PNG can be world tuna leader

Made in PNG - - FISHERIES -

With the cor­rect man­age­ment, PNG can be­come the leader in the world tuna business, be­lieves Chair­man of the PNG Fish­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, Pete Celso.

With average an­nual ex­ports of at least 500,000 tonnes of tuna, PNG is al­ready a ma­jor player in the world tuna trade, ac­count­ing for be­tween 12% and 17% of the world’s tuna catch. To­gether with the Pa­cific’s other tuna–ex­port­ing na­tions—the Par­ties to the Nauru Agree­ment (PNA)—PNG ac­counts for about 35%.

PNG’s im­por­tance could in­crease fur­ther if key re­forms oc­cur, ac­cord­ing to Pete Celso, Chair­man of the PNG Fish­eries In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion.

Im­proved scale in the in­dus­try is es­sen­tial, to over­come some of the chal­lenges of do­ing business in the coun­try. This means more wharves, stor­age fa­cil­i­ties and also more on­shore pro­cess­ing, so that PNG re­alises more of the value of its catch.

More can­ner­ies

With an ad­di­tional three can­ner­ies be­ing built and cur­rent op­er­a­tors ex­pand­ing, this is start­ing to oc­cur, and Celso has hopes that the planned Pa­cific In­dus­trial Zone in Madang Prov­ince will fur­ther im­prove the sit­u­a­tion, al­low­ing op­er­a­tors to share in­fra­struc­ture and make PNG’s north­ern coast a more cost-ef­fec­tive des­ti­na­tion for international ship­ping.

Tar­iff-free ac­cess to the mas­sive Euro­pean Union mar­ket through an Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment has pro­vided a ma­jor fil­lip for PNG’s tuna ex­porters, and Celso told del­e­gates of the 2013 Pa­pua New Guinea Ad­van­tage In­vest­ment Sum­mit in Port Moresby that the con­clu­sion of a sim­i­lar ac­cess agree­ment with the United States—the world’s largest sin­gle tuna mar­ket—was a key pri­or­ity.

‘With a well-planned and suc­cess­ful tuna man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment in place that can ad­dress all is­sues in a bal­anced man­ner, PNG can truly be­come the leader of the tuna business in the world,’ he told the Sum­mit.

‘If Thai­land can rake in bil­lions of dol­lars with­out hav­ing a fish­ing ground and sets of fish­ing boats … why then can’t PNG make the same rev­enue and ben­e­fit out of its truly-owned re­sources and make Pa­pua New Guinea the tuna cap­i­tal of the world?’

The PNG Fish­ing In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion’s Pete Celso

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