Study highlights regional overlap of tunas, sharks in Pacific

By Undercurrent News

“A study published by US-based Stanford University has successfully identified the areas of the Pacific Ocean where tuna, sharks and fishing activities overlap, reports

The study aims to help global authorities determine where vulnerable species are most in need of protection from fishing, the team behind the study said.

The research team created the map by analyzing the habitats of more than 800 sharks and tunas, as well as the locational data from more than 900 industrial fishing vessels. The study found that in the northeast Pacific, Taiwan, China, Japan, the US, and Mexico accounted for more than 90% of fishing in key habitats.”

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ISSF holds global student contest for sustainable tuna initiatives

By Undercurrent News March 15, 2019 09:57 GMT

“The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) will be holding a contest for marine science graduates and postdoctoral researchers to submit ideas for the next sustainable tuna fishing initiatives, a release from the organization said.

In particular, ISSF is looking for ideas to help reduce bycatch and protect ocean ecosystems from purse seine fisheries that use fish aggregating devices (FADs). The ISSF is especially focused on ideas to reduce the bycatch of sharks and marine mammals, improving the selectivity for skipjack tuna over yellowfin or bigeye, and reducing the marine impact of lost FADs.

Submissions will be judged by a panel of five experts from academia and the fishing industry, based on the originality of the idea, conservation impact, impact on skipjack catches, the degree to which idea has been tested, feasibility of industry-wide implementation, and cost-effectiveness.

The contest, which runs until Dec. 31, 2019, will award a $45,000 grand prize to the idea deemed to be the best in these criteria, as well as a $10,000 runner-up prize, both to be announced on Feb. 28, 2020.”

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Governments of Canada and British Columbia now accepting proposals to help restore Pacific salmon and boost the province’s fish and seafood sector

March 15, 2019

Victoria, BC - Wild Pacific salmon is integral to the economic and social fabric of coastal communities, and is fundamental to Indigenous communities across British Columbia. The need to act now to protect habitat and restore our wild fish stocks is clear and indeed vital to the environmental and economic sustainability of the province.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson and BC Premier, the Honourable John Horgan, officially launched the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund in Victoria. This fund is a federal-provincial collaboration that will help restore the habitat of our wild fish stocks in communities across British Columbia, and the protection of our vulnerable wild Pacific salmon species. The Government of Canada is investing $100 million over five years, and the Government of British Columbia is investing $42.85 million over five years.

It will also support fisheries innovation, science and infrastructure so that BC fish stocks can be harvested sustainably into the future. These investments support the protection of BC’s wild fisheries and enhance sustainability in the aquaculture industry.

The fund is now open to proposals from Indigenous groups, conservation groups, commercial organizations in the wild fisheries and industry sectors, recreational fisheries, as well as non-commercial organizations such as universities and academia, industry associations and research institutions. The fund will support projects that leverage local knowledge such as local Indigenous monitoring and guardianship programs and community-led habitat restoration, among other innovative projects aimed at protecting and restoring wild fish stocks.

To be eligible, projects must focus on one or more of the following three areas:

  • Innovation – to encourage the development of new technologies to increase productivity and help meet conservation and sustainability objectives, including the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon;

  • Infrastructure – to encourage capital investments in new products, processes or technologies to support the advancement of sustainable fishing practices and to support the protection and restoration of wild BC stocks, including Pacific salmon;

  • Science partnerships – to support collaborations with academia and other research institutions to improve our knowledge and understanding of impacts to wild stocks and to develop sustainable fishing practices.

The investments from the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will ensure BC’s wild fisheries are environmentally and economically sustainable for the long-term and that jobs in the fishery are resilient to the challenges of climate change and evolving economic conditions. The fund will help protect and restore priority wild BC fish stocks, including Pacific salmon. Consumers will also benefit from high-quality, sustainably sourced, Canadian fish and seafood products.

To find out more about eligibility, project criteria and how to apply, visit the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund web page:

Thai Union aims to turn tuna heads into gold

Seafood giant sees fish oil and other high-margin items as key to growth

PETER JANSSEN, Contributing writer

Thai Union gets half its sales from canned tuna, but it is also looking to expand its lineup of more valuable products. (Photo by Kento Awashima)

BANGKOK -- Thai Union Group, the world's leading canned tuna exporter, is banking on its treasure trove of tuna heads to spur growth and lift profits.

The company makes about half of its sales from canned tuna, but is now looking to break into the market for refined fish oil and other higher-margin products made from byproducts like fish heads, skin, eyes and bones.

The push comes as Thai Union sales fell 1.2% last year to around $4.2 billion, due in part to the appreciation of the baht against the dollar. The company is aiming for a 5% increase this year, for which more valuable products will be key.

