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VIET SEAFOOD

Best Annual Tuna Haul In Last 30 Years Australia, January 29, 13

Fishermen are enjoying the best southern bluefin tuna catches for 30 years around the South Australian coast, following a dramatic recovery of the species.

The Port Lincoln tuna industry has already caught more than half its annual tuna quota - compared with 20 percent in previous seasons - and expects the value of the annual farmed harvest to lift by 25 percent to more than $200 million this year.



Recreational fishermen are also reporting the best tuna fishing for decades, catching plentiful hauls of up to 20kg along the coast near towns including Victor Harbor, Cape Jervis, Marion Bay and Port Lincoln.

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association chief executive Brian Jeffriess said the recovery of tuna stocks had provided the best catching season since 1982 when the wild-catch tuna industry was in its heyday.

Mr. Jeffriess said the end of Japanese over-fishing in 2007-08 had coincided with the rapid recovery in tuna stock. Prospects are good for the medium-term with scientists increasing the catch quota again in 2013 and flagging a further 10 percent rise next year.

“This will underpin the industry, the tuna stock and the sector for the next decade,” Mr. Jeffriess said.

“Part of the reason that there are so many tuna is that the sardine stock is so good and it is the feed which attracts the tuna so close to Port Lincoln. The management of the sardine stock is world-class and a credit to the industry and the SA Government,” he said.

But Mr. Jeffriess said the weakness of the Japanese yen against the Australian dollar was a major problem.

“The bigger long-term concern is Australia’s failure to finalize free trade agreements with Korea, China and Japan,” he said.

“Our competitors have agreements in these markets, and are benefiting from lower import tariffs and freedom from non-tariff barriers.”

 
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