Tony Santic, a pioneer in Australia’s Tuna industry, established Tony’s Tuna International Pty Ltd in 1994. A tuna fisherman since 1970 Tony started ranching tuna in 1992. Currently the second largest Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus Maccoyii and Minami Maguro) ranch in Australia, Tony’s Tuna International is also the only operator with the ability to control the entire process; that is ranching, feeding, catching, processing and freezing its product without external contractors. This control enables us to achieve our mission of delivering a consistent, high quality, sashimi grade product all year round.
Thousands of miles from any large populated areas, the Southern Ocean is reported to be one of the cleanest in the world. Port Lincoln was chosen because of its excellent waters, closeness to fishing grounds, protection from extreme weather, and availability of fresh local sardines (pilchards) – the preferred feed of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
The Southern Bluefin Tuna are caught between December and March each year whilst on their migratory path from the Java Sea. By the time the fish arrive at our fishing grounds they have swum over 3,000 kilometers, which means Tony’s Tuna International are catching the healthiest specimens. Rounded up by purse seine method, the fish are towed back to approved farming sites off Port Lincoln in specially designed towing pontoons.
Back at the ranch the tuna are fed every day a diet of various fish species including mackerel, red bait, and locally caught sardines. The locally caught sardines are caught during the night and transferred to feeding bins so that they can be fed fresh directly to the tuna the next morning. The freshness and high protein levels in this fish are particularly good for the tuna's growth and condition.
All bait must meet the strict Quarantine Health and Sanitary requirements imposed by Australian Government and Industry. Tony’s Tuna International regularly have bait independently tested to ensure it meets all regulatory requirements and our own specifications.