Happy new year 2024 Hai Trieu Food factory

November 12, 2020

Social media users discuss sharks at wet market

Small sharks for sale at a wet maket in Yuen Long have set off a debate on social media about the endangered marine predators and the suitability of its flesh as lunch, or dinner. The fish vendor was captured selling three tiny sharks placed on a metal tray for HK$28. These are suspected to be pygmy sharks that have a bulbous nose and grow to about 7.4 inches in length. Sharks are on the verge of extinction due to overfishing to serve the unquenched demand in countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and China for shark fin soup.

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Asian carp roundup opens new front in battle

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (AP) — Like a slow-motion, underwater cattle drive, wildlife officials in a half-dozen aluminum boats used pulses of electricity and sound on a recent gray morning to herd schools of Asian carp toward 1,000-foot-long (305 meters) nets. The ongoing roundup on wind-rippled Kentucky Lake opens a new front in a 15-year battle to halt the advance of the invasive carp, which threaten to upend aquatic ecosystems, starve out native fish and wipe out endangered mussel and snail populations along the Mississippi River and dozens of tributaries. State and federal agencies together have spent roughly $607 million to stop them since 2004, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. Projects in the works are expected to push the price tag to about $1.5 billion over the next decade. That’s more than five times the amount predicted in 2007 when a national carp management plan was crafted, and no end is in sight. Programs aim to reduce established populations and prevent further spreading, but wildlife officials concede they may never be able to eradicate the prolific fish. Much of the focus has been on limiting their northerly migration and keeping them out of the Great Lakes, where experts say they could devastate a $7 billion fishing industry. That effort features an underwater electric barrier near Chicago, water sampling for carp DNA, subsidies for commercial fishers and experiments with a mass roundup-type harvest. It has been largely successful, although the lakes remain vulnerable and grass carp — one of the Asian varieties — have been spotted in Lakes Erie, Ontario and Michigan. Less money and attention have been paid to the carp’s virtually unchecked spread east and west into the Missouri and Ohio rivers, among others. Asian carp were imported to the U.S. in the 1960s and 1970s as an eco-friendly alternative to poisons for ridding southern fish farms and sewage lagoons of algae, weeds and parasites. They escaped through flooding, deliberate stocking and other means. “It was a dumb idea,” said Joel Brammeier, president of the advocacy group Alliance for the Great Lakes. “Even back then, biologists understood the risks of bringing live, non-native animals into the country. It should never have happened.” Greg Conover, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who oversaw development of the national Asian carp strategy, realized how abundant they were becoming in the Mississippi River as he studied native paddlefish in the 1990s. “At first there were no carp, then we were catching a few carp here and there, then eventually we were filling the nets with carp and no paddlefish,” he said. The catchall term “Asian carp” refers to four different invasive species — bighead, black, grass and silver carp. Sport anglers are feeling their impacts. Scientists reported that carp in the upper Mississippi are out-competing prized native fish such as yellow perch and bluegill. And silver carp hurtle from the water like missiles when startled by boat motors. Collisions have broken noses, jaws and ribs. “That has hurt the tourism industry,” said Ron Brooks, Kentucky’s aquatic nuisance species program director. There are no precise estimates of Asian carp populations in U.S. waters, but there are believed to be millions. At times, they’ve totaled up to 90% of all fish populations on some backwaters of the Mississippi River. On two large reservoirs in Kentucky last year, commercial fishermen brought in 6 million pounds (2.7 million kilograms) of Asian carp. Asian carp are established in much of the central U.S. They grow quickly and reproduce abundantly; females lay up to 5 million eggs at a time. Silver carp mature in three to four years and can grow to about 60 pounds (27 kilograms). Bighead, the largest, can reach 110 pounds (50 kilograms). Grass carp — the only Asian carp species that can still be legally imported for weed control — have been found as far west as Utah, and in Florida and New York. Early attempts to rein in Asian carp were slow going. “For years we couldn’t even catch them,” said Frank Fiss, fisheries chief of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “We had to adapt our gear to get the right gill nets, the right electroshocks. There was a steep learning curve.” Some fish farmers didn’t want the carp banned. States were slow to act. One control method, commercial fishing, hit a snag when processors realized that while the carp are a prized food in China, buyers there like them fresh, not frozen. But control efforts are increasing and becoming more successful. In the upper Illinois and Des Plaines rivers last year, a combination of the roundup method and commercial fishing helped pull in 1.5 million pounds (680,000 kilograms) of carp, said Kevin Irons, aquatic nuisance species manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Irons said they have seen a 96.7% drop in the Asian carp population on that stretch of river since 2012. Still, the Illinois remains infested. To prevent carp from migrating northward into Lake Michigan, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing the priciest initiative yet: fortifying a lock and dam on the outskirts of Chicago with an electric barrier, underwater speakers blasting irritating noises, and air bubble curtains. The project, awaiting congressional approval, could cost more than $800 million. Meanwhile, Southern states are becoming more active. Tennessee hired its first aquatic nuisance species coordinator in December. In Kentucky, officials installed a prototype underwater barrier last November designed to block Asian carp from passing through a lock at Lake Barkley, on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. If the fish fence works, fisheries officials hope to keep the carp from moving farther into Tennessee. Silver carp already are turning up in Tennessee’s Duck River, one of the most biologically diverse in North America. Angie Yu, a Chinese-American in the import-export business, moved from Los Angeles to Kentucky in 2012, seeing the Asian carp problem as a business opportunity. In her first year, Yu shipped a half million pounds to China. “I had my Waterloo there. It totally failed,” she said. Since then, she has concentrated on markets in

