Big Fish Maldives has opened a value-added tuna-processing facility on Himmafushi Island, enhancing its capacity as it solidifies its status as the Maldives’ top yellowfin tuna exporter.
Big Fish Maldives was founded in 2017 as a producer and exporter of sashimi-grade fresh and frozen tuna products to the E.U., U.S., and Asia. The company has spent USD 5 million (EUR 4.6 million) to increase capacity and equip its facility on Himmafushi with the latest in tuna-processing technology, including ultra-low temperature freezers, bringing its annual production capacity to 6,000 metric tons.
The plant will enable the company to offer a variety of retail-ready, value-added yellowfin tuna products  including loins, tasteless smoke products, and katsuo no tataki to key international markets, including Europe, the U.S., and Russia, according to the company.
“The inauguration of our new facility marks a critical milestone in our growth trajectory,” Big Fish Maldives CEO Shafin Ahmed said. “With this expansion, we are confident of strengthening our leadership role in the Maldivian seafood industry and contributing significantly to the economic development of our nation.”
The company is also building a factory in the south of the Maldives, where skipjack is more prevalent, Big Fish Maldives Managing Director Ahmed Latheef told SeafoodSource in April 2023.
It is currently preparing to build a factory in Thinadhoo, Maldives, in the Huvadhu Atoll to produce value-added, retail-ready skipjack tuna products, including an ultra-low-temperature skipjack for the Japanese, E.U., and U.S. retail markets. The company expects to spend USD 10 million (EUR 9.3 million) on the facility and has secured funding from a European investment bank to pay for the expansion.
Additionally, in December 2023, Big Fish Maldives won a national award as the largest processor and exporter of yellowfin tuna in the country. The company first won the award in 2022, breaking the 12-year streak of fellow Maldivian firm Ensis taking home the honor. Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu presented the award to Ahmed on 10 December 2023.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in this way for the second year in a row,” Ahmed said. “This award is a testament to the tireless effort and dedication of our team. It reaffirms our pledge to deliver the finest sustainable seafood products to our customers worldwide.”
Ahmed said his company remains committed to supporting the Maldivian economy and sustainable fishing practices, noting the company has Friend of the Sea, Marine Stewardship Council, British Retail Consortium, ISO and SMETA certifications.
Photo courtesy of Big Fish Maldives
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