MAFI To Launch Strategic Plan 2021-2030 To Develop Tuna And Deep Sea Industry

The tuna industry is rapidly developing in Malaysia and recently it has become a new source of wealth

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry (MAFI) will launch the Tuna Industry Development Strategic Plan 2021-2030 as a comprehensive national tuna industry development and management initiative in line with the National Agro-Food Policy 2.0 (DAN 2.0).

Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, Datuk Seri Dr. Ronald Kiandee said the tuna fishing industry is rapidly developing and recently it had become a new source of wealth for the country as a result of the cooperation of all parties, especially tuna fishing vessel operators.

“The Tuna Industry Development Strategic Plan 2021 – 2030 should be translated into other languages to ensure that this opportunity can be utilized by all parties because it is not limited to fishing activities only, but various other services along the tuna industry value chain can be developed such as ports, transportation, storage, processing and others,” he said.

Dr Ronald said this to reporters during the Tuna Landing Program at Ayer Dalam Wharf, Penang where today, the Ibu Wira 1 ship successfully landed 15 metric tonnes of tuna while Ibu Wira 2 landed 37 metric tonnes of tuna.

Also present was YB Dr. Nik Muhammad Zawawi bin Haji Salleh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry II, YBhg. Dato ‘Haslina binti Abdul Hamid, Secretary General of MAFI, YBrs. En. Ahmad Tarmidzi bin Ramly, Director General of Fisheries and YBrs. En. Yusoff bin Othman, Director General of LKIM.

Penang Port (Dermaga Dalam) and Langkawi Port are two ports in Malaysia that are suitable to be used as tuna landing ports by vessels operating in the Indian Ocean.

Dr Ronald said that  as a member state of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) we should send more fishing vessels to catch tuna in the Indian Ocean and encourage more tuna vessels to land in Malaysia.

In this regard, MAFI is also finalizing the proposed development of a tuna landing port and fishing complex at Batu Maung Jetty, Penang through strategic cooperation between the private sector which will be able to increase the entry of tuna vessels into the port which can boost tuna landings in Malaysia.

Despite the country being hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government remains fully committed to tuna management in ports. For the year 2021, up to August, Malaysia has recorded a landing of 58,550 tonnes of tuna worth RM520 million of which 42,232 tonnes (72%) are from the type of tuna neritik, 3,389 tonnes (6%) are from oceanic tuna and 12,929 metric tons (22%) were from tuna-like species. Of the total landings, the port of Penang has received 20 tuna landings of which 1,301 metric tonnes were exported to Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

Looking at the results of these landings, the Government encourages up to 70 Malaysian -flagged tuna fishing vessels to operate in the Indian Ocean by 2030. This is to enable Malaysia’s quota of tuna landings in the Indian Ocean of 30 thousand metric tonnes to be achieved.

As of August 2021, a total of 20 tuna vessels, namely 19 tuna fishing vessels and one tuna carrier vessel have been licensed and are already operating in the Indian Ocean while 1 more tuna fishing vessel is in the licensing process and is expected to be licensed by the end of this year.

In addition to encouraging existing vessels to land tuna at registered ports, the encouragement to local operators to venture into the tuna industry opens up opportunities for Zone C2 owners with qualified trawl equipment to operate vessels in Zone C3.

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