Most important fish honored

The tuna “carving” competition for World Tuna Day in Majuro saw half a dozen men compete for cash prizes under the watchful gaze of an enthusiastic audience. Photo: Giff Johnson.

MIMRA sponsored an interesting and entertaining World Tuna Day event last Saturday in the covered parking lot area under its four-story headquarters in Delap.

Recognizing the significance of tuna to the world, five years ago the United Nations established May 2 as World Tuna Day. The move to establish a day to celebrate tuna was motivated by the RMI and its neighboring island members of the Forum Fisheries Agency who lobbied the UN for action.

May 1 is Constitution Day when “we celebrate our sovereignty as people,” and World Tuna Day is a time to honor “our resources and economic development,” said Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Glen Joseph to open Saturday’s event.

After a blessing and Joseph’s speech, tuna day went right to work. It launched with a tuna slicing and dicing contest. We can say all the gentlemen who took their sharpened knives to this event showed real prowess when it came to turning 40 pound tunas into bites of sashimi. But when it came to the time it took to filet a whole tuna into four pieces, and then slice the skin off those four pieces, the pros who do this to 100 fish a day at local processing plants really showed their speed.

MIMRA staff were also busy preparing sashimi as well as cooking skipjack, and a tasty buffet was provided to the enthusiastic participants — many of whom videoed or photographed the contests and sashimi-making and generally engaged in an enjoyable afternoon on behalf of the most important marine resource to the islands.
MIMRA staff handed out World Tuna Day t-shirts and caps to the audience.

Brandon Hawley took first place in the tuna carving contest, while Tata Kabua won the “best poke.” They both took home a $200 prize for winning, while runner ups received $100 and everyone that participated received $50 and a large cutting board from Do It Best.

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