Tuna fishermen – Esperance, Western Australia

The small scale tuna fisherman from Esperance, Western Australia were losing their livelihoods to bigger more organised tuna factory ships. They were not considered of a sufficient scale for Development Funds and even the smoking equipment had been confiscated because it didn’t pass health and safety scrutiny.


Lacking scale and organisation, these fishermen had been selling their tuna to the cannery for 60 cents a kilo. After a brief piece of market research an opportunity opened up for smaller tuna as sashimi in restaurants in Tokyo. Shifting their catch to this market moved the price to $3.50 per kilo, nearly six times the price from the premium priced sashimi market.[i] 


[i] Ernesto Sirolli, Ripples from the Zambesi (1999). Pp 36-37.

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