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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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”.