TUTONG — Golden Corporation (GC), one of Brunei’s leading aquaculture companies, is ramping up its tuna production in efforts to become the sultanate’s first canned cat food producer by 2020.
According to its CEO, Desmond Lim, the company is currently building a new processing plant in Serasa, which will take up to two years to complete. Once operational, GC will be able to proceed with its plan to produce pet food.
“[We intend] to process medium grade tuna as pet food, specifically cat food, because we see big potential as the value of the tuna increases,” he said.
To accommodate this, GC will acquire more fishing vessels to reach a fleet of 10 by next year.
Currently, the company sets out five large fishing vessels to catch tuna from Brunei’s deeper marine zones, namely Zones 3 and 4.
“On a good month, one fishing vessel can catch around 40 to 50 tonnes of tuna, hopefully with the addition of the new vessels next year, our output of tuna can reach around 500 tonnes per month”.
Caught tuna is frozen as a whole and exported to countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and China.
However, Lim wants to add value to the tuna by processing and canning them here in Brunei. He noted that the whole frozen tuna they export are often processed, canned and smoked by their customers.
“We no longer want to just freeze and export our tuna, what we have in mind is when the fish are brought to the new processing plant, they will be sorted according to quality, premium grade tuna will be processed into sashimi grade fish fillets or fish steaks.”
The CEO went on to say that the company’s main goal ultimately is to ensure self sufficiency in terms of the country’s food security, adding that by increasing their output they hope to reduce fish imports in the country.
“As we expand, we hope to contribute to the country by decreasing local unemployment, with the completion of our new processing plant next year, we hope to create more employment opportunities in the country.”