Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii)

Southern Bluefin Tuna is a highly migratory species and is widely distributed throughout waters of the southern oceans, including the remote and pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight, some 120 miles off the west coast of South Australia.

The premium quality meat of the SBT is considered a delicacy and is favoured in Japanese restaurants and "sushi" shops.

Catch & Towing

Tuna ranching involves the capture of wild SBT from the fishing grounds on the Continental Shelf in the Great Australian Bight. A procedure using a purse seine net to capture the live fish, which are then transferred in to a tow cage and towed at a maximum speed of 1 knot back to the holding farms within Port Lincoln.

Feeding

The captive Tuna are grown out under controlled feeding techniques, with each fish being grown to a premium condition to meet the stringent Japanese market requirements. KIS Tuna uses a combination of high fat imported sardines and anchovies, as well as locally caught high protein pilchards to produce this quality organic product.

KIS Tuna does not use any supplements such as artificial nutrition nor any chemicals or antibiotics to preserve freshness or maintain quality during the growing period.

Farming

Once the tow cage arrives in the offshore farming zone outside of Boston Bay, the fish are then separated into holding cages. The feeding season begins immediately in order to gain length during the warmer months and condition (fat) throughout the colder weather. Hence, the reason harvest takes place during July/August.

KIS Tuna uses two types of feeding methods, frozen pallets, which are placed into floating feeders within the pontoons and local fresh, which are shovelled from bins on the deck of the vessel.

Harvest

One of the most interesting aspects of tuna farming is the technique used to harvest the premium final product. KIS Tuna is a leader in this field with one of the most efficient harvesting teams within the industry.

Initially the fish are crowded into a small holding area. Where they are individually caught by hand by professional divers.

Within one minute of being on deck, the fish are spiked, bled, cored, wired and then gill and gutted in an ice slurry. KIS Tuna harvest crew are able to process over seven fish per minute.

The fish are then transported to either Japanese freezer boats or on shore processing facilities where they are trimmed, cleaned and graded before being super frozen or air freighted for the fresh market.
 

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