Buy South Africa Tuna Directly From Exporters & Suppliers - Best of 2024 Market Prices

Varieties Yellowfin tuna/tunny, Albacore/longfin tuna, Atlantic bonito, Skipjack, Bluefin tuna
Common Names Thunnus Albacares, Thunnus alalunga, Sarda sarda, Katsuwonus pelamis, Thunnus maccoyii
Size 0.5-2.5m, 4-350 kg
Storage in temperatures of -20 degrees
Packing in pallets at a minimum core temperature of -20 degrees, 15 kg fish crates,
Transport Conditions minimum core temperatures of -20 degrees
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South Africa is known for having the most modern and largest fishing industry within the continent of Africa. The country’s tuna industry continues to expand over time since the 1970s. Even as the demand for South Africa tuna continues to grow, so does the demand. At first, the Albacore made up more than half of the total tuna catch with the Yellowfin and skipjack accounting for the remaining portion.

Currently, Yellowfin tuna is the most common tuna variety in South Africa. It accounts for more than 50% of the annual tuna catch in the country. An increase in the Yellowfin total catch began back in the 1970s when the South African fishermen started fishing in the southernmost point of South Africa, the region 150-200 miles south of Cape Agulhas. The Yellowfin tuna migrate to this area in large numbers both in the summer and winter.

Tuna is part of the Scombridae family, and they’re found in salty waters. They have an average size of up to 1m, but they can grow up to 2.5m long. The Bluefin tuna happens to be the largest of the species. Tuna are pelagic hunters and can be found in either temperate or tropical oceans across the world.

In South Africa, there are several tuna species available ranging from Yellowfin tuna, Albacore, Atlantic bonito, skipjack to Bluefin tuna. They can be caught either using pole fishing or polling. Pole and line fishing is a selective fishing method that has a minimal negative impact on the surrounding environment. It is the most common method used by most of the South African fisheries.

In South Africa, the Yellowfin tuna is mainly caught in the pelagic longline fishery in both the Atlantic and Indian ocean. The regional fisheries management organizations manage the Yellowfin tuna due to their migratory nature and demand. The peak seasons are between October to mid-January and then picks between April and the end of May. The average weight for the tuna ranges from 7-12 kg depending on the species. Some can weigh more than that, up to 40kg.

Once harvested, the fish are frozen to a minimum core temperature of -20 degrees before being taken to the freezing facilities where they are prepared for export. The fish are mostly exported as a whole. First, they are washed and put in pallets before being frozen and ready to be shipped.

Most of the tuna being exported have to comply with the NRCS and are approved by the EU. The main markets for the South Africa tuna include Japan and Europe, among others.

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