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Wednesday, Jul 17, 2024
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South County Tuna Purveyor Takes New Space in Chula Vista

Is San Diego County in the midst of a tuna industry resurgence?

One potential indicator is that American Tuna Inc., a relatively low-profile South County company that sells sustainable varieties of canned tuna offered in places like Whole Foods Market, recently leased a good-sized industrial suite in Chula Vista for its operations.

According to brokerage firm CBRE Group Inc., which represented the property’s landlord, Cavadias Family Trust, American Tuna leased a 3,342-square-foot suite at 995 Bay Blvd., a property that also includes Furniture Warehouse, Banian Trading Co. and Leather Factory.

Terms of the lease were not disclosed. Brokers said American Tuna, represented by Kevin Meissner of Cushman & Wakefield, plans to use its new space for internet sales and distribution.

“This property is in a strategic location as it sits directly across from the Chula Vista bay redevelopment,” said CBRE’s Tim Mills, who represented the landlord, in a statement. “It will bring in tourism and many new amenities to the area, which will benefit the company and make it a wonderful place for their employees.”

According to its website, American Tuna currently operates out of offices at 4364 Bonita Road in nearby Bonita. The company was formed in 2005 in San Diego by six families involved in American pole and line fishing, and sells sustainable, hand-packed canned albacore tuna – including flavored and no-salt offerings – that customers can buy directly or from more than 600 grocery stores nationwide.

The company said its Amercan tuna is harvested via certified pole and line harvest methods, and each canned and labeled albacore can be traced back to the specific vessel that caught it.

American Tuna started in just two San Diego Whole Foods locations, and has since expanded to every Whole Foods nationwide, according to its web posting. The products are also sold by other organic markets, restaurants and catering companies.

San Diego has long been the home of tuna-producing giants including Bumble Bee Seafoods and Chicken of the Sea, but the region’s tuna industry as a whole has been in decline for the past several decades. Some smaller players appear to be shifting the tide, based on sustainability and other consumer dining priorities.

For instance, see the San Diego Business Journal’s June coverage of locally based Catalina Offshore Products Inc., which has seen rising sales of wild-caught tuna and other seafood during the past two years, while bringing tuna boats back to San Diego shores for the first time in several years.

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