Palau is building its capacity to ensure a consistent supply of tuna to its own people.
Most tuna fished in Palau’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has been exported into the sashimi market, and locals have been left with rejects and low-grade fish. But now, with the Palau National Marine Sanctuary protecting 80% of the country’s EEZ, the Palau is building its domestic tuna fishery. The director of the marine sanctuary, King Sam, says it’s longline vessel will be joined early next year by a pole-and-line vessel. Belau Offshore Fishers supplies the domestic market. Its president, Okada Techiton, says the company is improving freezing capacity so that, when fresh fish is no longer available, there will always be a supply of frozen tuna and other ocean fish.
This 3.5 minute video reports on efforts to protect Palau’s National Marine Sanctuary now that foreign fishing fleets have left. Bernadette Carreon reports on progress and Richard Brooks videos and produces this special report on World Tuna Day.
The people who cut up tuna at the Marshall Islands Fishing Venture (MIFV) processing facility in Majuro make it look easy – but there’s a lot of skill involved in working so quickly and accurately.
The tuna in this video, yellowfin and bigeye, is destined for tables in the United States, Canada and Japan. The factory is supplied by a fleet of locally based longline fishing boats, and the MIFV workers process the tuna for same-day air delivery via Asia Pacific Airlines (APA) to the overseas markets.
MIFV and APA are subsidiaries of Luen Thai Fishing Venture, which also operates a longline tuna processing operation in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. It is similar to the one in Majuro. Luen Thai is one of the largest fishing and seafood companies in the Asia–Pacific region. Its integrated fishing business provides services such as base operations, logistics, and the processing and marketing of tuna and other seafood products to customers in the South Pacific, Japan and other eastern Asian countries, the US, and Europe.