Welcome to the news and events page. Here we discuss whatfs new at Sekol and the current events and research in which Sekol has participated in.
July 30 - White Card Event in Singapore
Sekol particpates at a White Card event at the Singapore National Museum. The event, ran in conjunction with the Novus restaurant, was to promote a diners membership card which allows members to enjoy a wide range of benefits from Singapore's premium restaurants. A successful event at which our tuna didn't last long with the toro loving guests.
April 22 - Sekol in Singapore
Sekol starts sending its tuna direct to restaurants in Singapore and straight away it is very well received. Soon, there are over 40 restaurants, clubs, and hotels buying Sekol's tuna for their customers to enjoy. These include some of the most exclusive and award winning establishments in Singapore. Not only top Japanese restaurants but award winning western restaurants also became customers. One such restaurant Sekol are very proud to be supplying is Iggys at the Four Seasons Hotel - The Regent. Recently voted number one in Asia by the Miele Guide and in the top fifty restaurants of the world Iggys have been using Sekol's tuna to create delectable creations.
April 2 - Australia Day in Spring at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo
Second year running and another great event! This year Sekol organised for well known and respected Tsukiji wholesaler Yamajo to attend the event and put on a cutting show for guests. It was again the guests favourite stall of the day with ques extending through the Embassy garden for a selection of sashimi and sushi.
March 16 - First Harvest of 2009!
SEKOLfs first harvest of the year was undertaken on March 16 and the fish looked great. As expected the tuna had a little less condition than they normally have in the middle of the year due to the higher water temperatures at the start of the season. The fish were also very healthy – the tuna health research team of the University of Tasmania couldnft find a single sea lice on all the tuna harvested. Despite the tough economic times SEKOL is trying its best to not compromise the quality of its fish. Letfs hope the worldfs economy stabilizes soon!
SEKOL has been central in assisting an award winning documentary film crew to Port Lincoln. After being involved with filming in Japan and on the West Coast of the US, SEKOL welcomed producer Mark Hall, director Alan Berg, and cameraman Matt Franklin. Along with covering the movement of the Tsukiji fish market to a new location and the impact that will have on the people both within and around the market, another of the documentaryfs theme is about the growing global sushi market and the demand that puts on seafood supplies – particularly tuna. With Australiafs Southern bluefin stocks possibly the best managed tuna population in the world, the industry and Port Lincoln should benefit greatly from appearing in what will be a top end production. Watch this space for more informationc.
Australian Professional Tastings Events
Following on from the event that took place in Tokyo at the end of 2008, SEKOL along with Kyokuyo particiapted in an event in Nagoya and Osaka on February 18 and 23rd respectively. Restaurateurs, chefs, and other buyers etc. were able to learn about the product whilst tasting samples. The event was very popular and at the end of both all the tuna was gone. At the event we were able to discuss not only the merits of the Australian industry but also what makes SEKOL unique.
Sekol's First Tuna Arrive!
Sekol's first catch of tuna arrive at Port Lincoln. The tuna looked fantastic and conditions were perfect. The company is looking forward to another year of providing its customers with top quality tuna. Some great photos were taken by the Sekol divers - beautiful close-up below and one where the lens was half in and half out of the water and where the digital focussing made things look rather rosey above!
Catching for the 2009 season has gone extremely well. Tuna numbers are continuing to rise with another record aerial survey - click here to find out more. With the industry undergoing MSC pre-assessment for sustainability this data will be a great help toward achieving that goal.
The coming season will see the introduction of a traceability label on offer for our customers. Our customers in Japan that use the labels will enable consumers to use their phones and scan in the 2-dimensional QR codes. This link will take them straight to the page where they can find out where the tuna was caught, what the tuna was fed, a complete history of how the tuna got from the Bight to Bite, the cold-chain temperature data, and the most up to date safety information and much morec We hope to offer our customers outside Japan a unique number entry system on the webpage that will allow them to trace the history of each fish. There will also be space on the label for our collaborating partners to put their logos. Watch this spacec
New Marketing Materials
In August we produced new pop-stands (left) and posters (see below) for our customers to help provide their customers with information and guarantees that the product is safe, traceable, cold-chain monitored, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and from the pristine waters of southern Australia. Smaller versions of the pop-stand are planned and, along with scanning barcodes, customers at sushi counters will be able to use their phones and scan the codes to access the internet and find out all about how their tuna sushi got from the Bight to the Bite!
We are also currently in discussions with the Eyre Regional Development Board on how the beautiful images of John White that appear on the posters can also be used to focus attention on tourism in the region.
Fixing the Cold-Chain
In June & July Sekol started shipping fresh tuna to London. With this being a new and untested shipping route it was vital to make sure the cold-chain was functioning properly. Every shipment was monitored and time-temperature recording data loggers were placed on the outside of boxes, inside the boxes, and in the cores of the tuna to ensure that any breaks in the cold chain could be identified and fixed. One such break was occurring at Singapore (see the figure) so with the help of our partners at World Link International we responded immediately and double insulated all boxes, used dry ice between the insulation, and increased our ice:product ratio. The result was instant – a better product with longer shelf life. These costs were not passed on to our new customers in London as we are committed to providing the highest quality product we can at a stable a price as possible.
