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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Korean firm eyes import of sashimi-grade tuna from local producers
South Korean firm Wooriranch Co. Ltd. is keen on importing a minimum of 200 metric tons (MT) of sashimi-grade tuna from local firm Luenthai Fishing Ventures and small-scale fisherfolk group the Pambansang Alyansa ng mga Mangingisda at Pamunuan ng Organisasyon (Pampano).
Wooriranch signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Luenthai and the Philippine Agricultural Development and Commercial Corp. (PADCC) and Pampano yesterday. PADCC is the corporate arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
“Initially, Wooriranch will import 200 MT of sashimi-grade tuna for one month. It is looking to source tuna from local companies and fishers’ groups for one year,” said PADCC president Marriz Agbon in an interview at the sidelines of the closing ceremonies of the Coral Triangle Business Initiative Summit.
Agbon said the initial volume will be split between Luenthai Fishing Ventures and Pampano, as Luenthai alone could not supply all the requirements of Wooriranch.
The monthly shipments of sashimi-grade tuna are valued at $1 million. The sashimi-grade tuna may be bought at an average of $5 per kilo.
The MOU was signed during the closing ceremonies of the Coral Triangle Business Initiative Summit yesterday.
In keeping with the objective of the Coral Triangle Initiative, the DA will encourage the use of circle hooks, particularly among fishermen from Pampano.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) noted that the introduction of circle hooks in long-line fleets and training fishermen in sea-turtle recovery methods have reduced the number of sea turtles caught by up to 80 percent. This translated into thousands of individual turtles saved from almost certain mortality.
The WWF noted that new circle hooks are much less likely to be swallowed by turtles than traditional J-shaped hooks, which cause suffocation or internal bleeding when swallowed. Circle hooks are also easier to unhook from a snagged animal.
Wooriranch is engaged in agribusiness and operates a chain of 150 franchise restaurants in South Korea.
Luen Thai Fishing Venture Ltd. is one of the largest fishing and seafood companies in the Asia-Pacific region. It operates an integrated fishing business that provides services such as base operations, logistics, and processing and marketing of tuna and seafood products to customers in the South Pacific, Japan, other Far Eastern countries, the United States and Europe.
Pampano is regarded as the largest alliance of fisherfolk organizations in the country.
In a statement, the WWF noted that seafood, travel and tourism operators drafted a set of industry statements outlining a shared intention to reduce the impact of their businesses on the world’s most important marine region.
More than 160 delegates gathered this week in the Philippine capital Manila for the Coral Triangle Business Summit to reach agreements on how their industries could contribute to the protection of the Coral Triangle and the 120 million livelihoods that depend on its marine resources.
Participants included leaders from tuna and live reef fish businesses, airlines and resort owners, as well as government ministers and officials, and nongovernment organizations.
In the seafood sector, fishing operators and buyers agreed to address the problem of overcapacity and overfishing through a number of measures, including:
1. Ensuring that fish are not sourced from illegal, unregulated and unreported operations;
2. Implementing catch-and-trade documentation schemes to ensure traceability;
3. The use of third-party certification schemes such as MSC to promote sustainability;
4. Reducing by-catch (including juvenile fish) through adopting by-catch appropriate technology and techniques; and
5. The promotion of low-carbon fish-production methods and trade practices.
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Issues/Governance / management
Ocean Areas/Coral Triangle