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Chinese companies report first bigeye tuna fishery to score MSC

By Undercurrent News March 7, 2019 17:03 GMT

Three Chinese companies say the bigeye tuna fishery they harvest from in the Federated States of Micronesia is now the first to be certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

In a press release published Thursday, Liancheng Overseas Fishery (Shenzhen) Co., China Southern Fishery Shenzhen Co. and Liancheng Overseas Fishery Co. said in a press release that they have just achieved MSC certification for bigeye following an independent assessment by Control Union. They said they achieved MSC for yellowfin in the same fishery in October.

The latest stock assessment for bigeye in the Western Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) shows that stocks are healthy and being fished at a sustainable rate, the companies said. But the certification is conditional based upon the adoption of harvest strategies by all of the member states of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) by 2021.

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B.C. exporters feel chill in Canada-China freeze

Seafood, wine and other sectors vulnerable in escalation of Ottawa-Beijing dispute

Chuck Chiang / Business in Vancouver MARCH 10, 2019 07:00 AM

For some of B.C.’s largest export sectors, a potential disruption of trade with China — the spectre of which has risen after the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. CFO Meng Wanzhou last December — would be severe if not catastrophic.

That is the view from several B.C. officials in industries such as forestry, seafood, wine and international education, where efforts to diversify their markets beyond the United States, as promoted by Ottawa and the provincial government in the last decade, have helped build deep links with China’s economy as the latter grew to become Canada’s second-largest trade partner.

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Scientists see improving ocean conditions off West Coast, but ‘we are not quite out of the woods yet'

Research surveys in 2018 showed promising signs of rebounding sea life after The Blob, an unprecedented warming event that began in 2014 off the West Coast.

By Lynda V. Mapes Seattle Times environment reporter

Ocean conditions are improving for salmon entering the ocean this year, several years after The Blob, an unusually warm water event that began forming in 2014, scientists announced Friday.Research surveys in 2018 confirmed tiny animals that stoke the food chain were nice and fatty. Anchovies, an important forage fish, were increasing in number. Sea lion pups were numerous and growing well, and fish-eating sea birds going strong.

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Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations: Stability, major modifications and record of modifications

New form: Fishing Vessel Record of Modifications Affecting Stability

Transport Canada has released a new form to be used when recording vessel modifications:

Visit: for more information.

Transport Canada created the Fishing Vessel Record of Modifications Affecting Stability to:

  • give authorized representatives a way to record modifications over time and help them meet the requirements of the FVSR

  • help authorized representatives know when to ask for advice from a competent person and when to update their stability information

When they inspect or monitor a vessel, Transport Canada inspectors will ask to review this form. Inspectors may use this opportunity to discuss the extent and potential impacts of the modifications it lists. They will note any modifications on the vessel’s inspection record.

During an inspection or monitoring inspection, the inspector will also verify that, if required:

  • There is a signed copy of the stability booklet or record of stability onboard

  • The signed copy is up to date and accurately reflects the vessel’s configuration (length, breadth, draught, tonnage, equipment onboard, etc.) and fishing activities

  • A stability notice is posted onboard the vessel

When a vessel is inspected, if the inspector determines it was modified and its stability should have been reassessed or is inadequate, they may require a stability assessment.

When the vessel is modified, the authorized representative must complete this form, noting:

  • any additions or changes (other than routine maintenance) to lifting equipment and fishing gear

  • any changes in the fishing method, the type of fish caught or the way the catch is stowed

  • any modifications to the vessel’s structure, equipment or gear that add, remove or result in the relocation of weights more than 100 kg (220 pounds), along with smaller weights if they adversely affect vessel stability

  • that the vessel has an up-to-date stability assessment, which accurately reflects the vessel’s configuration and what it is used for

Lastly, add the date of the modification and initial the line. Include any photos or drawings of the modification, if possible. During the inspection, if there were no modifications, write “no modifications,” the date and your initials on the next available line.

For more detailed information on major modifications or a change in activity, read Transport Canada’s TP 15392 – Guidelines for Fishing Vessel Major Modifications or a Change in Activity.

You can get more information about major modifications by contacting your nearest Transport Canada regional office.

Vegan "Tuna" Alternative to Hit Shelves at Whole Foods and Thrive Market

Lab-grown meat is not a new industry but recently companies have turned their attention to formulating lab-grown seafood. Plant based “tuna” will be on shelves at Whole Foods and Thrive Market this week. Made from beans legumes and algae, food developers have attempted to capture tuna’s distinct flavour and texture in their newest product although they claim the product does not have the same aroma.

BC Albacore is a sustainable source for healthy marine protein both for the consumer and the ocean it is harvested from. By supporting sustainable fisheries we can ensure our oceans are productive and can employ future fishing generations to come.