fiorillo went all Destiny’s Child in his column on wild Alaska pollock.

In the States, we reported how Australis Barramundi landed a contract with US Foods, and discussed how the FDA's new food safety strategy doesn't impact seafood, and asked whether that is a good thing?

We followed up last week’s acquisition by Australis of processor Pesquera Torres del Paine, which the company said would give it a springboard to launch new products.

Veramaris hired a new team with some big names to assist with the global launch of fish-free omega 3 oil and MSD Animal Health acquired a fish health company.

Speaking of acquisitions, the (very) long awaited announcement regarding the sale of Spanish seafood giant Iberconsa finally came through last week after many months in the pipeline.

We saw Iceland propose new aquaculture legislation and Russia’s largest pollock holder retain its quotas, and heard how higher tuna prices will give Thai Union better negotiating power.

And lastly, but by no means least, US-based Pacific Seafood revealed not only that it is working to bring a new species of rainbow trout to the market that eats a plant-based diet, but also that it is expanding its beef and poultry distribution in the Southwest.

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