TRI MARINE OPENS NEW FROZEN FISH PROCESSING PLANT TO MEET MARKET DEMAND

Plant is Largest and Most Modern of Its Kind in Southeast Asia


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2001

SINGAPORE— In a move to meet market demand, Tri Marine International (Pte) Ltd. has completed a multi-million dollar renovation of its Singapore frozen fish processing plant that has transformed it into the largest, state-of-the-art facility of its kind in Southeast Asia.

"There is no other supplier in the world that can unload fish (swordfish) onto its own wharf; convert it to portion-controlled, vacuum-packed steaks and deliver it directly to the end-user," stated Renato Curto, President of TriMarine International, Inc. at the recent inauguration ceremonies.

When TriMarine's processor customers requested that TriMarine expand its product offering to include portion-controlled steaks and other value-added items, TriMarine incorporated the request into its plans for renovating its Singapore plant. According to Curto, the transformation of TriMarine's Singapore facility will have a profound effect on fish processing and will eventually change the way the industry does business. "The innovations we have instituted set a new standard," he asserts. "Others will necessarily have to move forward to stay competitive. Lots of changes are in store."

"Our new processing equipment and methodology allow us to cost-effectively produce frozen seafood and value-added products that assure equal quality in whatever country, whatever market throughout the world. Our intent is for the discerning chef to demand TriMarine product."

The new plant is equipped with automated cutting, grading and vacuum-packing machinery. Capacity is 50 tonnes per day divided between DWT, washing and packing, fillet processing and steak production.

Products include swordfish, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, wahoo, mako/moro shark, mahi mahi, marlin and oil fish. Product forms are whole round, DWT, GG, sliced, skin on or skinless loins, chunks, boneless or bone-in, steaks and controlled portions. Products can be individually packed and tallied in plastic bags, vacuum or bulk packed. Master cartons can be made with random or fixed weight pieces.

The plant is the heart of TriMarine's base in Singapore located on the only private wharf in the country. This allows fish to be discharged directly into TriMarine's 2,000 ton minus 35 degree C cold storage for maximum freshness and hygiene. All processing rooms and loading bays are temperature-controlled. The facility includes an on-site laboratory for monitoring and controlling bacteria count, histamines and heavy metal.

TriMarine has operated its fishing base, cold storage and fish processing facility in Singapore since 1972. The base primarily serves the Taiwanese sashimi and albacore long liner fleet. For many years TriMarine has been the largest buyer and processor of the tuna and billfish catch landed in Singapore. According to Urner Barry, a publisher of seafood import statistics, TriMarine currently has 49 percent of the US market for imported swordfish.

The base was originally established to source tuna. As the base grew in importance as a transshipment facility, the need arose for processing and marketing the so-called ëmiscellaneous fish', like swordfish and moro shark. The processing work was mostly that of converting ëDWT' (dressed without tail) to fillets, the preferred product form used by fish processors in the U.S. market.

Background on Tri Marine

TriMarine is a premier independent strategic supplier of raw material to the global tuna industry. Its activities include fishing, trading, processing and marketing primarily of tuna and tuna products. TriMarine was formed in Singapore in 1972. Since then the company has grown to be one of the largest tuna trading companies in the world. In January 2001, the Company sold its interest in Chicken of the Sea to Thai Union International Inc. In April 2001 the Company acquired the tuna purse seiner fleet from HJ Heinz. TriMarine also owns and operates a dockside, state of the art fish processing plant in the Port of Los Angeles that produces fresh and frozen squid, sardines and mackerel.