Lukina Lukin: Port Lincoln’s first female ‘tuna boss’

Happy woman smiling while inside the factory of Dinko Tuna

The biggest testament to Lukina Lukin’s commitment to Dinko Seafoods – apart from her work ethic, ingenuity and business acumen – is her journey to becoming Managing Director and the first female ‘tuna boss’ in the male-dominated Port Lincoln tuna industry.

A business her late husband, Dinko Lukin, grew from the ground up, Dinko Seafoods has been a pioneer in Port Lincoln’s Southern Bluefin Tuna industry since 1966.

But when Dinko passed away in 2011, it was Lukina who stepped up to continue his legacy.

Before meeting her late husband, Lukina knew nothing about farming Southern Bluefin Tuna, or the type of tuna fishing business she would go on to direct.

A steep learning curve

Lukina’s passion for tuna farming developed over the course of her marriage, when Dinko passed on his knowledge about Southern Bluefin Tuna, his innovative farming practices, business operations and refrigeration/freezing practices.

But when Dinko passed away in 2011, Lukina was left to ‘sink or swim’ without her husband at the helm. The business was struggling with huge debt after the global financial crisis and its associated high-interest rates, and they desperately needed new equipment and infrastructure.

As a perceived novice and the only female chief executive in the tuna industry, many expected her to fail. Offers to buy Dinko Seafood seemed like the suitable option, but Lukina was determined to continue the legacy of her husband and bring the business back to its heyday.

Hard work and innovation

Raised on her family’s rice fields in Thailand, she inherited her work ethic from the incredibly strong women who raised her. Her background gave her the nous to continue the Dinko Seafood legacy and the toughness to sustain the pressures of the industry.

When she took over the business, tough decisions had to be made, and Lukina was the right woman for the job. Her first priority was to reduce the business debt and repair the failing refrigeration system.

Ageing fishing equipment was leading to a significant loss of stock, so Lukina plunged herself further into debt to invest in stronger nets. And boy, did it pay off – in the first season of using them, Dinko Seafood lost only 60 fish.

In the decade since Dinko passed, Lukina hasn’t just kept Dinko Seafood surviving – she has grown it into a flourishing and thriving business with new products and innovative ways of adding value.

Despite her own hard work and dedication, Lukina is the first to admit that her team is central to the success of the business.

With many staff who have been with Dinko Seafood for 10 years or more, she understands the value of loyalty – particularly in such a transient industry.

Order your wholesale Dinko Seafood today

As pioneers in global tuna farming practice, we use a self-managed and sustainable approach to all our processes. Passionate about ensuring a sustainable future for the fish we farm, our fishing practices are all about sustainability – we want many generations to come to enjoy them as much as we do.

The result for you is a premium quality product, every time.

To make your wholesale order, contact us today.