Established in 1973, SolTuna is a shining example of a company owned and operated by the local community. The company focuses on economic equity, employing nearly 2,000 local residents and ensuring that most of the profits flow back into the Solomon Islands community. In 2014, SolTuna was awarded the prestigious Business of the Year by the Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, where he highlighted the company’s employment of women and promotion of food security for their families.
In July 2016, the Solomon Islands yellowfin and skipjack tuna harvested by pole-and-line and purse seine completed its Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC). Tri Marine, a partial owner of SolTuna, spearheaded the MSC accreditation along with its subsidiary, National Fisheries Developments (NFD). The group also completed its MSC Chain of Custody certification to promote product traceability throughout its supply chains.
This newly minted MSC certified fishery represents between 25,000 to 30,000 metric tons of yellowfin and skipjack tuna annually. Most of that haul is processed through SolTuna. While canned tuna is the primary product, SolTuna also processes frozen loins, fish meal, and fish oil. There is a strong regional market for SolTuna products as it is also a main contributor to the Solomon Islands’ food security.
Beyond the Solomon Islands, SolTuna products are exported regionally to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand, with some loined tuna exported to European markets.
With SolTuna products currently being promoted at the Expo 2020 Dubai, the prospects of more Solomon Island products entering the Arabian market may soon be realised.