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PNG loses K2bn in fisheries, experts reveal

Expert from the fisheries industry have estimated that Papua New Guinea loses up to K2 billion annually because it does not process all the fish caught in its waters.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Richard Maru has said in this regard to the completion of the government’s multi-million kina Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project.

He said its successful completion will then position the country to stop issuing fishing licences to companies that don’t have onshore processing facilities and in turn, minimise loss in revenue.

“The real winners who are reaping all our fisheries resources are the licensed boat owners who are bringing all our unprocessed catch overseas to their fisheries factories,” the MP said.

“Collectively, the fishing industry should be making billions for our country, but it isn’t. The PMIZ is one of our best initiatives and should be supported by all stakeholders to ensure we maximise value we get from our marine resources by value-adding on-shore, resulting in more jobs and getting better export earnings and tax revenue from our fisheries sector.”

Mr Maru said he would be recommending to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to engage a competent firm to undertake a comprehensive study into fisheries.

This, he said, would be to determine what the PNG government makes from the sector annually compared to what it is losing by not processing locally and by transfer of prising by current operators.

He said this is a must so that the Government can make critical decisions to increase the country’s current revenue, especially with the new opportunities the PMIZ project will provide.

Meanwhile, the chairman and president of the China Exim Bank, Li Rougu will visit PNG next month after the G20 talks.

PNG Today / Post Courier 

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