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Wholesale prices of spot-prawns drop due to Asian glut

A glut of spot prawns stockpiled in Asia and export issues around the pandemic mean B.C. fishermen will get a lot less for their fresh catch or store it frozen until markets improve. It isn’t immediately clear if retail prices for the local seafood delicacy will decline. A survey of some retailers show spot prawns are selling for between $20 and $39 a pound. The owner of Finest at Sea, a Victoria-based seafood company with three prawning boats, said that while the catch has been bountiful this spring, the international markets to sell them have been “subdued.” About 90 per cent of B.C.’s total catch is typically exported to Japan and China, but Bob Fraumeni said those countries either already have good supplies or only want the largest sizes. Since spot prawns vary greatly in size, that leaves much of the catch to be sold to Victoria and Vancouver restaurants and grocery stores. “Prices are in the toilet … that’s the quick answer,” Fraumeni said. Vancouver fish buyers are paying about $5 wholesale a pound for “unfinished” spot prawns, down from about $16 a pound last year, he said. The Chinese and Japanese markets are limited, but still open, said Fraumeni, but buyers there only want the largest sizes and are paying between $11 and $13 a frozen pound, which is down about 30 per cent from last year. Japan, the largest market for B.C. spot prawns, heavily stockpiled for the 2020 Olympics, but the games were postponed to next year because of the pandemic, leaving the country with an oversupply. Fraumeni said Monday that Finest at Sea was loading a container of spot prawns for Asia, but many of the small to medium-sized prawns will be stored frozen “rather than sell at a loss.” In B.C., about 2,450 metric tonnes of spot prawns are harvested annually, with about 65% coming from the waters between Vancouver Island and the mainland. Justin McNab of Nanaimo-based Hub City Fisheries, one of the largest buyers of seafood on the Island, told CHEK News the decline in Asian markets has deflated prawn prices. “I’d say we’re probably about half of what the market was at last year,” he said. The excess supply means prices could drop even further. “We don’t know what direction it’s going to go in,” said McNab. B.C. spot prawns are a delicacy known for their sweet flavour and firm texture. They have white spots on their tail and white horizontal bars on the carapace. They are the largest of the seven commercial species of shrimp found on the west coast. Some larger females exceed 23 centimetres in length. The commercial prawn fishery is limited entry, with a maximum of 246 prawn licences. Each licence is allowed to fish up to 300 traps, with the restriction of hauling each trap once per day. The commercial prawn and shrimp by trap fishery is one of the most valuable in the Pacific region, accounting for a landed value of $35.3 million in 2013, according to the latest data from the Pacific Prawns Fisherman’s Association. When prawning season closes in the next week, many crews will switch to tuna fishing. Fraumeni said fresh tuna is still “catching on” in North American markets even though the canned variety is a staple in many households. The market for sable fish, sometimes called black cod, remains very strong. He said the company has shipped four containers of sable fish to Japan this spring.

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Pangasius exports to US continue to fall

Vietnam’s pangasius exports to the U.S., its second largest market, this year has fallen by 41.5 percent to $187.9 million. The exports to the market have been marked by seventh straight months of decline as of August, according to a recent report by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Although the U.S. remains the second largest buyer, shipments are expected to continue falling after that country raised anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese products in April, VASEP said. Before concluding its 14th period of review on April 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) had set preliminary weighted-average dumping margins for Vietnamese pangasius exporters at $0-1.37 per kilogram. However, after the investigation, the DOC slapped $3.87 on Hung Vuong Group and $1.37 on five other seafood producers, and kept the $2.39 margin on all other Vietnamese producers. According to VASEP, Vietnam has exported $1.3 billion worth of pangasius in all this year, down 7.7 percent from the same period last year. Exports to China, its biggest market, rose 17.2 percent to $389 million, and exports to the EU increased by 8.8 percent to $174.3 million. According to the association, last year pangasius accounted for $2.26 billion out of Vietnam’s total seafood exports of around $9 billion.

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