Alaska wild-caught salmon gets the environmental "thumbs up"
Due to the widespread concerns regarding species depletion and poor fisheries management the National Audubon Society has released the "Seafood Lover's Almanac" in January of 2000. This publication lists which seafoods are endangered or not, guiding consumers to eating those seafoods which are being sustainable harvested, and can be consumed responsibly. At the top of the green list, of which seafoods are the safest to eat is "Salmon, Alaska Wild". This can also be found on the "Auduban Seafood Card, as well as at the top of the "thumbs up" list given by the "Monterey Bay Aquarium." Alaska salmon also recently received it's "eco-label" from the Marine Stewardship Council as well. So keep eating Alaska salmon, it is being responsibly managed and sustainably harvested!
To eat, or not to eat
Monterey Bay Aquariam's partial list
Alaska wild-caught salmon American lobster
calamari Atlantic cod
Dungeness Crab Atlantic Swordfish
English Sole Bluefin Tuna
Farmed Catfish, mussels, oysters Chilean Sea bass
Halibut Farmed salmon
"Alaska's wild salmon fisheries are healthy and well-regulated. We believe
wild salmon from a well-regulated fishery is the most
environmentally-sound choice."- Monterey Bay Aquarium Homepage: http://www.mbayaq.org/efc/efc_oc/dngr_food_watch.asp
This infomation was collected and rephrased from "Seafood Business"
October 1999, vol. 18 no.10 and from the respective pages mentioned.
The Daily Sentinal
Tuesday, September 19, 2000 (Front Page)
Inventor Tests Lure of bone-Free Salmon
By Shannon Haughland-Sentinal Staff Writer
For years processors grappled with the problem of efficiently removing bones, including the tiny pinbones, from fresh salmon fillets. Four years ago Ray Wadsworth, a commercial fisherman-turned inventor, assembled a machine with that capabiilty. But his patented "total bone removal system" technollgy turned out to be just the beginning of the solution, and he chose Sitka as the proving grounds for his revolutionary process. This was the second year for Wadsworth's company, wWwild Alaskan Seafood House, to process Sitka Sound's plentiful chum salmoh into fillets aboard his processing boat Wild Salmon. It was a big learning year," said Doug Wadsworth , the inventors's 26-year -old son and skipper of the Wild Slamon. The near -record returns of hatchery chum to Deep Inlet and Hidden Falls were the lure to the Sequim, Wash.-Based company. "Last year , we wanted to see how the machine worked, and we proved that it worked," Doug Wadsworth said, "Then we wanted to prove we could sellsalmon, but we didn't do any marketing. We're fishermen - we've never been processors before."
Last year the company bought about 80,000 pounds of Sitka Sound Chum, buying as much as it could afford and without taking the step of sorting it by gear group of the catcher. Although the company was able to generate interest in the filleted product among grocery stores in eastern Washington state, it found no one wanted to buy anything less thatn the brightest, highest-quality and un-bruised fish."This year we decided to sort them, so we had less good recovery," Doug said.
After selecting only the highest quality chum for processing, Wild Salmon turned over the rest to the adjacent processor, Cossack Caviar, which recovers the roe and turns the rest into concentrated fish product for shrimp farms , pet food and organic fertiliczer.
The rigorous sorting process this year meant the Wild Salmon pourchased only 20,000 pounds of chum, a fraction of the vessels processing capacity."It's not been a very good season in Sitka," Doug said. "The problem is getting good fish that dadn't been bruised, and have been kept cold. We didn't have the money to pay anyone to keep it cold, and to treat the fish right."Ray Wadsworth who spoke to the Sentinal from Sequim, estimated that only one fish out of every 100 caught is suitable for filleting. Doug said the Wild Salmon found the best bwet in troll-caught salmon, which were brighter and in better shape. So midway into the season, Doug decided tobuy fish only from trollers."Since we couldn't afford to pay them anymore, we couldn't get enough fish," Doug said. He hopes that over the winter, with aggressive marketing, the compay will have more money to pay fishermen next year, and can line up a fleet of trollers who will sell exclusively to the Wild Salmon."We can anchor up right next to them, and offload and process the fish right away," said Doug.
