Tanner updates, Competition from Barents Sea, Grocer Survey
March 21, 2014
This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Crab updates and outlooks for seafood at supermarkets. More after this –
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Lots of Tanner crab is coming out of Alaska this winter. Southeast Alaska wrapped up its best fishery in a decade with 80 crabbers hauling up one and a quarter million pounds in 11 days. At an average fishermen’s price to of $2.70/lb the Tanner fishery is worth more than $3 million to the region.
The Snow crab coming out of the Bering Sea is a smaller cousin in the Tanner family – at one to two pounds, it’s half the size of the Southeast crab. The snow crab catch has neared 80% of the 54 million pound catch and with no ice problems this year, fishing was going fast. The base price for snow crab is $2.15/lb, similar to last year. That means a value of nearly $120 million at the docks.
Alaska snow crab will soon face more competition than just Canada, which already produces double the volume. All signs point to a huge, untapped supply in the Barents Sea. The Norway Marine Institute projects yearly snow crab catches of 25,000 to 75,000 tons in the next 10 years, and possibly higher.
Crabbing is underway and Norway and Russia are devising a management plan for the new fishery.
Shellfish was a popular item at seafood counters last year and the sales outlook is good for all seafood for 2014.
Progressive Grocer’s annual review of retail counters says that for the frist time in 20 years not one retailer projected decreased seafood sales this year. Other positives were stronger demand for wild fish, certified sustainable and seasonal seafood choices.
Learn more about fish markets next month at ComFish www.comfishalaska.com
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, serving Alaska’s fishing communities since 1910. On the web at www.oceanbeauty.com – In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.