NFI SEES GOOD SUPPLIES OVERALL

ARLINGTON, Va. -- While supplies of some fish are tight, there will still be plenty of product available this year, said Lee Weddig, executive vice president of the National Fisheries Institute here.But other species, such as hake, Alaskan pollock and tuna are in big supply, he said.He also said some U.S. consumers may see some more underutilized species, such as cusk, skates and dog fish, also known

ARLINGTON, Va. -- While supplies of some fish are tight, there will still be plenty of product available this year, said Lee Weddig, executive vice president of the National Fisheries Institute here.

But other species, such as hake, Alaskan pollock and tuna are in big supply, he said.

He also said some U.S. consumers may see some more underutilized species, such as cusk, skates and dog fish, also known as cape shark.

Shrimp supplies should improve due to expanded farm production and increased imports from Mexico as a result of the recent devaluation of the Mexican peso, said Weddig.

Aside from natural causes for supply shortages in the United States, "industry outsiders don't recognize that the seafood availability is affected more by relative strength of the dollar than anything else," said Weddig.

"When the dollar is strong in relationship to other currencies, then domestic producers are less interested in exporting," said Weddig. And in the case of Mexicans, "there will be product coming to the U.S. because producers there will want to get dollars. Selling on the local market is not as attractive as selling to the U.S.," he said.