Frozen tuna harvest gets under way

THIS year’s frozen tuna harvest has begun with container shipments already on their way to Japan.

One of the biggest gains has been in the number of tuna harvested from the farms each day.

ASBTIA chief executive Brian Jeffriess

The frozen harvest makes up more than 80 per cent of the annual production, with fresh air freight tuna to be shipped from April through to September.

The frozen harvest is expected to be slightly below last year because of new federal government regulations which have restricted the flexibility of catching the fish for the farms in December to March.

Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA) chief executive Brian Jeffriess said the Australian tuna farming industry, all based in Port Lincoln, continued to improve its production systems.

He said the industry saw no reason why sea farming could not match the productivity increases in land farming and improve quality every year.

“One of the biggest gains has been in the number of tuna harvested from the farms each day.”

Mr Jeffriess said the Australian catch quota would increase by 9 per cent next year and scientific data suggested a further increase starting 2021.