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Fish buyer in P.E.I. opens plant to promote Canada's sustainable tuna fishery

Tuna fishermen pose with their catch in a handout photo.A tuna buyer in Prince Edward Island has opened Canada's first federally licensed plant to process bluefin tuna for the world sushi market. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jason Tompkins MANDATORY CREDIT

A tuna buyer in Prince Edward Island has opened Canada’s first federally licensed plant to process bluefin tuna for the world sushi market.

Jason Tompkins of OneTuna, says after 18 years as a tuna buyer he saw an opportunity to change the way tuna is bought, sold and marketed, and he’s looking to spread the word that Canada has the most regulated and sustainable tuna fishery in the world.

Before getting certification from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Tompkins was limited to selling whole fish to Japan, the United States and Canada, but now he can sell select cuts to more markets and even freeze it for later transport.

Tompkins says each fish he sells is accompanied by information on where and how it was caught by a fisherman using a rod and reel.

Well-known chef, Michael Smith, who regularly buys tuna from Tompkins, says consumers need to pay attention to where their food is coming from.

Smith says if chefs and consumers are unaware of fishes’ origin, they are going to contribute to poor fishing practices.

The Canadian Press