Goodbye January. Farewell, adieu, see ya later. The most maligned month in the calendar is now behind us and for seafood news its final week kicked off with, ironically, a story about non-seafood.
It was a story on fish-free tuna, targeted at the fast-growing demand for plant-based protein as an alternative for meat and fish (think vegans, flexitarians, reducetarians), in the United Kingdom – a trend that simply “cannot be ignored,” IntraFish was told.
There was also some sad news right at the beginning of the week when a man died and millions of fish were killed during a fire at Leroy Seafood Group's Laksefjord smolt facility in Finnmark, Norway. The worker who died was performing maintenance at the site when the fire broke out Sunday.
During the week we also reported on South African land-based salmon company Atlantis West Coast hitting a planning roadblock as the proposed site of construction was deemed environmentally sensitive, forcing the project to find a new home.
Sticking in America, the week saw the Alaska pollock fishery open strong despite the government shutdown, while the US catfish farmer, SouthFresh Aquaculture, filed for Chapter 11.
The UK’s largest processor, Young's Seafood, posted its earnings during the week, revealing a growth in both chilled, frozen segments, and Editorial Director Drew Cherry spoke exclusively with the company’s CEO Bill Showalter, who assured it was "business as usual" at the company, despite ongoing efforts to find a buyer.
Brexit reared its ugly head again during the week, with Andrew Kuyk, director general of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF), suggesting the EU has the upper hand when it comes to fishing access negotiations, while French fishermen plan on joining European colleagues in blockading UK seafood supplies to processors on the continent as a 'last resort' in Brexit battle.
On Friday we also learned how Brexit may force Icelandic haddock to seek new markets.
In another exclusive interview last week we heard from the CEO of Peru's Camposol who told IntraFish the company has big plans to become a major player in the global shrimp market.
The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) awarded Trident Seafoods and Cooke-owned True North Seafood funding for projects that will expand consumer awareness of wild Alaska pollock in new market channels and support new product introductions.
Towards the end of the week we discovered how pollock is clawing its way back with UK supermarket shoppers; Norwegian salmon farmer SalMar named a former Marine Harvest exec as its new CFO and COO; and the MSC decided to suspend its certification of the North East Atlantic mackerel fishery.
We also squeezed in another installment of our IntraFish Podcast last week, this time on GSMC, shrimp oversupply and salmon's fight against fake news.
But this was far from all the news last week, so sign up for our full list of Editor's Picks for more insight to start your week.