Tri Marine flags seiner to Solomon Islands

Published by FiskerForum, 24-02-2017 · info@fiskerforum.dk

US tuna operator Tri Marine has flagged one of its fleet to the Solomon Islands, following an extensive refit that was carried out at Port Moresby in PNG and at National Fisheries Developments’ (NFD) base at Noro in the Solomon Islands.

The purchase of the former US-flagged seiner Solomon Sapphire was approved by NFD last year and is consistent with the policy of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to increase local participation in the tuna fishery, while also underscoring Tri Marine’s commitment to supporting island-based economies where the tuna resources are harvested.

‘The PNA and, indeed, the Pacific Island Countries have long envisioned fishing done by the Pacific Island countries themselves,’ commented former PNA CEO Dr. Transform Aqorau.

‘NFD is perhaps the only company in the Pacific Islands that is fulfilling the vision to see a truly integrated domestic tuna company in which the EEZ regime and the domestic economy are inextricably linked. As a Solomon Islander and being from Noro, and having grown up with the industry there, I am particularly proud of this development and the addition of the Solomon Sapphire to the Solomon Islands purse seine fleet. I congratulate Tri Marine, NFD and SolTuna on their foresight and commitment.’

Solomon Sapphire is expected to fish primarily in Solomon Islands’ EEZ, delivering catch to SolTuna. The Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, PNA, and the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission apply overlapping regulations to protect the tuna resources that the Sapphire will harvest.

The Solomon Islands purse seine and pole and line fisheries achieved Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for sustainability in July 2016, allowing this and other NFD vessels to deliver MSC certified sustainable tuna to SolTuna.

Locally managed, NFD and SolTuna employ over 2000 Solomon Islanders and represent one of the country’s largest private sector employers.

‘We are anxious to receive the catch from this beautiful boat. Shortage of raw material has had a negative impact on our business this past year,’ said Adrian Wickham, managing director of SolTuna.

‘We are grateful for the support and hard work of the various Solomon Islands government agencies, especially the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, in facilitating and approving the purchase, registration, licensing and certifications of the Solomon Sapphire.’

NFD is the only supplier of tuna to SolTuna because the catch from their boats has Solomon Islands origin and EU authorised sanitary numbers. About 70% of SolTuna’s production is exported to the EU. The remainder goes primarily to the domestic market where SolTuna’s brands are a mainstay of the local diet. SolTuna’s iconic Solomon Blue and SolTuna Chili Tuna products are also exported to the region.

“We are proud of what we are doing in Solomon Islands and we welcome the Solomon Sapphire to the integrated operations of NFD and SolTuna,” said Tri Marine CEO Ranato Curto.

‘The catch from this vessel will help SolTuna increase production and employment. If all goes well, we will consider additional boats for Solomon flag under NFD’s operation.’

Source: NFD

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