PNG finalised a 10-year strategic plan for major changes in the fishing industry says Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister
Papua New Guinea makes about K600 million (US$170.9 million) annually in the fishing industry by selling the fishing days, says Fisheries and Marine Resource Minister Dr Lino Tom.
“The days are rented to foreign fishing companies to fish in our waters,” he said.
Tom said the country actually did not sell its tuna stock but instead sold the fishing days at US$10,500 (K37,170) per day.
“That is how we make most of our money in the industry right now.”
Tom said the cost of tuna caught in PNG waters was around US$1 billion (K3.5billion) a year.
“That is why we are trying to put in place facilities to develop the industry on-shore and cut down the cost of doing business,” he said.
He said if PNG wanted to sell tuna, it would be generating about K3.5 billion (US$997 million) a year.
The National Fisheries Authority is paying nearly US$120 million (K424.8million) in production rebate.
“This is like free money given back to foreign fishing industries operating on shore,” he said.
“This is the difference we had in doing business here compared to other countries like Thailand.”
Tom said it created job opportunities for locals.
The Pacific Maritime Industrial Zone (PMIZ) will also cut down the cost of doing business on shore, attract investors and sell our tuna stock directly.
Meanwhile, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Dr Lino Tom says a 10-year strategic plan (2020-2030) for major changes in the fishing industry has been finalised.
“The plan aims to transform PNG from a coastal state to a fishing industry state,” Tom said.
“Currently, the country is faced with issues like illegal fishing and with foreign-own fishing industries operating in the country.
“We have to do better.
“Most of the issues bogging down the industry are because cost of utilities involved in doing business.
“We are unable to compete in the international arena.
“To negotiate those issues, the ministry and the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) need to set up infrastructures like jetties, market facilities and others to support the industry at the provincial level.”
Tom said the NFA Act review was completed to go in-line with the plan and was ready to go before the Parliament for National Executive Council (NEC) approval.
“We want to revive the industry and make it workable for the country and make sure this industry brings in maximum benefits to the people,” he said.
Tom also announced that the NFA had signed a memorandum of understanding with six maritime provincial governments to set up frameworks for partnership in developing fishery facilities.
“The provinces had their own projects planned,” he said.
“The provincial fisheries office together with the administration are responsible for the type of projects that they want in their provinces.”
NFA and the ministry will assist to ensure those projects were implemented to support the fishing industry, giving fair chances for local fish farmers to be more involved in the industry.
The story was published at The Nationals on 24 May 2021, reposted via PACNEWS.