The company prides intelf in having the only pin-bone machine that can process fish right out of the water. Other deboning machines can work only on fish that have been softened by being kept three or four days after they were caught before processing. "No one in the world can make fresh, boneless salmon fillets at sea, except us," said Doug. Ray Wadsworth said that if his compnay can get the message out, chum salmon- wich is called "keta" for marketing purposes - will gain inpopularity.
"The product is marketable," he said. "We didn't get one complaint from one customer. Consumers rave on it. It's more mild thatn sockeye, kings and coho. In taste tests, it's permormed very well against other salmon. People prefer it."One of the main advantages over other species is it sells at between $3 and $4 per pound, Ray said. His company gets about $2 per pound from fish buyers.
Ray patented his invention about five years ago. After responding to a request for proposals from the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, he was awarded a grant for $1.5 million to build the production model. "It's the only one in the world like it," he said. Engineers worked over the winter and produced the model that was used with greater success this summer. Boning-system engineer Grant Ausk recently gave Sentinel staffers a guided tour of the Wild Salmon, a 78 foot landing craft converted into a floating fish processor.
The Wadsworth machine debones the headed, gutted fish in a continuous motion. The fillets emerge with narrow tracks where two routers carved outand removed the pinbones. Ausk said the machine can process 12 fish of up to 18 lbs per minute, and about 3,000 to 5,000 pounds per day. Ausk said the system has filleted as much as 7,000 pounds of chum in a single day. He noted the system recovers 40 percent of the total fishin the final product, a level almost unheard of the the processing industry. "It does real well," Ausk said. The fillets are vacuum-packed and frozen solid in a brine tank.
Although unqualified success has so far eluded the good-natured group
of pioneers, they are looking forward to a successful marketing effort
this winter, and hope to return next year with a fine-turned system.
"Since we have the best process, and the best fish, we should be making
the most moneuy," Doug said.
July 2, 2001
Kodiak Daily Mirror, page 5, Fisheries Wrap-Up
Pinbone Machine means fresher fish, no bones
By Erin Harrington
You may have seen a vessel that has raised people’s curiosity recently as it plies the waters around Kodiak. With the words “Wild Salmon” emblazoned across the side, it has many people guessing as to its purpose. Tourism? Marketing?
Actually, folks, it’s the next wave in salmon processing.
The Wild Salmon is an LCM-8 landing craft from the Korean War. Converted to a processing vessel, the boat is the testing lab machine that could change the way consumers think about its namesake, the wild salmon of Alaska.
Invented by Ray Wadsworth, the Total Bone Removal System cuts pesky pinbones from fresh salmon fillets. Wadsworth, along with his wife, Jane, and thirteen other people ranging from the couple’s children and nephew to an engineer, are in Kodiak with the Wild Salmon using the TBRS to produce their product.
Although the Wild Salmon was I Southeast for the past two years purchasing salmon from fishermen, this year the crew of the processor is also harvesting the fish.
After lack of funds threatened to put the operation on hold this summer, Wadsworth realized that he cold tow a jitney around to catch fish for the processing line. The crew of the jitney pays close attention to product handling. One of the steps they take is quite unusual for salmon harvesters, according to Wadsworth.
We’re bleeding it,” he said.
Wadsworth, who started fishing in Alaska when he was 4 years old, believes traditional salmon handling in Alaska is sub-standard.
Alaska fisherman are “lacking in catching and handling fish properly. (They’re) not bleeding them. Every fish in the world gets bled other than Alaska salmon,” he said.
Quality handling is of utmost importance to Wadsworth and his crew. After they are bled, fish are delivered to the processing vessel quickly, where they are processed, frozen, and put in cold storage just hours after swimming in the ocean.
According to Wadsworth, there is a universe of difference betweenhis
products and the product created by traditional processors.
“The fish that they’re calling fresh isn’t very fresh. It’s been beat to death,” he said.
He calculated the number of days between the harvest and processing of Kodiak commercial salmon catch at around five. This allowed for time before a vessel delivers to a tender and the tender’s trip back to town, as well as time I nholding tanks at the processor. In addition, he noted, fish pumps that are used to tranfer the fish can damage their quality.
In comparison, Wadsworth’s product is exceptional. He believes that this is the kind of quality Alaska salmon may need to compete in the marketplace.
The Wild Salmon is processing sockeye for the first time this summer. In years past, processing on the vessel has been restricted to pink and keta (chum) which were inexpensive to acquire.
