Thanks to a longstanding commitment to our oceans and a healthy collaboration with Southern Bluefin Tuna fishing countries including Japan and New Zealand, we’ve met and exceeded government set targets in sustainable Bluefin Tuna… fifteen years early.
When you choose Dinko Seafoods, you can be sure it’s an incredible choice for your next meal, for your restaurant and for our oceans. Here’s how.
Globally, there are three varieties of Bluefin Tuna – Atlantic Bluefin, Pacific Bluefin and Southern Bluefin – and each has distinct characteristics.
Claire Webber from the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association (ASBTIA) explains that Australian Bluefin Tuna is very different from the northern hemisphere species as it comes from distinct spawning stock.
One of the most noticeable differences is the colour.
“Southern Bluefin is much paler, simply because it comes from colder waters,” says Claire. “Some consumers tend to like the red colour of other tunas, but one of the upsides with Southern Bluefin is that it also has a much higher natural fat content, so it’s incredibly rich in healthy omega 3.”
Another benefit is that Southern Bluefin Tuna requires much less fishing, over a shorter period of time – and that means it’s a much better option for sustainability.
Around the globe, Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) manage the Bluefin Tuna industry, and they are responsible for the sustainable management of target and non-target species in global tuna fisheries.
The local RFMO is the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). It was the first RFMO to be created, and to date, it’s the most successful. The CCSBT website explains:
“On 20 May 1994 the then existing voluntary management arrangement between Australia, Japan and New Zealand was formalised when the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, which had been signed by the three countries in May 1993, came into force. The Convention created the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). The CCSBT is headquartered in Canberra, Australia.”
Historically, Southern Bluefin Tuna had been heavily fished, with the annual catch numbering 80,000 in the 1960s. By the mid 1980s, it became apparent conservation was imperative to counter rapidly declining numbers.
The main Southern Bluefin Tuna fishing nations – Australia, New Zealand and Japan – voluntarily introduced strict quotas. This arrangement was formalised in 1994 with the establishment of the CCSBT.
Now with several additional member nations, including the European Union, the Fishing Entity of Taiwan, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and South Africa, the CCSBT sets targets to ensure a healthy, thriving and sustainable Bluefin Tuna industry.
Central to the targets is stock assessment. The CCSBT collates catch and size data. The long-term goal is Total Reproductive Output (TRO) of 30%, which is considered maximum sustainable yield. ASBTIA reached an initial goal of 20% TRO years before the appointed deadline.
“Since the RFMO was created in the 90s, we’ve managed to rebuild Southern Bluefin Tuna stock from 3% to 20%,” says Claire. “We’ve smashed early recovery targets, reaching our first goal of 20%, 15 years early.”
There are several reasons for this success, including the ability of Japan, Australia and New Zealand to manage their fisheries effectively, invest in science and research and successfully establish and monitor compliance regulations to ensure fishing boats are doing the right thing.
CCSBT is also actively assisting other nations such as Indonesia with support and investment to help them manage sustainable Southern Bluefin Tuna spawning sites.
Clair Webber is understandably a Bluefin advocate. She observes that one of the biggest challenges is getting local customers to understand how good Australian Bluefin Tuna really is.
In addition to the added omega 3 health benefits, Southern Bluefin Tuna has a soft and delicate texture, an incredible taste… and wonderful versatility.
“Our Japanese clients love it, and not just for sashimi. They understand the amazing number of dishes that you can create with this tuna,” says Claire.
“I sometimes think of tuna like a cow. It has a rump, a cheek, a shank. It’s not a fillet of fish. Each cut has its own attributes that make it suitable for a wide range of diverse recipes.”
At Dinko Seafoods, we’re equally passionate about the taste, quality and enormous potential of sustainable Bluefin Tuna. To discover Australian Bluefin for yourself, please contact us.