Talking #TUNAnomics: 3 tips for following the Pacific tuna story.

Categories Op-Eds: Tuna newsbeat insightsPosted on

Working in media and spreading the word on my favourite protein is a bit of a passion rather than a profession. I love everything about tuna, especially eating it. Joining the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara in 2013 has continued the jouney of following the fisheries stories of our beautiful Pacific protein….and helped me to gain new ways of seeing management, policy and context to the multi-billion dollar Pacific tuna story. Four years in, as I look back on three years of the FFA’s #TUNAnomics media partnership, what would my key takeways be for those hooked on the tuna news angles? I’m still swimming my way through all the learning, but here are a few:

  1. FOLLOW YOUR GUT- Reporting #TUNAnomics is so big, so overwhelming, exciting, acronym-ridden and huge, it’s easy to give up and leave it to the superbrainy people who spend all day talking funny and sounding really…brainy. Bite off something that interests and captures your attention, and I guarantee its not something long, scientific, or riddled with jargon. Take hold of an angle, and follow it.
  2. TUNA TALKING HEADS ARE EVERYWHERE-they just need to be caught. Your mum on her favourite tuna dish. Your big bro on his filleting technique. Your neighbour who just got back from six months as an at-sea Observer. You get my point.  This is the tuna region. Everyone has an opinion on this fish– bear in mind that while there are 15 species of tuna worldwide, the big four in Pacific tuna circles are albacore, bigeye, skip-jack and yellowfin.
  3. ITS NEVER JUST A STORY ABOUT A FISH–Power. Intrigue. Money. Politics. Tuna is one of the sexiest stories there is. The trick is to wean those angles out from all the jargon, language, and mind-numbing blather hiding the gems that dream newsfeeds are made of.  It’s all a matter of applying your news nose to following the Pacific tuna story.– Lisa Williams Lahari, Media Officer, FFA.  Contact media@ffa.int for more info on the FFA TUNAnomics Media Partnerships or FFA Media Fellowships.

FFA’s TUNApacific: A new space to talk about tuna for Palau

Categories Op-Eds: Tuna newsbeat insightsPosted on

To attract attention to tuna stories, I’m excited to be part of the new TUNApacific website aimed at bringing issues around tuna closer to our Pacific people; and sharing our tuna stories in one online news hub.  From my experience as a longtime journalist in Palau, the issue of tuna and its economic benefits gets little news coverage.

Palau’s way of life is fishing but is concentrated on inshore fishing or one-man, one-boat kind of fishing. With tuna a multi-billion industry globally, Palau needs to realize the benefits of being involved.

Tuna being prepared for export from Palau to Japan
Tuna being prepared for export from Palau to Japan

I am excited to share to Palau my knowledge about tuna fisheries.

Maybe we are not asking the right questions or not getting the right answers, but I see the enormous potential in creating a domestic fishing industry in Palau and am hopeful that it will gain the same prominence in the media or in the campaign being conducted by Palau.

Watch this space for more reports, opinions or just plain rants about tuna…  (Bernadette Carreon)