NEW ZEALAND :Fishing company Sanford has sold one of its Pacific tuna vessels and intends to sell its other purse seiner and quit its Pacific tuna business due to certain challenges in the sector.
The firm’s managers have started considering the likelihood of abandoning the business since December last year after the global discussion failed to achieve an agreement to obtain sustainable Pacific tuna fishery management at the sector’s meeting in Samoa held by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
Referring to the decision to give up the business, the firm’s chief executive Volker Kuntzsch pointed out: “Continuing unsatisfactory returns driven by low prices and the strict commodity nature of skipjack tuna coupled with ever increasing access costs to the fishery, resulted in the decision to exit this business and offer the vessels for sale.”
To offset these challenges the firm sold the vessel San Nanumea from its Pacific tuna fleet and is carrying out talks with potential purchasers of its remaining boat, San Nikunau.
For his part, Sanford’s chief financial officer, Clement Chia stated that the sale of these vessels would provide more certainty and stability in Sanford’s earning.
In May, Sanford reported an 18 per cent decline in first-half profit as it balanced falling commodity prices for its skipjack tuna, blue mackerel and other oily fish, with strong demand for its deepwater fish catches and stable prices for its greenshell mussels.
As to the business challenges faced by the firm, Chia explained that tuna accounts for about 5 per cent of its sales, but low and volatile prices for skipjack tuna, plus higher costs of accessing the fishery, meant the returns had become unsatisfactory.FIS