Russia-Ukraine Conflict Reportedly Causing Seafood Disruptions, With Companies Rushing To Fill The Gap

Picture credit: Nguyet Lien on Pixabay

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The devastation caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a world away to most American consumers, but the happenings in that country have reverberations worldwide.

Consumers in the United States, for example, have seen their wallets impacted at the gas pump as the war disrupts the supply of Russian oil. Now, they may be seeing effects in some of the food they buy, and one Florida-based seafood company is eyeing an opportunity as a result.

Blue Star Foods Corp. BSFC sells crab and other fish products in major retailers such as Costco Wholesale Corp. COST, Walmart Inc. WMT and Kroger Co. KR-owned King Soopers stores. In early March, Costco, for example, said it would stop purchasing Russian fish products, including king crab and sockeye salmon, because of the invasion.

Miami-based Blue Star aims to at least partly fill any increased potential consumer demand resulting from Costco halting purchases of Russian seafood as the war continues.

Bigger Picture Issues

The battle for consumer choice is playing out against a long-standing issue regarding Russian imports of fish products into the U.S.

Russia imposed a ban on fish products from the U.S. and other countries following its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russian seafood products, however, have continued to be imported into the U.S. since then with Russian crabmeat imports alone valued at almost $1 billion.

Russia is the eighth-largest importer of seafood into the U.S., according to a report in the Anchorage Daily News.

At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, Alaska lawmakers were pushing back on the lack of reciprocity and are facing stiff opposition from the industry, which says limiting imports will affect jobs in the Alaskan fish sector.

As lawmakers and industry continue to debate the likely impacts of a ban or partial ban on Russian seafood imports, Blue Star says it is pushing ahead with its emphasis on sustainable seafood farming.

Most of the company’s crab meat is sourced in Asian countries like The Philippines and Indonesia. Blue Star also farms salmon in Canada and is developing technology to farm Atlantic Blue Crab in the U.S. with a specific focus on doing so out of season.

For now, the company is hoping consumers can give its products a further boost with increased demand as the immediate prospect for Russian seafood availability in major retailers dims.

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice.

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