Taking a look back over the past 12 months, it is clear to the IntraFish editorial team that 2018 was the year of consolidation -- you can check the biggest moves in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the seafood industry here. Editor Dominic Welling found 61 M&As stories in our archives going back only to January, 2018.

But, of course, consolidation and vertical integration seem to be direct consequences of a thriving industry with healthy prospects for the coming years, an industry focused on efficiency, supply stabilization and market positioning. And so are investments in sustainability, equipment, new product lines, technologies along the value chain and marketing.

All in all, it was a good year for investment in the seafood sector, which is enjoying an increasingly welcoming market that is accepting seafood as a perfect healthy option to include in diets.

Interestingly enough, salmon prices hit a historic high in 2018 (NOK 80 ($9.10/€8.02) per kilo in Norway in August) while shrimp prices sank to new lows. Despite this, shrimp seems to be attracting the interest of feed companies and other related industries.

Despite the good vibes, it has also been a year to forget for some companies facing regulatory setbacks, and for some executives finding themselves in the middle of still unresolved scandals.

Let’s take a look at IntraFish top stories of the year:

1. The IntraFish seafood CEO salary ranking

Seafood executive salaries are on the rise, with some beginning to rival those of the world's agri-giants.

2. Vannamei shrimp price situation ‘unsustainable’

The devastating price situation in the vannamei industry was the most-read topic. The instability in prices caused great uncertainty over short and medium term and continues as the new year begins.

3. Here's a list of Norway’s largest salmon farming sites

An overview of the biggest individual salmon farming sites in Norway demonstrates the size and scope of the sector.

4. It's done: Governor signs Cooke's death sentence

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill in March to phase out all Atlantic salmon farms in the state.

5. LIVE UPDATES: Troubled times for US seafood producers

The US-China trade war has been one of the most important stories for global businesses, and IntraFish brought all the news related to the dispute and its impact in the seafood industry in live coverage that’s still running.

6. Israeli giant: Aquaculture's big money is in land-based

This $200 million-turnover RAS equipment supplier plans to reach $1 billion in sales within four years.

7. LIVE UPDATES: Copper River harvest is one of the lowest in 50 years

IntraFish's live coverage on the Alaska wild salmon fishing season was once again one of the most-read stories of the year.

8. Thai Union to acquire 45% stake in Russia's largest tuna canner

Giant Thai Union announced in May it was expanding its global operations with an agreement to acquire 45 percent of TUMD Luxembourg.

9. This Norwegian exporter knew his salmon was being smuggled into China. Here's how it was done.

This former seafood exporter wasn't at all surprised by a major network smuggling Norwegian salmon into China through Vietnam.

10. The farmed shrimp industry keeps making this same mistake

In this opinion piece, Senior Reporter Lola Navarro went through the mistakes that shrimp farmers make again and again.

11. Here are the largest recorded farmed Atlantic salmon escapes in history

A thorough list of Atlantic salmon escapes since the 1990s, following Marine Harvest’s salmon escape in Chile, one of the biggest in history.

12. NL government pumps $23 million into Grieg Placentia Bay farm

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador invested in the company’s RAS project in Placentia Bay.

13. Is the global shrimp market in danger of oversupply?

Supply outlook from major producing countries increased over the year.

14. European land-based fish farmer close to deciding on new US location

Dutch land-based aquaculture company Kingfish Zeeland is narrowing down options for the exact location of its second land-based facility, which will be in the United States.

15. WWF: Immediate reforms necessary to protect MSC's reputation

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) urged the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to commit to and accelerate key reforms.

16. Norwegian group to build massive land-based salmon farm in US

Norwegian group Nordic Aquafarms in January announced plans to construct a 33,000-metric ton land-based salmon farm in Belfast

17. IntraFish Media names 2018 Person of the Year

Trident Seafoods’ Joe Bundrant was awarded the IntraFish Media Person of the Year 2018 accolade. Read his inspiring story here.

18. Bumble Bee CEO Lischewski indicted

The one-count felony indictment charges that Lischewski carried out the conspiracy by agreeing to fix the prices during meetings and other communications.

19. Chinese authorities announce crackdown on huge salmon smuggling ring

Customs officials broke up a massive scheme to illegally import the fish into the country via Vietnam.

20. FAO: Aquaculture production to grow nearly 40% by 2030

An FAO report revealed overall seafood production is expected to grow 18 percent by 2030, with aquaculture being the main driver.

Can't miss

The IntraFish editorial team traveled extensively in 2018, and we have selected a list of don't-miss articles and interviews the team wrote from around the world. These stories cover issues that will have a long-lasting impact on the seafood industry and speak to new trends to look out for.

Seafood investment: Where is the smart money going?

After talking to investors at the IntraFish New York and London seafood investors forum, and to top executives and analysts around the world, here is a detailed article about the big investment trends of the moment.

Maruha Nichiro CEO: 'Our company is always thinking about expansion'

Editor Dominic Welling was in Tokyo in August and scooped exclusive interviews with top executives of the world's largest seafood companies.

Is Magallanes the fresh start Chile's salmon industry needs?

Companies are arriving to Magallanes in a perfect moment for investment. Senior Reporter Lola Navarro was there earlier this year talking to executives and equipment suppliers about the future of salmon farming in the region.

Pacific Andes, Alibaba subsidiary strike stratgic partnership

China's booming e-commerce trend is set to change the way people consume fish in the country and to expand to the rest of the world. Editors Drew Cherry and Rachel Mutter talked to Pacific Andes' Jessie Ng about the partnership the company agreed with giant Alibaba during the China Fisheries and Seafood Expo in Qingdao.

New trends in the shrimp sector

Executive Editor John Fiorillo traveled to Guayaquil, Ecuador, to report on all the news in shrimp farming, new trends, prices, feed giants investment into the industry and an overview of marketplace trends and needs.

Marine Harvest plans name change, full rebrand

Editor Dominic Welling broke the news from Scotland as Marine Harvest announced the plans at the Capital Markets Day in Edinburgh.

Atlantic Sapphire's land-based farm construction in full swing as 'biological clock' ticks

An overview of the progress of Atlantic Sapphire's land-based salmon project in the United States, read the latest update and check out the exclusive picture gallery IntraFish published following the Aquaculture Innovation Workshop (AIW) in Miami.