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(AUSTRALIA) Tuna Industry Report: Cured tuna hearts and mojama — tuna dried like prosciutto — are hoped to be the secret ingredients to getting more citizens eating the fish, while ensuring less of it goes to waste #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.12: In addition to the curing and drying processes, the meat is also prepared in three small saku block varieties: akami, taken from the back of the fish; chutoro, from the middle part of the stomach; and, otoro, from the belly:

AUSTRALIA: Tuna industry hoping cured meat similar to prosciutto could increase demand: It’s very important for us to be sustainable, hence why we’re trying to use the whole entire fish and we’re always trying to develop new products that we can use everything,” KIN director and Blaslov Fishing Company’s Simoan Hayman said’

Posted Yesterday at 9:29pm

Tuna dishes on display in a glass cabinet.
While the bulk of Australia’s bluefin tuna is exported, the industry is hoping to drive local demand.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“We’re trying to use everything from the heart to the fin.”

“The differences between the akami, otoro and chutoro is some are slightly sweeter and some are slightly fattier and softer and more butter-like in texture — we call it [otoro] the wagyu of the sea,” Ms Hayman said.

Cured tuna heart on a platter.
Cured tuna heart is regarded as a delicacy.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“In the past from my company at Blaslov Fishing we’ve sent 100 per cent of our tuna to Japan, so this is a first time for us to collaborate in the industry but also the first time to put a product on the market in smaller cuts,” Simoan Hayman said.

Currently, the bulk of Australia’s about 6,000-tonne southern bluefin tuna quota is fattened on farms off Port Lincoln and exported as whole fish, almost exclusively to Japanese buyers.

Developing an Australian market for tuna is the goal of three South Australian southern bluefin tuna fishing families, who are now working together in the fiercely competitive industry.

Blaslov Fishing Company, Stehr Group and Dinko Tuna Farmers have formed Kin Premium Australian Seafood as a way to find new, more sustainable markets.

Three people inside a tuna shop.
Simoan Hayman, Lukina Lukin and Marcus Stehr teamed up to form KIN Seafood.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“Kin can be so many meanings: it can be next of kin or next generation and for us it’s the next generation of tuna farmers that are coming together and working together, totally different from the past,” KIN director and Dinko Tuna Farmers owner Lukina Lukin said.

Dinko Tuna Farmers is owned and run by Ms Lukin, who is the only female running a tuna farm in the southern bluefin tuna industry, and has invested in developed cryogenic freezing technology for fish.

“It’s the same as doctors use in IVF to freeze embryos … what we do with tuna is pump liquid nitrogen in, so that the fish has been frozen to the core in 45 minutes and the temperature of the cabinet is minus 90 but the fish is minus 60.”

Customers are served at a fishmongers' store.
Ms Hayman says the industry is trying to develop new products.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“It’s a special technique: you capture the freshness, the taste the texture, so when you thaw it so it’s like you just harvest the fish out of the water.”

KIN director and Stehr Group’s Marcus Stehr said it was important the next generation looked at how they could diversify and keep the tuna industry fresh.

“For the last 30 years I’ve been in the tuna industry, we’ve only ever sold fresh and frozen gilled and gutted product into Japan and because of that we’ve commoditised our product,” Mr Stehr said.

“But now that the exchange rate has gone the wrong way and because we’ve got a lot of pressure from other international players, there’s a lot of farming companies in Europe, Indonesia, in the Mediterranean.”

Grated cured tuna heart on a plate.
Cured tuna heart can be grated over dishes.(ABC News: Brittany Evins)

“We’ve become our worst enemy: we’ve taught them how to fish farm and now they’re selling all their fish into Japan — essentially what that’s done is downgraded our product.”

He said consumers in western markets were increasingly seeking out sustainably sourced seafood and its associated health benefits and it was a market that needs to be tapped into.

“Japan is only just keeping us alive at the moment, so we’ve had to think outside the square, do something completely different.”

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.12: 2021:

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