Meet a member – Lukina Lukin

Lukina Lukin is someone who needs no introduction. Taking ownership and management of Dinko Tuna after her late husband passed away in 2011, she is the only woman running a tuna farm in one of the nation’s most lucrative and traditionally male-dominated frontiers — the southern bluefin tuna industry.

Lukina has a Bachelor Degree of Arts majoring in English and has eight years of teaching experience in Australia & Thailand. Lukina began her career in the fishing industry with the Lukin group in 1997, performing physical tasks including extensive cleaning & maintenance of the fishing vessel D Three to bring the vessel up to standards required for AQIS Export Permits.

In November 1999, Lukina commenced working full time for the Lukin Group. In 2000, 2001 and 2002 she went to sea on the D Three as a cook and general deckhand for the trip to the tuna grounds and the subsequent towing of tuna back to port .

Lukina Lukin has been involved in the Lukin group of companies for 19 years. She has extensive experience in both office and management tasks as well as many of the practical aspects of a fishing business.

For 14 years years Dinko Lukin progressively groomed Lukina to take full management control of the group. With the support of her operations manager Michael Van Doorn, respect from her employees and business associates, excellent relationships with her financial advisors & the prospect of a new & supportive banker she is well placed to take the group to a new level.

Her hands on ability has earned her great respect from her employees.

Lukina’s broad range of experience within the industry & her willingness to learn new skills & to participate in the practical aspects of the business has earned her great respect from the group’s employees & associates.

This year, Dinko Tuna unveiled its new processing facility which, in a first for Port Lincoln will have the ability to freeze tuna down to -60 degrees celsius within 45 minutes.

Lukina said the idea for the new facility came after attending a seminar on luxury and functional foods. She approached Nutrisea consultant Trent Dantignana, who had worked with her for the past three to four years assisting with fish nutrition and fish health, as well as value adding and processing elements.

The facility has a processing table that has sections where fish first have their heads and tails removed, then move to the next section to be loined and then finally skinned and deboned.

Work will include the replacement of the freezer which will be able to go down to -60 degrees, compared to -30 degrees with the current freezer.

Lukina said the product would go out to restaurants and hotels straight away but there was a goal of producing a ready-to-eat product.

“I believe it will be a positive way which will bring us to create ready-to-eat tuna,” she said.

The factory is also undertaking a project to upgrade its waste water system.

Lukina’s dream is to see southern bluefin tuna on the menu in restaurants and even on supermarket shelves across Australia in the future.

In September this year, Lukina launched the Dinko Tuna Loins -60 C factory which uses the freezing technology to develop her restaurant-ready southern bluefin products.

During the last 8 years, after Dinko passed away Lukina has demonstrated that she has the ability, courage & quiet determination to be a successful business leader in the tuna industry.

“I am passionate and love to continue with the legacy that Dinko started and the challenges that comes within the seafood industry,” she says.