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USD 55 Million For 7,250 M/T Of Tuna Quota?

An Australian deep-sea tuna operator hopes to purchase its own tuna fishing quota by raising a huge USD 55 million. This will finance the ability to catch more bigeye and yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean.

The tuna industry has suffered major reductions in fishing effort with the introduction of severe catch restrictions and falling fish stocks. However, according to the company AusAsia, the west coast of Australia is one of the regions in the world where tuna stocks have maintained satisfactory levels.

The considerable amount of USD 55 million forecast for the project will allow AusAsia Tuna Pty Ltd to invest in the Western Tuna and Billfish Fishery (WTBF) by the purchase of the fishing quota. The company’s total allowable catch would be 2,070 tons of bigeye tuna, 5,180 tons of yellowfin tuna and 3,110 tons of broadbill swordfish.

The total yearly tuna catch from the proposal will only total just below one percent of the major commercial tuna species catch in the Indian Ocean, which in 2011 was recorded at 829,000 tons. Despite this, AusAsia hopes to establish itself as a major player in the global tuna industry.

Peter Wahlqvist, a commercial fisherman with over 20 years of experience under his belt is the founder of the group. His experience comes from within both the Australian and Asian fishing industries and believes these areas have been reliable sources of various species of tuna for many years.

Wahlqvist acknowledges the work of the Australian government in ensuring the sustainability of fish stocks by monitoring the WTBF. He believes this has protected the value of the underlying recourses, and will secure the investment for the future.

The group is now in discussion with a number of parties and plans to use funds raised to add a fleet of longliners to this tuna fishery.