Struggling with tighter margins, French tuna firms sell off fleets

Sapmer's l’Austral coming into port.

Sapmer and Via Ocean are selling off their vessels and shutting down operations, revealing the increasingly dire circumstances facing the French tuna-fishing fleet.

Via Ocean, formerly known as Armement Saupiquet, is being liquidated by its current owner, Bolton Foods, via its subsidiary Tri Marine. The Concarneau, France-based company is selling its three French-flagged purse-seine vessels, the Via Avenir, the Via Mistral, Via Alizé – the latter of which was purchased in 2019 and delivered in 2021. All three vessels fish for tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.

Noting demand for canned tuna has fallen while costs have risen and its share of the Atlantic’s yellowfin tuna quota has fallen, the company said in a press release it is facing “major and insoluble” difficulties and has opened an “information-consultation procedure concerning a project to definitively cease its activities,” …

Photo courtesy of Sapmer


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