By Hardeep Kaur
“Staggering” wealth may be in store for St Helena if links are set up on the international fishing market when its airport opens.
The potential for yellowfin tuna to be sold for high prices has been pointed out by Adam Wolfe, director of the St Helena National Trust.
He said: “We are talking about huge potential for the export industry in St Helena, when you realise that blue fin tuna on the Japanese market sells for millions of yen.
“This certainly happened in South Australia, where they catch the fish, have it on an aeroplane that evening, and it’s in Tokyo next morning commanding staggeringly high prices.
“Potentially, that could happen here, to bring staggering wealth to the island.”
Adam said the fish was so “incredibly valuable” that frozen stocks were being bought up in Japan as security for investments.
“One of the issues is protecting the fishery from pirate fishing operations,” he said, in an interview to mark Maritime Awareness Week on the island.
“How on earth you can protect the resource I’m not sure, but that’s one of the things you would have to look at if you want to have a sustainable fishery here.”
There was also a potential problem of over-fishing, including recreational fishing, having a negative impact, said Adam. “People are recognising that this can have an effect, and that we need to develop commercial fishing opportunities.”