Nevertheless, the quality of the product from the Wild Salmon has been competitive. “We did a taste test with some of the buyers, with kings, silvers and reds. The way we’re doing it – fresh out of the water, bled, filleted – most people prefer the chum,” he said.
Wadswort’s fish sellfor prices that can compete with the farmed market as well. He sells fish in 30-pound cases, with keta selling for $2.50 per pound. He expects to sell sockeye for $4.0 per pound. And that’s a “fresh, boneless, fillet,” he said. The fish is sold by the wild Alaskan Seafood House, LLC, a company that belongs to Wadsworth’s son and father.
The creation of the TBRS was partially funded by the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, a State of Alaska organization. Total investment in the project, from public and private institutions and individuals, now totals $6.6 million, according to Wadsworth. Wadsworth believes the processing line on the Wild Salmon can produce up to 5,000 pounds of finished fillets per day, although the operation is currently limited by how much fish is caught by the jitney.
Wadsworth may be interested in reciprocal deals with fishermen, however. Earlier in the year he processed fish for a Kodiak seiner who markets his own fish in the winter. Wadsworth processed the product in return for half of the fish.
Wadsworth’s thinking on the salmon industry has been evolving since the early 1990’s, when cracks began to appear in the salmon market. “The price of pink salmon was failing,” he remembers. He thought that fishermen should get together and form a cooperative, similar the one formed by Sunkist orange growers. He helped found the United Seiners Association, which evolved to today’s United Salmon Association.
Wadsworth said that his hopes for a salmon cooperative quickly dissolved.
“The reason they’re fishermen is because they like to be independent,” he said with a laugh.
He then decided that the industry needed new technology in order to
grow. Out of this realization came the TBRS.
That, too, turned out to be but a part of the solution.
“Now, in 2001, I have a whole different idea of what’s wrong,” Wadsworth said wryly.
He now believes that there are three important aspects in the future
of the wild salmon industry.
Along with quality consciousness and technology, the important third key is marketing, said Wadsworth.
He has come to believe that marketing will be an essential component
I the success of his operation and the industry.
“After you handle the fish right and after you’ve used the new technology, you still have to sell it,” he said.
Pacific Fishing, September 2002, pg 37
CHIGNIK GOES LIVE
Live delivery of salmon brings a new quality edge
By Michel Drouin and Brad Warren
Live Delivery and TBRS machines “make is possible to produce the only pre-rigor, frozen boneless salmon.”
Beyond creating a radical new way to fish Alaska salmon, the seiners in the Chignik Seafood Producers Alliance have tasked their designated operating boats to deliver fish live to a floating processor, and invested in the equipment needed to process salmon that are still wriggling. The method is commonly practiced the competition – salmon farmers – to increase freshness, shelf life and product quality.
The 77 members of the co-op this summer assigned just 17 boats to do the fishing, aiming to cut costs, improve quality, and make the fishery consistent with their buyers’ requirements. The members all share in the profits, and their fixed allocation – 70% of an anticipated run of 1.5 million sockeye – means that co-op participants have only one way to increase earnings: make their catch more valuable.
Though most of the co-op’s catch has gone to NorQuest, the co-op teamed up with AlaskaCatch LLC, an outgrowth of Ray Wadsworth’s Total Bone Removal System (TBRS) venture, to develop the live delivery system. Production has been limited so far, but the company’s ideas aren’t completely novel. As I the Bering Sea pollock co-ops, fishermen and the company work together to make sure deliveries match processing and quality needs on a daily basis. By timing production to meet processing capacity, they gain a quality edge; the shift to live delivery pushes the edge even further.
After surrounding a school of fish with a net, fishermen pump them live into a tender’s big fish hold full of circulating water with a Silkstream pump, then use the Silkstream again to pump them into the net pen, so there’s no brailing or towing. Then they are sucked onboard, bled, and processed – still flipping. The fish pumps from ETI are specially designed for the delicate handling of live fish, to transfer them to the processing floor as needed. Though these pumps are commonly used in farmed salmon operations and in some other fisheries, this may be the first application in wild salmon.
