GEORGE TOWN: Penang Port welcomed two new locally-built tuna fishing boats which arrived at the port after three months of catching tuna in the Indian Ocean.
Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng said the tuna fish which landed at Penang Port consists of a variety of deep-sea fish caught from the Indian Ocean, including yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, bonito and albacore tuna.
The 52 tonnes of fish is estimated to be worth about RM5mil.
“The tuna caught in the Indian Ocean will be transported to Penang Port before being exported to Japan, China and the United States, especially China because there are daily ships from Penang Port to China.
“In addition, some tuna fish will also be transported from Penang Port to Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.
“All fishing vessels that catch tuna require a license issued by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission before they are allowed to operate,” he said.
The event was attended by Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee and his deputy Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh.
Tan noted the Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry has reached a consensus with PPC and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) to upgrade and strengthen the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) as the country's main tuna terminal.
"In addition, according to the statistics by the Agriculture Ministry, all ports across the country have caught tuna weighing around 53,855 metric tons as of August this year, valued at RM520mil.
“However, the government aims to achieve the goal of RM1bil in revenue, to provide more employment opportunities and to bring more revenue to the country,” he said.
Tan also said Penang was at a strategic location with the NBCT, which is a well-equipped terminal, along the many tuna processing factories and the geographical advantage of Penang International Airport.
“Tuna catches can be shipped abroad faster, which is one fo the reasons to attract more tuna fishing boats to land here,” he said.