In an addition to the pole-and-line fleet it operates under the Solomon Islands flag, a vessel acquired from Japan has joined the fleet of National Fisheries Developments (NFD), a subsidiary of US tuna operator Tri Marine.
This is the fifth NFD pole-and-line boat, and on arrival from Japan is was inspected for Solomon Islands registration, joining the company’s previous four pole-and-line boats and seven purse seiners.
Solomon Hunter is based at Noro, where SolTuna, the Solomon Islands’ only large-scale tuna processor, is located.
‘We’re thrilled to add Solomon Hunter to our growing fleet of vessels,’ said NFD managing director Frank Wickham.
‘As an organisation, we feel that it’s important to continuously increase our catch in support of SolTuna’s needs for high quality raw material. We need to continue to grow in support of SolTuna.’
The 37 metre Solomon Hunter was built in Japan in 1983 in fibreglass reinforced plywood and has a Nigata 6MG 25BX main engine. It has accommodation for a crew of up to 30.
NFD is the Solomon Islands premier fishing company, operating a fleet of purse seine and pole and line vessels from the port of Noro in the Western Province. The company’s management, staff and crew are Solomon Islanders. SolTuna is the islands’ only large-scale tuna processor. Also based in Noro, the company produces cooked frozen tuna loins and fishmeal for export markets, and canned tuna for local, regional and international markets. The Solomon Islands catch from NFD’s purse seine and pole and line fleets are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Tri Marine and NFD are continuing to grow their pole-and-line fleet in the Solomon Islands, demonstrating their commitment to fulfilling demand for pole and line caught tuna for customers.
‘At Tri Marine, we are committed to sustainable fisheries and implementing industry-leading practices to support our communities, protect our fishing heritage and to provide the population with healthy proteins,’ said Joe Hamby, Tri Marine Group’s COO.
‘We are proud to be one of the Solomon Islands largest private sector employers with more than 2400 islanders working for NFD and SolTuna. By expanding our existing fleet, we’re taking important steps to support the local economy, to expand our workforce with local talent and to grow the Solomon Island tuna industry.’