Landscape and Opportunity Analysis in the Pacific Tuna sector

school of fish in the ocean in blue water
Project code
AUD 150,000
Project leader
Ms Deb Doan
Commissioned organisation
Business for Millenium Development Ltd
JUN 2022
MAY 2023
Project status
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This project aimed to identify potential innovation pathways and assess the commercial feasibility for improving returns (defined as sustainable resource management, maximum catch utilisation and increased retention of value) to the Pacific Island countries (PICs) tuna sector and PIC economies more broadly, particularly small fishers, small to medium-sized fishing businesses and their communities.

A gap remains with respect to the type of research required by commercial stakeholders, highlighting compelling commercial opportunities for investment in the tuna sector. This project analysed commercial initiatives, identifying and seeking to address systemic barriers to commercialisation as well as critical success factors thematic to successful ventures. For example, high costs of production (water, electricity, logistics, etc.), lack of cold storage facilities and access to finance are known barriers to commercialisation that impact most, if not all, commercial initiatives that are attempted in the future.

Tuna is a key driver of the region’s economic growth and coordinated efforts are already underway to maximise returns while ensuring tuna stocks are managed sustainably, taking into consideration social, economic and environmental factors. The type of research required as proposed under this project is a precursor to development projects and/or commercial ventures, with the overarching intent of addressing systemic barriers and focusing resources on the most promising opportunities.

To improve the likelihood of commercial uptake post-conclusion of this project, the analysis would be grounded in economic data with recommendations structured as pre-feasibility studies and the private sector engaged throughout the project activities, along with government, research institutions, and non-government organisations.

Project outcomes

  • Gained an overall understanding of the Pacific tuna sector.
  • Identified and prioritised inclusive Innovation Pathway opportunities (IIPOs).
  • Defined key barriers to success and critical success factors.
  • Assessed commercial opportunities.
  • Understood how best to collaborate with industry for sustainable resource management.
  • Focused attention on the overarching systemic barriers and critical success factors, which have the greatest impact on hindering/enabling development of IIPOs in order to maximise the likelihood of success for development of IIPOs.
  • Disseminated learnings and engage with stakeholders across all Pacific Island countries.
Key partners
Business for Millenium Development Ltd
Mandekem Limited
Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)
Sue Poole Consulting
West Farm Holdings
X-Lab Ventures Pty Ltd