PM calls for expanded tuna industry

PAPUA New Guinea is determined to expand its tuna fishing industry and to this end, a new Trade Lobby Committee has been established to do it.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 18 September 2017
  • 04:56
  • News
PM calls for expanded tuna industry Peter O'Neill, centre, with Pacific colleagues at the 6th Regional Tuna Industry and Trade Conference

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This was said by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill when he gave the keynote address when opening the 6th Regional Tuna Industry and Trade Conference at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby recently. 
The aim of the committee, he said, was to explore and develop new markets, and it would be comprised of both government and industry representatives.
"We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future. But Pacific island nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.
"We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners - to be forced into our zones and under licence. As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.
He said Pacific island states needed to steer their destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits went to the people and economies. This should be done, rather than struggling "with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters".
He encouraged private-public partnership initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold storage infrastructure development.
"In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment. We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.
"All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs," O'Neill said.
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