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News About Canadian Seafood - in Light of the Canadian Seafood Boycott


 

Fish food recall may get bigger, company says
Officials are waiting for the results of hatchery and fish farm testing

Scott Simpson
Vancouver Sun

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The list of hatcheries and fish farms that received contaminated feed could grow larger in the next couple of days, depending on the findings in forthcoming laboratory tests, a Vancouver fish food manufacturer said Friday.

About 120 facilities -- comprised of multiple locations of 41 operators -- received shipments from Skretting Canada, which unwittingly used contaminated Chinese wheat flour in production of the feed.

"The 41 had a positive result," Skretting's Chris Beattie said, adding that the company is pulling back a wider lot of feed because of the possibility that it may also be contaminated with melamine, a chemical used in making plastics and fertilizers.

"We've thrown the net wider but we don't have all the test results back," he said in a telephone interview.

"We've had to get various laboratories around the world on standby, working over the weekend and stuff, to verify the lot."

Depending on those results, Skretting may increase the volume of feed subject to the recall the company announced earlier this week.

"What may happen is that we're going to end up with a lot of feed recalled. Some of that may be positive, some of that may not be.

"If there is any risk, we are pulling it in."

The ingredient of concern in Skretting's product is wheat flour that was mislabeled as wheat gluten when it was shipped from producers in China.

Officials with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration discovered the problem on April 4 as they were following up leads developed from their investigation into a North American recall of pet food. Hundreds of pets died after eating food later found to contain wheat gluten that was contaminated with melamine.

Although the spiked flour founds its way into numerous brands of pet food and caused sickness and death in some animals, Health Canada says there is no risk to human health from eating fish that may have been given the contaminated fish feed. That's because any fish consuming the product would have passed it out as urine -- according to Health Canada, melamine is not stored in the flesh of fish that consume it.

Beattie said it was not detected during standard testing that is conducted on all feed prior to shipping because no feed producer in the world had anticipated that the chemical would be deliberately introduced into one of the ingredients used to make pet, fish or animal feed.

"No one was looking for this because no one knew what was going on," Beattie said.

They will test for it now, he added.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, no fish which may have been given the recalled feed are showing any adverse health effects.

"There are no reports of any fish health impacts associated with exposure to this feed," CFIA animal products directorate executive director Paul Mayers said in a telephone interview.

Mayers said it was not immediately clear how much of the fish feed went to hatcheries, where it would have been fed to infant fish, and how much to farms that are raising adult-sized fish for the North American consumer market.

Nor could he say if any fish farms in B.C., as compared to hatcheries, received the feed.

"There were facilities in B.C. that received feed. I can't tell you if they were hatcheries as opposed to farms. I don't have that information."

CFIA is continuing to work with Skretting "to ensure the effectiveness of the recall. The tracing out of where the feed went has been conducted, which is why we have information on the farms, hatcheries, and their area of distribution."

He reiterated Health Canada's statement that there are no human health threats associated with the situation.

"Health Canada has conducted a risk assessment and that assessment concludes that this is not a safety concern. Any risk, if any, would be very low for the consumption of fish that would have been exposed to this feed."

ssimpson@png.canwest.com

© The Vancouver Sun 2007

 


 

DFO: Minister Hearn Announces Fish and Seafood Export Figures for 2006

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 9, 2007) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that Canada's fish and seafood exports, including farmed products, totalled $4.1 billion in 2006. The announcement came in advance of Minister Hearn's participation at the International Boston Seafood Show.

"Key to our success in a global economy is developing new markets for high-quality Canadian products," said Minister Hearn. "With fish and seafood product exports to 128 countries in 2006, Canada's export statistics illustrate that there is a demand around the world for Canadian fish and seafood."

In 2006, Canada's seafood exports totalled $4.1 billion. The top five export markets accounted for over 80% of Canada's total fish and seafood exports during the year. The United States remains Canada's largest export destination, accounting for 62% of Canada's total fish and seafood exports ($2.5 billion).*** Japan ranked second ($342 million), followed by China ($276 million), Denmark ($125 million), and United Kingdom ($111 million).

Lobster, farmed Atlantic salmon, shrimp and snow crab were the country's principal exports in 2006. Quantities of exports were higher for all four species and their combined export values reached $2.4 billion, just over half of the total exports covering all species. Lobster exports were valued at over $1 billion, followed by Atlantic salmon ($512 million), shrimp ($456 million) and snow crab ($426 million). The average price for lobster and Atlantic salmon exports increased between 2005 and 2006, while the period saw lower average prices for shrimp and snow crab exports. Other major exports for the year included herring, scallops and hake.

In 2006, British Columbia was the largest exporting province at $987 million, with its top-valued products - farmed Atlantic salmon, herring and hake - accounting for $433 million. Nova Scotia was the second largest exporting province at $974 million, with its top-valued products -lobster, shrimp and scallops accounting for $589 million. Newfoundland ranked third, with exports worth $798.2 - shrimp, snow crab and mackerel being its highest-selling products. New Brunswick ranked fourth at $795 million, Quebec ranked fifth at $203 million, and Prince Edward Island came in sixth at $194 million.

These international trade figures were released in advance of the International Boston Seafood Show, which is taking place March 11-13, 2007. Recognized as the number one seafood venue for buyers and sellers in North America, the show attracts thousands of industry professionals from around the world.

"The International Boston Seafood Show provides an excellent market to promote our high-quality fish and seafood to an international audience," said Minister Hearn.

For further information on Canada's seafood export statistics, refer to Fisheries and Oceans' Statistical Services website.

BACKGROUNDER

PROVINCIAL BREAKDOWN OF CANADIAN FISH AND SEAFOOD EXPORTS IN 2006

Canada's fishing industries continued to perform well in 2006, with exports of fish and seafood products, including farmed products, totalling $4.1 billion.

The six largest Canadian exporting provinces of fish and seafood in 2006 were British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.

BRITISH COLUMBIA:

- Canada's top exporter of fish and seafood products in 2006 with a value of $987 million.

- Exported 187,104 tonnes (t) of fish and seafood in 2006.

- The three most important species in terms of value were farmed Atlantic salmon (53,126 t valued at $315.3 million), herring (7,389 t valued at $61.4 million), and hake (35,552 t valued at $56.1 million).

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