Pacifical signs agreement to market Kiribati-caught and -processed yellowfin tuna
Pacifical, the global marketing company for tuna caught by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), an organization of eight island nations in the Central Pacific Ocean, has signed an agreement with Kiribati Fish Limited (KFL) to market its yellowfin tuna products.
Starting in January 2017, KFL will produce MSC-certified frozen yellowfin tuna loins and steaks at its processing facility in Tarawa, the island nation’s capital city and a major landing port for tuna caught in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. Pacifical said the main markets for the products will be the European Union and the U.S.A.
“We as Pacifical are delighted to see another PNA-based tuna processor join in our marketing effort to bring PNA-processed, MSC-certified yellowfin tuna to consumers around the world,” Pacifical Managing Director Henk Brus said. “This is Kiribati’s first processing plant and we are committed to make it a commercial success together with the Kiribati Fish team.”
According to Xue Jun Du, the managing director of Kiribati Fish Limited, the company has invested more than USD 10 million (EUR 9.6 million) into its Tarawa facility and it has been certified by SQF and BRC. KFL currently employs approximately 300 people in its processing and fishing operations.
“Now that we have signed this MoU with Pacifical on MSC tuna, we will create more local jobs and maximize value of the tuna resource from Kiribati,” Xue said.
While Kiribati has a large exclusive economic zone (EEZ), equivalent in size to the continental United States, and waters abundant with tuna, the country’s economy has struggled due to its remote location, small landmass and environmental issues, including climate change, the consequences of which could submerge the entire country.
According to a press release, Pacifical’s goal will be to connect the company to new customers and markets.
“Tuna fishing is regarded as the main development opportunity for the country and KFL is making sure fishing resources are being produced within the nation,” Pacifical said in its release. “[We will utilize] the local tuna resources to help develop the region, create more jobs and generate income for the local people, from MSC-certified, sustainably caught tuna.”
PNA Commercial Director Maurice Brownjohn urged other PNA countries to look into agreements similar to the MoU signed between Pacifical and Kiribati Fish.
“Together, the PNA countries hold 25 percent of the world tuna stocks and have the largest MSC tuna certification available in the market. We encourage all processors in the PNA region to take advantage of the massive worldwide demand for PNA-origin, MSC-certified tuna products and increase the processing of final products in the region,” Brownjohn said.