BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
EUROPEAN Union (EU) remains as the highest importer of tuna from Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea, a report shows.
According to the Forum Fisheries Agency trade and industry news volume 11 issue July 4 -August, 2018, EU import volumes of loins from Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea increased by 48 percent and 64 percent respectively, between 2013-2017.
The quarterly reports from July – August 2018 stated tuna fisheries play crucial role with increasing processing plants from 144 to 215 – a difference of 71 plant processing.
However, on global scale between 2008 and 2017, global tuna processing capacity (whole round and cooked loins) increased 12-13 percent, while total number of processing plants increased from 144 to 215.
FFA bulletin highlighted Thailand remains the world’s largest canned tuna processor, accounting around 15 percent in global production with EU become world’s largest market for canned tuna.
EU also well-known as an important market for pre-cooked frozen loins, it said.
The United States remains as runner up with shelf-stable tuna market, supplied by two domestic plants which process 100 percent imported cooked loins, as well as imports from 35 countries.
Frozen cooked loins import volumes to feed two processing plants on the mainland have declined by 17 percent since 2013, with Fiji as a significant supplier of albacore loins in the range of 11,000-12,000mt/year, the report shows.
Globally, the industry continues to struggle with overcapacity, with a majority of plants operating below full capacity, while new plant investments and expansions continue.
Meanwhile, over the years FFA members have been working hard to develop successful strategies to increase returns from valuable tuna fisheries.
Report suggested that FFA with its interest towards tuna fisheries have continued to innovate new approaches and links with the global industry to further advance such efforts.
Part of such process includes;
-Increasing knowledge about where value is added as the raw material is transformed into finished product
-Gaining an understanding about how industry players across the value chain capture such value
-Examining how Pacific Island countries are positioned within these dynamics.
Recently, FFA published a study that provides industry and market intelligence on the current status of the shelf-stable tuna processing industry—example canned, pouched.
This is a step to advance efforts on tuna industry globally, it said.