TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:For the first time, a number of ASEAN countries will decide on strategic steps to develop the tuna industry. “We will formulate a program covering important aspects of fishery in the international market,” said Victor Nikijuluw , Director General of Fishery Processing and Marketing at the Maritime Affairs and Fishery Ministry.
One topic will be on the sustainability of tuna supply, anticipation of tuna demand in the international market and industrialization of tuna products. “We will discuss how tuna should no longer be exported in its raw form. It should be processed first before it is exported,” said Victor.
Businessmen in the fishery business regarded the meeting to be very important in formulating a strategy to face major international buyers such as China, Japan and the US. “Many rumors are out there. We have to straighten them up,” said Bambang Suboko, Executive Director of the Indonesian Fisheries Industry Association (GAPPINDO)
The Southeast Asia tuna industry is one of the backbones for the main markets, such as Japan, the EU and the US. ASEAN member countries Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia are among the biggest canned tuna producers in the world. Another producer is Ecuador. “The five countries dominate 97.53 percent of the global canned tuna market,” said Victor.