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Potential billions in fish revenue in PNG

Four of the Papua New Guinea's fish processing plants in Lae are among the six that have the potential to contribute billions of kina to the  country's economy.

The plants are Frabelle PNG Limited, International Finance Corporation, Majestic Sea Food Cannery and Nambawan Sea Foods Limited in Lae; RD Tuna in Madang; and South Seas Tuna in Wewak.

Frabelle and Majestic exports canned tuna and frozen cooked tuna loins to the European Union through a market access agreement with PNG. Frabelle also has a local market under the Isabella brand.

The National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is working to further develop the fishing processing sector to turn the potential into actual revenue and at the same time maintain sustainability.

In a paper on fisheries opportunities for increasing revenue presented at the National Planning Consultative Summit held in Lae recently NFA said the potential combined investment would be approximately K3 billion (US$1 billion).

NFA’s managing director John Kasu said the combined contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) would be approximately K780 million (US$241 million).

Kasu said employment generation would be approximately 30,000 workers in the fish processing plants in Lae, Madang and Wewak and most would be jobs for women, excluding jobs in other fisheries.

“Sustainable resource management and development of our fisheries resource is crucial to long-term sustainability for our future generations.

“Tuna is the key to our future economic prosperity in the fisheries sector, income from tuna funds the development in other fisheries sectors including coastal, inland and aquaculture fisheries, tuna provides jobs and development in regional towns and tuna provides foreign income to our country,” he said.

Fisheries contributions to the national economy in 2016 was approximately K915 million (US$283 million) in combined investments; about K210 million (US$70 million) in combined exports; GDP contribution was about K113 million (US$34 million); and employment was close to 10, 000 workers currently employed at the plants in Lae, Madang and Wewak with 80 percent being women.

NFA’s strategic focus to increase revenue are increase downstream processing of tuna fisheries; 100% offloading and processing of tuna onshore; increase fisheries exports (not only tuna but others fisheries products/species, too); diversifying market access as currently EU is the main market due to duty free access and need to source alternative markets for fish products; development of key infrastructure to support fisheries development; coastal, inland and aquaculture fisheries development; promote sustainable fisheries development and management practices; and review existing legislation and subordinate legislation (Fisheries Management Plans) for conservation and sustainability of marine resources.

It’s corporate plan identifies five major priorities for the next five years from 2018-2022 which are; ensuring optimum and sustainable use of fisheries resources through effective management for both economic and ecological benefits; effective fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance; increasing economic returns from fisheries – especially commercial fisheries, notably tuna; promoting coastal fisheries, aquaculture and inland fisheries for food security and income; strengthening of NFA; internal controls for governance; monitoring, review and reporting on activities for accountability; and positioning NFA through improving organisational capabilities – workforce, technology (IT), systems in anticipation of emerging trends, in order to ensure the authority has the capabilities to meet future challenges.

NFA strategies and future outlook will assist with the development of PNG’s Medium Term Development Plan III as was the purpose of the national planning consultative summit.


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