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Caribbean startup supplying fresh blackfin tuna to EU shelves

Company plans to get the fish to markets in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France within 48 hours of catch.

A Caribbean startup company is now delivering locally-caught blackfin tuna (Thunnus atlanticus) to European markets and selling it to customers there within 48 hours of catch.

Caribbean Tuna International (CTI), which is based on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, began full operations in the past couple of weeks, during which time it has made its first shipments by air to Amsterdam.

CTI's goal is to provide tuna from the Caribbean to Europe that is fresh enough to effectively serve as "catch-of-the-day," said the company.

The company exclusively sells value-added blackfin tuna products, all of which are caught by local fishermen using one-by-one fishing methods, mainly handline. It also is the first Caribbean tuna company to join the International Pole and Line Foundation (IPNLF).

f1f1d7d32cd8ddaaaa97e3bbbabb141c Blackfin Tuna Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In early 2016, the company flew 20 kilos of blackfin tuna to the Netherlands, where they noted a demand.

According to Co-Founder and Managing Director, Rene Hof, the company plans to start with small volumes, just exporting one to three metric tons a week, which after six months will need to grow to five.

CTI has targeted export volumes of between 10 and 20 metric tons per week by the end of 2019.

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