ASBTIA interview with Friend of the Sea

Australia is known to have sustainable tuna fisheries. In June 2020, Friend of the Sea Director and Founder Paolo Bray spoke with Claire Webber, Research and Liaison Officer at ASBTIA about how the Australian SBT industry align their values with the principles upheld by Friend of the Sea (FoS). Friend of the Sea is an independent global certifier of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture activities.  Following an audit process, ASBTIA and its member companies became accredited by FoS in 2015.

You can watch the interview on the FoS Youtube Channel and learn more about sustainability of the SBT fishery and the certification under Friend of the Sea on our Sustainability of SBT page.

Tuna industry welcomes Equinor’s decision to withdraw from drilling in the Bight

25 February 2020

ASBTIA Media Release


Equinor’s decision to withdraw provides much greater certainty for the future of other major major users of the Bight – and greater investment will follow.

The debate about oil and gas in the Bight was always about the economic risks and consequences for both the Bight regional communities and for Equinor.

There is no point in appealing to Norwegian companies about the environmental risks and consequences. The Norwegian Government, the effective owner of Equinor, does not care about shifting the environmental risks to Australia, or to other countries.

That is why the Australian tuna industry continued to try to convince Equinor and the Norwegian Government that drilling in the Bight did not make economic sense for them.

The economic risk was why BP and Chevron walked away from drilling in the Bight in the last five years – and now Equinor has done the same.

We might welcome the Equinor decision – but our regret is that Equinor has wasted a lot of the valuable time and investment required to persuade Equinor to realise that drilling in the Bight makes no economic sense compared with their alternatives elsewhere in the world.

Some communities and governments were entitled to believe the Equinor claim that the Bight could be the next great oil province of the world. Their hopes were built up – when Equinor’s points were always going to be wrong.

We have no objection to the government subsidies to oil exploration. However, somehow government has to find a way to direct taxpayer’s money to more logical and realistic projects.


Brian Jeffriess

CEO – Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association

PO Box 1146. Port Lincoln SA 5606


Unveiling of the Tuna Poler Statue


Port Lincoln’s newest statue of a tuna poler was unveiled on the 28th of July 2019.


Tuna polers described their work as an exhilarating and dangerous game unfolding in the rough open waters of the Great Australian Bight. This primitive fishing method paved the way for unprecedented innovations and the industry’s transition to aquaculture. The “Tuna Poler” sculpture commemorates all those in the Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) industry that laid the foundations necessary for today’s success. This scene highlights the rugged lifestyle and hard work of the fishing crew and polers.


Artist Ken Martin said “the tuna poler began with the idea of celebrating and making a dedication to the pioneers of the fishing industry here in Port Lincoln, and commemorating all those people who were involved on sea and onshore.”


Hundreds of people attended Tuna Poler statue unveiling, clearly demonstrating the significant role of the tuna industry to Port Lincoln, the Eyre Peninsula and the State

“Port Lincoln economy rides on the back of the tuna fishery”