Talking #TUNAnomics: 3 tips for following the Pacific tuna story.

by Lisa Williams-Lahari | 30 November 2016 | News

Ways with tuna: Kiribati's 'half-cooked tuna' on a bed of hot rice is a well known national favourite.

Working in media and spreading the word on my favourite protein is a bit of a passion rather than a profession. I love everything about tuna, especially eating it. Joining the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara in 2013 has continued the jouney of following the fisheries stories of our beautiful Pacific protein….and helped me to gain new ways of seeing management, policy and context to the multi-billion dollar Pacific tuna story. Four years in, as I look back on three years of the FFA’s #TUNAnomics media partnership, what would my key takeways be for those hooked on the tuna news angles? I’m still swimming my way through all the learning, but here are a few:

  1. FOLLOW YOUR GUT- Reporting #TUNAnomics is so big, so overwhelming, exciting, acronym-ridden and huge, it’s easy to give up and leave it to the superbrainy people who spend all day talking funny and sounding really…brainy. Bite off something that interests and captures your attention, and I guarantee its not something long, scientific, or riddled with jargon. Take hold of an angle, and follow it.
  2. TUNA TALKING HEADS ARE EVERYWHERE-they just need to be caught. Your mum on her favourite tuna dish. Your big bro on his filleting technique. Your neighbour who just got back from six months as an at-sea Observer. You get my point.  This is the tuna region. Everyone has an opinion on this fish– bear in mind that while there are 15 species of tuna worldwide, the big four in Pacific tuna circles are albacore, bigeye, skip-jack and yellowfin.
  3. ITS NEVER JUST A STORY ABOUT A FISH–Power. Intrigue. Money. Politics. Tuna is one of the sexiest stories there is. The trick is to wean those angles out from all the jargon, language, and mind-numbing blather hiding the gems that dream newsfeeds are made of.  It’s all a matter of applying your news nose to following the Pacific tuna story.– Lisa Williams Lahari, Media Officer, FFA.  Contact for more info on the FFA TUNAnomics Media Partnerships or FFA Media Fellowships.