Invited guests and partners during the launch
Yamako Pacific (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, a local seafood processing company, held a grand opening ceremony for their tuna processing plant, located at the Fish Landing Complex in Muara. It was also my first time visiting that area.
Gracing the launch was Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Ali Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism. Also present was His Excellency Motohiko Kato, the Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam.
The operation began in March 2018 on a small scale and they specialized in processing yellow-fin and skipjack tuna into high quality products that has already been accepted into the highly stringent Japanese market and further plans to penetrate the markets in China, Europe and North America.
For your info, Yamako Pacific (Brunei) is part of a wider group of Yamako Pacific companies in the region. They also have their office and other processing plants in Indonesia and Malaysia. You will be hearing the name of Yamako in Brunei as they aim to be a big player in the fishing industry especially for local processing.
It’s good to know that local investors, Hj Morshidi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abdul Rahman and Hj Musa bin Hj Adnin, partnered with Yamako Pacific (Brunei) to set up a local seafood processing plant at the Fish Landing Complex. Yamako is a household name in Japan and it’s a Japanese centric group with a proven reputation of working with and upgrading local industry players to international standards. For instance, local fishermen can be taught on how to maximize the quality and value of the fish they catch. Another thing that can benefit the fishermen is the value of the fish they caught as they can be paid fairly according to the international pricing.
The tuna processing plant which is worth at least a couple of millions due to its state-of-the-art equipments
I love the idea that we have to wear this due for hygienic purposes
Seeing how the process works when the tuna is being stored and processed
How the tuna looks like…. fressshh….
They have to slice it delicately and almost to perfection
When we freeze our ingredients the taste deteriorates, how can we fix this problem. This is where the Proton Freezer comes to the rescue. The Proton Freezer helps to maintain the quality and ensure the ice crystals are perfectly aligned for perfect freezing every time. This is the most expensive equipment in the tuna processing plant.
The mincing room for tuna
The seafood processing plant which mainly focuses on tuna for now is state-of-the-art quality plant. I never knew the scale of the processing tunas is very tedious and requires a series of equipment and workmanship to process the tuna before being sold to commercial entities. The eye opener for me was the Proton Freezer which is the most expensive equipment invested by the company. It’s probably prized in the region of half of million or more.
The processing plant has very stringent rules upon entering the premise. We were required to wear a clean woven coat, rubber boots, face mask and a head cap as the company’s policy is never to compromise with hygiene when it comes to food processing. Good job on Yamako on making this a strict procedure of people entering the processing plant.
At the moment, the processing plant can handle up to 10 tonnes of tuna landing and process around 3.5 tonnes of finished products per day. That’s pretty good for a small scale plant.
Another highlight for them is the launch of their vessel called YP Nakhoda 1. It’s pretty hi-tech stuff because the vessel is equipped with Tuna Pole and Line fishing technology – quite simple and eco-friendly method of tuna fishing using a hook attached to a pole and using them, no marine life will be harmed in the process. This helps responsible fishing practices and hope to create more awareness in Brunei Darussalam on this method.
The YP Nakhoda 1 vessel is invested by Hj Morshidi, Hj Musa Adnin and Alex Yeunh Oi Siong, CEO of Yamako Pacific (Brunei). According to a representative, the tuna fishing is a seasonal activity. The fishermen will sail for a week as the tuna fishing is carried out at Zone 4 (200 kilometers away) since it’s deep water fishing.
Also in the picture is SBI Islamic Fund (B) Sdn Bhd which deals with venture capital & private equity. SBI Islamic Fund (Brunei) Limited, a joint venture between Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Finance and Japan’s Strategic Business Innovator (SBI) Holdings. They pumped in funds for Yamako Pacific group and holds the minority share within the Yamako Pacific. Apart from Yamako Pacific, the company also funded in Sengenics and Softbank Holdings Inc.
Now with the operations of Yamako Pacific (Brunei) and YP Nakhoda, they have an initial workforce of 50 full-time workers, supported by 30 part-time workers with plans to expand to 200 people in the workforce in three years’ time. I see many good things coming out of this project and I do hope it will be a sustainable fishing business and win-win situation for the businesses and also in the employment side of things.
Thank you once again for the invite, Yamako Pacific (Brunei) and the tour of the tuna processing plant. I can say that I’m very impressed and it also gave me a new awareness on responsible fishing.
The YP Nakhoda 1, the vessel used for tuna fish catching
The Ambassador blessing the vessel
They are four of this state-of-the-art fishing rod. It has a smart and effective way of catching either a Yellow Fin or Skipjack tuna fish and it’s done automatically. No fish nets required (which will spoil the marine life).
The tuna sashimi. I tried it and it’s quite tasty. We do have good tunas in Brunei. Some of them are being distributed to Snofood, a food supplier for Excapade Sushi.
Food sampling using our local tuna