Tuna Industry


The tuna ranching industry is a young industry, which has seen rapid developments in technology and husbandry techniques during this short time.

Schools of SBT are captured via purse seining and transferred into specially designed towing pontoons and towed back to Port Lincoln for further for on-growing in static ranching pontoons. This approach has facilitated rapid expansion and development of the Port Lincoln tuna ranching industry.

Since 1990, the industry has steadily expanded to produce up to 9,000 tonnes of gilled and gutted SBT annually with an estimated annual value of between AUD$150 – AUD$300 million. Direct and indirect employment in Port Lincoln is over 1500 jobs.

These days, eleven companies ranch Southern Bluefin Tuna in around 100 pontoons in the Lincoln Offshore Aquaculture Zone (inner and outer sectors).

Since 1991 the industry has participated in two Cooperative Research Centres involving major Australian research institutions, investing a significant amount of money to ultimately understand, enhance and improve farming/ranching methods.

Whilst significant advances have been made in areas of fish health, nutrition, product quality, physiology and metabolism and the environment, there is still work to be done to fully optimise tuna aquaculture operations.

Job information

Job types

Fishing and Farming

  • Dive Supervisor
  • Farm Manager
  • Commercial Diver
  • Marine Engineer
  • Snorkeler
  • Skipper
  • Deckhand

Human Resources and Administration

  • Financial Controller
  • Administration Officer / Receptionist


  • Truck Driver
  • Process Supervisor
  • Leading Hand
  • Process Worker


  • Research Manager
  • Research Officer

 Typical wage (range)

Wages range widely depending on the type of job and the qualifications required to undertake the work. Employees with more qualifications/tickets typically get paid higher hourly wages or a yearly salary. Wages range between $45 – $100k pa.


At sea operations require early morning starts and finish earlier in the afternoon. When considering employment in this industry you have to be willing to flexible with your hours of work.

 Special conditions

Tow season is between late Dec-early March. If you work on a vessel you may have to go to sea for extended periods of time during this season.

Career paths

Examples of some career paths within the tuna industry are:

Deckhand > Leading Deckhand >  Skipper > Farm Manager

Process Worker > Leading Hand > Truck Driver > Loading Supervisor > Factory Operations manager

Contact details for job seekers

For more information on specific jobs, experience required/desirable and qualifications applicable go to http://www.asbtia.com.au/industry/jobs-and-careers-tuna-industry .

Alternatively contact the Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association. Email: info@asbtia.com.au, phone (08) 86823257.