National Fisherman


Three New York importers of fish and fishery products have a lot in common. Their dried filefish, dried anchovy fish, and herring filets were all refused entry into the U.S. based on testing by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratories. Then FDA inspected their facilities and sent them warning letters calling for immediate correction of violations.
 
FDA’s New York District Office sent warning letters earlier this month to the three fish importers in Brooklyn and Queens over concern that their products were not being processed under the same conditions required of domestic producers.
 
On March 6, FDA District Director Ron Pace wrote Peter K. Lam and Anh K. Ngo, co-owners of the Hong Lee Trading Company in Brooklyn, and Chel D. Chang, owner of the Han Sung Sikpoom Trading Company in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens. On March 7, Pace sent a third warning letter to Ira Pichkhadze, owner of Russian Products Inc. in Brooklyn.
 
The warning letters told the owners that their seafood importing companies are in serious violation of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. Specifically, each was told they must provide evidence that the fish and fishery products they bring into the U.S. have been processed “under conditions that are equivalent to those required of domestic processors …”
 
Read the full story at Food Safety News>>

Inside the Industry

NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.

The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.

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The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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