Port Lincoln to Mayfair
In June, Sekol started supplying Sumosan - the top end Japanese restaurant in Mayfair, London. The tuna were flown into Heathrow and delivered direct to the restaurant – the fastest and freshest way to deliver fresh Southern bluefin to customers. The cheffs at Sumosam were delighted to be receiving the tuna direct as they were not only guaranteed a continual supply of fresh Southern bluefin throughout the season but also that they were dealing direct with the supplier, that the cold-chain was being monitored, and that traceability and product safety was assured. If you would like to learn more about how your restaurant can receive fresh Southern bluefin delivered direct to your door then click here.
Above: Sumosan sashimi slection using Sekol tuna (left), a fine piece of toro sent direct to Sumosan from Port Lincoln.
Also in June, SEKOL particpated in the 33rd Annual NOAA Fish Fry Event. The event is designed to introduce produce to restaurants and educate interest groups. SEKOL has particpated in this event for a number of years in collaboration with Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute and it is opportunity for us to not only market ourselves but educate others on the attributes of the Australian industry as a whole.
SEKOL supplies SALT with tunac
The one year old yet critically accliamed Australian restaurant of celebrity chef Luke Mangan, called SALT, has began to use SEKOL's tuna. The restaurant - the first Australian restaurant to open in Japan - was recently voted in the top ten of Tokyo's most popular restaurants by a people's poll. The poll, conducted by one of Japan's major magazines, included comments such as "ground breaking fusion" and "luxurious" by the partcipants.
Luke, the owner of other award winning restaurants such as Glass at the Sydney Hilton, recently opened a restaurant in San Francisco and is soon to be opening a restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Head chef at the ShinMaru Buildingfs restaurant in central Tokyo, Shannon Binnie, can be seen here holding a tuna Carpaccio dishmade with fresh, air-freighted Southern bluefin tuna from SEKOL. To find out more about Luke and his restaurant SALT click here.
As part of Sekolfs on going commitment to producing the best tuna it can, as well as ensuring the tunafs health and welfare are considered, the company participated in a vitamin trial this year. As vitamins are known to aid in the general health of animals as well as keeping the colour of the tuna a nice bright red, researchers at the Lincoln Marine Science Centre trialled a micro-injection machine to inject vitamins into the baitfish used to feed the tuna. The trialfs preliminary results are promising – but wefll have to wait for the official confirmation from project leader and scientist Dr. Trent DfAntangana. Watch this spacecc.
March 25 2008
The Australian Ambassador visits Tsukiji
The Ambassador of Australia, the Honourable Murray McLean OAM, was introduced to the president of Tsukiji Uoichiba, Mr. Keiiichi Suzuki, by Sekol representative Alistair Douglas, and then escorted around the Tsukiji Wholesale Markets. The Ambassador liked what he saw in the way of an Australian Bigeye tuna from Ulladulla so the Ambassador enlisted the services of Toichiro Iida, the vice president of the House of Hicho, a famous wholesaler at the Tsukiji markets, who then bid on behalf of the Ambassador to buy the fish at auction. Why would the Ambassador want to have a whole tuna though? Keep readingc.
March 26 2008
Australia Day in Spring
The Ambassador wanted not only one but three fish for a big party he throws at the Embassy each year. Known as Australia Day in Spring it is where the Ambassador invites over a thousand VIPs to the lawns of the Embassy to enjoy a selection of Australian foods and wines underneath the cherry blossoms. With that many people one fish wasnft going to cut it so Sekol donated not one but two frozen tuna to the event. With the much appreciated help of Takayama Seafoods the frozen tuna was cut up and delivered to the Palace Hotel who, on the day, made some excellent sushi – so much so it was the hit of the day with the guests forming a long queue with their chopsticks at hand!
The 2008 season gets of and running – no April Fools!
The first fish of the season were caught in the Great Australian Bight on the 1st of February. They were towed efficiently to Port Lincoln, and transferred into the grow pens. The tuna have been feeding on a very healthy diet of Californian, American, Western Australian and local pilchards, Indian Oil sardines, Californian anchovies, Atlantic mackerels, squids, and Pacific saury – with the latter being hand-graded for size and quality – as well as being the tunafs favourite!
In June & July Sekol started shipping fresh tuna to London. With this being a new and untested shipping route it was vital to make sure the cold-chain was functioning properly. Every shipment was monitored and time-temperature recording data loggers were placed on the outside of boxes, inside the boxes, and in the cores of the tuna to ensure that any breaks in the cold chain could be identified and fixed. One such break was occurring at Singapore (see the figure) so with the help of our partners at World Link International we responded immediately and double insulated all boxes, used dry ice between the insulation, and increased our ice-product ratio. The result was instant – a better product with longer shelf life. These costs were not passed on to our new customers in London as we are committed to providing the highest quality product we could at a stable a price as possible.