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Last Week's Must-Read Seafood Headlines: Cooke gets bigger, unpacking Chinese New Year, more Yankee land-based salmon

US land-based salmon, Chinese New Year, Sea Harvest on the acquisition trail and seafood's new 'Tyson' -- this is the week that was in seafood news.

Well, Happy Chinese New Year, everyone. And although it might now be the year of the pig, this is no small thing for seafood, as IntraFish Editor Rachel Mutter found out last week.

She raised the question whether seafood companies are missing a trick after witnessing how Chinese New Year is leading to 'explosive growth' for high-end seafood products in the country.

She was referring predominantly to products such as shrimp, crab, lobster and salmon which are all beginning to feature heavily on dinner plates in China.

And while, in terms of salmon, Chile is the leading supplier to China, Norway has plans to steal this crown and take its share of this rapidly growing market.

During the week, we reported how the French seafood industry is currently taking heat after an undercover report on glazing hit TV screens, while in neighboring Spain, we revealed which boxes need to be ticked to supply to the retailer Eroski.

Editor John Fiorillo -- quite rightly -- questioned “What the heck is a 'seagan' diet?” during the week, after UK seafood trade group Seafish launched a weird new dietary campaign.

Once again, land-based salmon farming was a big feature in the seafood world last week, mainly focused on the United States this time.

Maine was in the headlines again with its fledgling projects seemingly still facing opposition from residents, politicians and NGOs.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Sapphire transferred the first fingerlings to its new feeding tanks in another milestone, and later in the week, Pure Salmon announced its ambitious plans for a new land-based farm in Virginia.

Along similar lines, we revealed how one Norwegian company is making plans to grow salmon in a mountain. We'll say that again: a mountain.

During the week Cooke finally completed its long-awaited acquisition of shrimp farmer Seajoy, making it a true seafood “Tyson”, and prompting Editor-in-Chief Drew Cherry to raise the question: Will the company be able to keep it together?

Over in South Africa, fishing giant Sea Harvest unveiled plans to snap up the remaining shares of Australia’s Mareterram, adding later that it also has plans to acquire 'high-value' aquaculture operations through the company.

The week revealed how Russian pollock exports fell 13 percent in 2018, and asked the question, can anything stop the growth of chilled salmon sales at UK retail?

Brazil tilapia producer GeneSeas told IntraFish it is targeting a sharp production increase in the species, while also eyeing an increase in shrimp sales.

A Norwegian bluefin farm came one step closer to a reality as with plans to begin construction of a land-based production facility in Gran Canaria, Spain in the next few months, while the newly bankrupt US catfish firm, SouthFresh Aquaculture, was ordered to pay over $1 million to 'critical vendors'.

There were some executive changes last week, too.

US shrimp supplier Mazzetta announced Monday that Jordan Mazzetta, its executive vice president, will be leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Former SalMar and Akva Group CEO Trond Williksen took over the chairman role at aquaculture and fisheries equipment group Mørenot; and the former Multiexport Director of Retail & Foodservice Jeff Pearsall joined Dutch smoked salmon producer Foppen Eel and Salmon.

It was also Marel’s 18 th Salmon ShowHow in Copenhagen during the week, where the company told IntraFish of plans to ramp up its presence in the south of Chile in line with the sector’s farming boom in the region.

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