IPNLF, Seafood Souq patnership promotes Oman’s small-scale yellowfin tuna operations

Published on
August 26, 2022
A pair of handline fishermen in Oman work to catch tuna.

Online seafood market company Seafood Souq, in partnership with the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF), has launched a pilot project to promote Oman’s fisheries as a new source of sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna in the global market.

The project involves giving Omani fishers engaged in the country’s one-by-one handline operations the skills needed to produce higher-quality, grade-A sashimi tuna. Seafood Souq, which recently expanded its operations in the Middle East, will then market the products on its digital platform.

“This collaboration is focused on targeted improvements in one-by-one tuna operations introducing high-quality, sustainably caught Omani tuna as an alternative source for the global seafood market,” IPNLF said in a press release.

The pilot project, which is utilizing IPNLF’s Fisheries Improvement Toolkit, is focused on yellowfin tuna fishers along Oman’s 3,165-kilometer coastline. The new project comes soon after Oman’s Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources estimated Oman’s total production of yellowfin tuna in 2020 at 68,000 metric tons (MT) worth OMR 64 million (USD 165.7 million, EUR 166.5 million), up from 2019, when it produced 37,000 MT of yellowfin tuna with a total value of about OMR 38 million (USD 98.4 million, EUR 98.7 million).

“Omani tuna is, more often than not, sold for a domestic market rather than exported internationally, but it holds huge potential,” IPNLF said.

The partnership, which also involves the Oman government, local, and topical experts, plans to develop a quality assurance-project for the country’s fishers to enhance their competitiveness in the global market. The initiative is also utilizing the combined expertise of Seafood Souq, together with partner Ocean Experts in Oman, IPNLF Fishery Improvement Manager Craig Turley, and IPNLF Member Ryan Nienaber.

“Through this program with IPNLF, we have successfully supported the four key goals of the United Nations SDGs, such as zero hunger, decent work, economic growth, responsible consumption and Ppoduction, and life below water,” Seafood Souq CEO and Co-Founder Sean Dennis said.

During the project’s pilot phase, its partners will provide technical training in fish handling and cold storage. The project hopes to “successfully demonstrate that, with the right techniques, Omani handline tuna can become ‘grade-A’ quality, and post-harvest losses can be eliminated," IPNLF said.

Photo courtesy of the International Pole and Line Foundation

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