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Recovery On U.S. Albacore Exports

United States’ albacore exports are showing a tremendous recovery during this first semester of 2009, compared to the same period last year.

American albacore fishermen managed to sell over double the amount of the fish overseas, reaching 2.967 M/T until July. In 2008, the amount was close to 1.144 M/T, a major plunge after an excellent year when total albacore exports reached 12.006 M/T – 3.447 M/T only in the first semester of 2007.


 
The lower numbers of 2008 could have been caused by the MSC certification awarded to the American Albacore Fisheries in September of 2007. Considered a great “added-value” by the fishermen associations, the higher price may have scared foreign traders away. However, U.S. albacore was intensely promoted within the country during that period bringing Wall-Mart closer to MSC certified products.

The higher numbers from 2009’s first semester can be explained by a large amount of U.S. albacore exported to its neighbor country, Canada, which is now under MSC assessment to get their own albacore fishery certified. Around 1.125 M/T has been exported to Canada this semester, almost the whole amount – 1.650 M/T – from 2008.

Other markets for U.S. albacore in 2009 were Japan (584 M/T), Spain (377 M/T) and Ecuador (235 M/T). Last year China was also a major market for the product (658 M/T annually), however it has bought only 41 M/T so far.

U.S. extensive marketing in European countries for MSC certified Albacore may also help improve exports this year.