Major salmon farmers in Europe gearing up to produce farmed cod

PHOTO/Jill Shepherd/Alaska Magazine
welchlanieLR.jpg Cod will be the next major aquaculture species exported to world markets from Norway, and the big commercial breakthrough will happen this year.

That’s according to a new report on the growth of cod farming from the Norwegian fisheries newspaper Intrafish, which says that 280 cod-farming licenses have already been issued in Norway. Production of cod will grow from 3 million juveniles this year to 64 million in 2005, based on projections.

Seafood.com reports that growth in Norway and the United Kingdom is being spearheaded by investments by major salmon farming companies, including Fjord Seafood, Pan Fish, Nutreco, Grieg Seafood, Marine Farms, Salmar and Stolt Sea Farm. All of these have begun investments or will do so shortly through their own companies or subsidiaries.

Aquascot, the largest producer of organic salmon in the United Kingdom, is expected to produce more than 2 million cod juveniles annually, leading to production of 5,000 to 6,000 tons. The complete 21-page report is for sale for $285 from Intrafish.com.

Foundation helps Coast Guard

Many people are unaware of an organization called the Coast Guard Foundation, a nationwide, nonprofit group that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The foundation began in the late 1960s and originally focused on providing programs and facilities at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut. Its mission was expanded in the mid-1980s to encompass the entire Coast Guard.

"Our broader mission and main thrust is to reach out to Coast Guard men and women all over the country, particularly those serving in remote locations such as in Alaska," said Barbara Richards, foundation president, at the group’s headquarters in Stonington, Conn.

In Kodiak, for example, the foundation helped renovate the bowling alley and other recreational facilities on the Coast Guard base. In Sitka, the funds built a bus shelter. The foundation’s biggest project this year, and in fact one of the biggest anywhere in the country, is to build a community-activity center for Coast Guard families stationed in Valdez.

The foundation also provides scholarships for enlisted men and women and their dependents, as well as grants for continuing education. "These people are not highly paid, and they struggle to make ends meet," Richards said.

Some might argue that men and women in the military don’t need a special funding source, because the government provides housing, medical insurance and many other benefits. Richards said that’s a comment that’s often heard, and she has a ready response.

"Most people are aware that the Coast Guard is a very small organization in relation to its mission nationwide, now more than ever, with so much emphasis on port security and the Coast Guard’s role in the whole homeland security issue," she said. "Its budget has traditionally been under funded, and operational priorities always take precedent.

"While we have seen some positive trends in federal support, those dollars won’t go to the kinds of things the foundation does, small things that can make a difference in the quality of life but will always be at bottom of list in terms of priorities."

The foundation also organizes and recognizes Coast Guard heroes and units at awards dinners around the country and uses those opportunities to help spread the word about the many things the Coast Guard is doing.

Most notably for Alaskans, on Oct. 3 an awards banquet and fund-raiser is scheduled at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. Richards said all the money raised will go toward the community center project in Valdez.

For more information, call 860-535-0786, or check out the foundation’s Web site at (www.cgfdn.org).

Hold the fish

First it was farmed fish. Now, NASA scientists have developed a method for growing chunks of fish flesh in a lab -- without a fish. The Alaska Fisherman’s Journal cited a CNN report that said the process would allow "the production of copious amounts of protein for consumption without the messy and involved business of killing fish or livestock."

The magazine said the fish-flesh began with muscle from goldfish. It was placed in a vat of fetal bovine serum liquid, taken from the blood of unborn calves. Within a week, the goldfish flesh had grown by 16 percent. The experiment is part of a project aimed at feeding people during extended space travel.

Salmon roe prices expected to decline

The first sujiko, or roe, from the Copper River fishery was offered in Japan at $14.55 per pound for No.1 product and at "the traditional price spread of $1.45 per pound less for No. 2 product," according to market analyst Bill Atkinson. Last year the starting price for No. 2 roe was $17.05 per pound but dropped to between $14.91 to $15.27 per pound by early June. With the weak market conditions for salmon roe in Japan, prices are expected to decline as the season progresses, Atkinson said.

Wanted: seafood fanatics

The Old Bay Spice company is looking for America’s biggest seafood and Old Bay fans. Old Bay is a Southern tradition, famous for the flavor it gives to crabs, shrimp and, especially, crawfish. Enthusiasts can enter the contest by describing in 100 words or less why they are the biggest seafood fanatics, and provide their favorite or most unusual uses for Old Bay.

Ten winners will be selected on the basis of creativity, persuasiveness and originality of Old Bay use. The winners will then compete in the first Peel & Eat Shrimp Classic on Labor Day in Baltimore, Md. The person who eats the most shrimp will win a $10,000 grand prize. Look for Old Bay displays in grocery stores or call 800-632-5847. The deadline to enter is July 31.

Kodiak-based free-lance writer Laine Welch can be reached via e-mail at ([email protected]).

Updated: 
06/16/2002 - 8:00pm

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