What happens next is a remarkably swift transformation from a live sockeye to a frozen fillet, says Doug Wadsworth at AlaskaCatch. The company uses four TBRS machines, invented by Doug’s father Ray, to debone and fillet the fish. “It is bled, and then the fish is immediately sent through the TBRS machine,” he says. “What comes out is a boneless fillet, which goes into a vacuum bag and into a freezer conveyor. They go from swimming in the water to a vacuum-packed, boneless, frozen fillet in five minutes.
Doug Wadsworth says that if it wasn’t for the co-ops ability to bring in the exact amount of live fish needed on a daily basis to feed the processors, the whole system couldn’t work. “We are working with the co-op, which gives us the ability to process them from live, otherwise the logistics are too difficult to get the right amount of live fish on a daily basis,” he says.
The combination of the live deliveries and the TBRS machines allow them to deliver a unique, top-grade product, says Wadsworth. “Those two things make it possible to produce the only live-caught, pre-rigor, frozen, boneless salmon. So when it gets to the customer and they thaw it out, it’s five minutes old.” He says the company’s large amount of fresh-frozen products is available year-round, providing a consistent supply of five-minute, fresh quality fish – better than farmed salmon.
With such a high-quality product, AlaskaCatch is confident that it will
succeed in the high-end, natural-food specialty market, and is paying fishermen
accordingly. “Because this is so high-end, we can pay them $1.00/lb,
and this will keep the fishermen in business. The whole reason
for this process was to make it profitable to keep those family traditions
alive so that you can make a living fishing,” says Doug Wadsworth, himself
the third generation I a fishing family.
Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, June 2002, (pg 18-20)
Chignik’s Chance to Fly
Co-op opens door to premium fillet market
By John van Amerongen
We’re sitting at a conference table in a small office above Ray Wadsworth’s boat shop in Sequim, Wash. There’s no boat downstairs. Instead, the floor is filled with salmon processing equipment – a standard Baader 421 heading machine and four TBRS salmon filleting machines invented by Wadsworth himself. The TBRS or total bone removing system, is just one of Ray’s engineering marvels. It fillets fresh salmon and cuts the pesky pin bones out without cutting through the skin. When everything is tweaked properly, it can handle 18 fish a minute.
The machine’s major drawback (or perhaps it’s advantage) is that it doesn’t do a very good job on old fish. And the solution to that problem has had more to do with tweaking the management of the fishery than it has with tweaking the machine. This year the Alaska Board of Fisheries put a heavy tweak on the Chignik salmon harvest, allowing purse seiners there to form a cooperative and change the way they catch and process salmon. Instead of racing for as many fish as they can catch, the co-op fleet will designate certain vessels to harvest fish at a pace that’s tuned to the processing capacity, and one of those processors is going to be Wadsworth’s new fir, Alaska Fisherman’s Catch.
A few years back Ray’s worktable was scattered with engineering drawings
for a different type of miracle, the Order of Magnitude, a sub-sonic herring
purse seiner designed and built by Wadsworth around a gas-turbine engine.
A color photo on the wall shows it smoking across Elliott Bay at better
than 50 mph. It made sense to fish fast when it was built in 1990.
Now the boat sits on blocks in Port Angeles. Wadsworth has mothballed
his need for speed and now he’s banking on quality and domestic markets
to win the Alaska salmon marathon.
“I built the worlds’ fastest commercial fishing boat,” Wadsworth recalls, looking at the photo. “I was very competitive, and I was in this race to get the most the quickest with the highest tech machinery. It didn’t matter how much fuel cost…the whole thing was to get the most.
“That worked in the 80’s, but those days are gone,” Ray says, arguing that the Japanese market no longer holds the promise that domestic markets have right here in the U.S.
“People don’t realize how big the domestic market really is,” he says, having just returned from the April “Business 0of Seafood” conference in anchorage. Now it’s market talk, not rpms, that get him revved up.
“Last year Costco bought 31.2 million pounds of farmed salmon fillets, mainly from Chile,” he says. “If we took every single sockeye salmon in Chignik and made it into a fillet we’d get about eight million pounds. That would just be a quarter of what it would take to satisfy one customers…Now if we start looking at Albertson’s or Safeway or Kroger’s, the market is huge- and all I’m talking about is retail!”
“Our goal this season is two million pounds,” Wadsworth says, figuring that the U.S. fillet market alone is upwards of a billion pounds of salmon annually. Ironically he notes that the domestic market for fillets was developed by salmon farmers – primarily foreign-based salmon farmers from Norway and Chile. He makes no bones of the fact that those markets did not exist prior to the introduction of filleted farmed product.
