SalmonBusiness’ top stories of 2020

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Salmon, lions, Donald Trump, pandemics and submarines stand out in a year to remember.

In a speech in Cape Town in June 1966, US Robert F. Kennedy said: “There is a Chinese curse which says “May he live in interesting times”. There is no actual evidence that the saying is of Chinese origin (it was actually taken from a speech from British statesman Sir Austen Chamberlain in 1936), but whatever its roots are, the proverb still holds.

In a year gripped by one the coronavirus and its effects on salmon markets, surprisingly just one virus story sat amongst the most-well read articles of 2020.

Coronavirus detected on a chopping board for imported salmon in Beijing, China – so supermarkets have stopped selling it

Market in Xinfadi where the virus was detected on the salmon chopping board. PHOTO: N509FZ / Wikimedia Commons

In June, China shut its doors to imported salmon due to coronavirus fears. Authorities claimed that coronavirus was detected on a chopping board in Xinfadi market. Markets have been strained since, and China placed strict regulations on imports, that includes a coronavirus nucleic acid packaging test, which if failed several times, could result being frozen out of the country.

Submarine hits salmon farm

ILLUSTRATION PHOTO: Torbjørn Kjosvold/The Norwegian Armed Forces

Sometimes it’s the simple headlines that work, like when a Norwegian Navy submarine collided with a salmon farm at a Kleiva Fiskefarm site. It was business as usual for managing director Marius Arvesen, who when pushed for comment, said that there was “no drama”.

“Patagonia is in no position to challenge our family company,” says Cooke over Icicle Seafoods snub

Joel Richardson, Vice-President Public Relations, Cooke. PHOTO: Cooke

After the outdoor clothing company Patagonia said it had removed its business from Cooke-owned Icicle Seafoods, the seafood company’s Vice President Public Relations Joel Richardson’s incandescent reply hit home with many in the industry. Patagonia still has yet to reply to the article.

If the UK blocks American chlorinated chicken, USA will target Scottish salmon

Donald Trump. PHOTO: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Trump’s tit for tat with the UK over a post-Brexit trade deal signaled a sign for things to come, with Scottish farmed salmon in the crosshairs. At the time of writing, there is still no deal with the EU, just a few days ahead of the transition date on 31st December.

3.2 million trout killed to halt “never-seen-before” bacterial outbreak

Mojave River Hatchery. PHOTO: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An outbreak of another sort proved popular with SB’s readers when a bacteria, which is unknown in California, resulted in the deaths of millions of fish at a state-run trout hatchery.

Nordic Aquafarms executive fired after photo emerges of him next to shot lion

PHOTO: Facebook/Anti trophy hunting blog

The most well-read story this year. In January the land-based salmon farmer Nordic Aquafarms fired its exec after only a few days into the job, after a photo emerged on an anti-trophy hunting with him posing with a dead lion he shot. Nordic said that lion hunting was “not in line with our company values”.