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Groundfish Forum sees stable cod, pollock supplies, revises haddock and pangasius downward
November 01, 2013, 03:10 PM
The annual Groundfish Forum concluded today in Vienna, and as expected the global whitefish production estimates contained few surprises.

Each year, the forum uses industry surveys and local knowledge to try and estimate global supplies of major species, and to forecast expectations for 2014.

Here is a brief rundown of the major species:

Atlantic Cod:  Total global production will be around 1.36 million tons in 2014, which is only marginally changed from the 1.35 million tons expected for 2013.  However, Atlantic cod volumes are being revised upward, with the 2013 figures up about 2% from their original projections last year.  Cod will again be in very plentiful supply, and there is no expectation for much of a decline.  Minor changes in volume in Norway and Russia will be made up by increases in Iceland.

Haddock:  The haddock situation is worse than previously forecast.  For 2014, the forum expects a decrease of 6.7% from this years landings of 298,000 tons, which in turn were 30% down from 2012 landings. In fact, all estimates of haddock supply have continued to be revised downward.  The 2013 estimate is now 4% less than it was last year.  Reports from fishing grounds have indicated slower than expected landings, meaning in some cases haddock was hard to find.

Alaska Pollock:  Here supplies are higher than forecast last year, and are expected to marginally drop in 2014.  Total landings are expected to reach 3.256 million tons.  Alaskan production should be stable at 1.35 million, while Russian production will drop slightly to 1.6 million.  However, last year expectations for 2013 were for total landings of 3.16 million, whereas this is now revised upward to 3.32 million tons, based on higher landings in Russia this year.

Pacific Cod: Expectations remain unchanged, with production forecast at 462,000 tons in 2014, which is almost exactly what was produced in 2013.

Pangasius:  The Forum is revising its estimates on pangasius, and this year is only providing estimates from Vietnam.  For 2013, Vietnamese production was estimated at 850,000 tons, and for 2014, it is estimated between 750,000 and 900,000 tons.  American catfish production will remain unchanged at around 150,000 tons.

The forum has been unable to estimate tilapia production for several years, although their 2011 estimates are higher than the recently released FAO estimates for that year.  Forum members estimated higher production in Egypt, the Philippines, and Thailand than was reported to FAO in 2011.  Their estimates for China are fairly close to the FAO numbers - 1.05 million tons vs. 1.08 million tons, again for the year 2011.

Overall this presents a stable supply picture for whitefish, with little significant change in production of the major species, but no increase forecast either.

Source: (seafood.com)
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