Armed with his own unique machines and hooked up with a fishermen’s cooperative capable of delivering top-notch raw material, he’s ready to take some ground, or in the case, capture some shelf-space for premium pin-bone-out frozen sockeye fillets.
Wadsworth has been working on the pin-bone removal technology and the market since 1995 with his partner Bruce Johnston. They started out with a grant for a pin-bone puller, but it didn’t work well on fresh wild fish. The bones were too brittle to pull unless the fish sat around for 24 to 36 hours. By then the fresh fish was an old fish.
It’s taken awhile to perfect the technology to cut all the bones out of a fresh salmon, but the key, according to Johnston is that they let the market define the goal.
“We went to high-end fish counters,” Johnston recalls, “and we asked one question: why didn’t you buy the salmon? Strangely 60 percent said, ‘I prefer the salmon….but I don’t like the little bones.’”
Last year Wadsworth took his homebuilt show on the road aboard a small processing vessel, the Wild Salmon. It was his third trip north, but he wasn’t interested in hatchery cost-recovery chums anymore. He was ready to go for the gold – ion this case, number-one sockeye. Crewed up with his son, his daughter and a gaggle of other relatives and friends, he set out to prove that his machine c9ould produce a product that would sell. He caught his first batch of live sockeye at Foul Bay Kodiak and sold 3,000 pounds fresh to a buyer in Arizona. Immediately the buyer wanted another 3,000 pounds, but believe it or not, he was having trouble finding fishermen willing to deliver their sockeye. They didn’t want to upset their regular processors and jeopardize the market for the rest of their catch.
The “somebody is watching” stigma followed Wadsworth out the Alaska Peninsula to his next stops in Chignik and Sand Point. He proved to himself that his machine could thrive on fresh pre-rigor sockeye, but he struggled to find fishermen who would dare to deliver.
“They were afraid to talk on the radio…” he recalled, “so we had to sneak around everywhere we went in Sand Point, because everybody was afraid of losing their humpy market.”
He offered to partner with processor in Chingik and Sand Point, he said, but all they wanted to see was “our stern going around that point.”
One Chignik fisherman who was willing to front him fish for the experiment
was Jamie Ross. Ross was also one of the principles in the move to
create a harvesting co-op and push it through the Board of Fisheries.
Ross caught a vision of the future, Wadsworth says. And so did Chuck
Sitting across the table in Wadsworth’s office, Redman recalls how he though he’d retired in Sequim. Former president of Calavo Avocado, Redman lives right down the road. Chuck and Ray got to talking one day about avocados and salmon, and grower cooperatives; talking about value adding and taking a product from a commodity to a food product through effective marketing.
Wadsworth got so stoked up during their conversation that he asked Redman to be CEO of his company. “I told him no,” Redman recalls. But the negativity didn’t last long. Redman is what you’d call an upbeat kind of guy. And he clearly loves a challenge. He may be “retired” but his game’s not over – not by a long shot.
Avocado growers have had their own tough times. Redman helped pull them out and he has confidence that salmon can follow a similar path to success. But he says it’s up to fishermen to make it happen.
I’m not in the fishing industry,” Redman admits. “I came out of the food industry, and I have a hard time understanding why they've gotten into the dilemma they’re in, but hey are there. It’s no fault of any individual whether it’s a packer or a fisherman – they didn’t know what needed to be done.”
But Redman is familiar with the dilemma. “They’re selling the same ways – nobody’s changed. The markets are going down right with the farmed salmon and where do they take the pound of flesh from…the fisherman, it’s the only place left. And they’re reaching the point that fishermen can’t even get fuel or the boat.
“The industry right now takes the easiest line of resistance, which is human nature,” Redman continues. “And if some middleman in Japan or Asia or someplace else wants to buy product san they’ve got cash, they sell it to h him. Then he sells it to another middle guys who sells it to a processor. Each one is a profit center, so by the time you’re done, the one that finally sells it at the end is the one who’s making the money and he ain’t giving nothing back.”
Redman said the avocado industry went through a similar slump, and the solution was not to keep selling whole avocados cheaper, but to turn those avocados into food products. To do that the growers association had to act like a processor itself.
“The figured out they needed added value,” Redman explains, “and that’s what we did. We took avocado, we added more stuff to it – so you had less avocado in it; you’re adding cheaper ingredients, including water and you’re making a finished product. So the return they’re getting for that avocado is more money that what the avocado was worth at that time.”
Under Redman’s’ direction, Calavo began producing and marketing it’s own brand of frozen guacamole for retail sales and for foodservice use. The program took a while, perishable raw product with a short shelf life and transformed it into a frozen, ready – to – eat food item that could be marketed and sold directly to retail chains through traditional food brokers. And it was available to retail customers all year long.
“What I did with the frozen guacamole, is we took it (the avocado) out of a commodity and put it into a finished product, and created the markets.
And that’s exactly what Redman wants to do with boneless, frozen salmon fillets. He wants to sell a finished protein food product, not a fish.
We’re going to take it a step further and give the consumer what they want – and that’s a boneless sockeye fillet,” Redman says. noting that the plan is eventually to expand production into Coho and other species, perhaps even halibut.
The plan is to take sales out of the hands of the whole-fish sales staff and give it into the “experts’ i.e. the food brokers.
We’re going to be going through traditional food brokers and we’ll be using them as selling agents. We want to be year-round supply to the Safeways of this world…and to the foodservice area, the restaurant chains.”
Food brokers are the people that really sell food, Redman explains. When you go into a supermarket and you see all those products in the supermarket that’s the food industry. The fishing industry is a drop in the bucket. Where tapping into the food industry.”
Marketing is “not rocket science,” Redman says. It’s giving consumer what they want. “And down in the Lower 48 the one thing they don’t want is something with bones in it.
“We want that consumer to say this is a valued product, it’s a healthy product, I can get it on a consistent basis, and I’m willing to pay that $9.99 a pound all the time. And if we can get more out of the marketplace for the same fish, w3e can afford to pay the fishermen more money,” Redman says.
Wadsworth and Redman say they’re going to be paying $1.00/lb to Chignik co-op fishermen this summer. That’s about double the price other fishermen are expecting to get for sockeye. And it makes each co-op fishermen’s 0.9% share of the fishery pretty valuable.
While they don’t currently have the financing or capability to purchase all of the product the co-op can product, they’re confident their success will spawn interest from other buyer looking for high-quality salmon that are caught in a controlled harvest, not another race for fish.
Redman believes it’s the co-op model that is going to demonstrate to all fishermen how to consolidate their operations fairly, increase their efficiency, elevate the value of their product and bring them a better return.
“I would encourage co-ops all over Alaska,” Redman says. “I know we’re probably the only packer in the while fishing industry that would say that. But his fishing industry is going to have to form cooperatives. They’re going to save money by synergizing. They are going to have power to deal with people – not only with us but with anybody – because they’re doing it as a group. And they’re going to get a better return from that because they’re going to deal with the people that get more money out of the marketplace.”
The side benefit of a successful cooperative is that it raises the value of all the raw material, Redman says. It’s a benefit to all fishermen, not just the ones in the co-op.
“Because of the guacamole. we built a fine industry, it raised the price of the commodity.” Redman recalls. “It was not only the guacamole that gave them the return, we drove the avocado market up. Consumers ate more avocado because we were all over the country.
Will the same model work for salmon?
“I guarantee you if we’re successful and this thing goes as well as I think it will go, the price of salmon will go up whether we’re handling it or not,” Redman says, “because the other packers and people that handle it are going to be forced to get more money out of the marketplace. It’s going to raise all ships, you watch.
So why re some fishermen in Chingik and other parts of the state so wary about the Chignik co-op and what it proposes to do?
“People resist change,” Redman says, “especially when your in a fishing area where change comes very slow. Change scares them to death. But, you know what: When their butt’s against the wall and they don’t have anything else, they ought to be sending us donations to hope that we survive – because I don’t see any other brass ring that’s out there. I’ve looked over for anyone else in this entire industry that has just a glimpse of an answer, and there isn’t any,” Redman says.
“Now I know there’s more ideas out there and they have to come to the
surface,” he adds. “But we’re the best game in town, and I’ll tell
you, if we’re successful, we can move this operation all over Alaska.”
PROCESS FISHERMEN COMPANY CONTACT IN THE NEWS