PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Papua New Guinea (PNG) vessels will not be allowed to carry out fishing activities in the high sea areas in the Eastern Pacific due to the serious concerns over illegal unreported unregulated (IUU) fishing.
This announcement was made by Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming, who stated that these boats would not be allowed to perform fishing activities in areas beyond waters under the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) vessel day scheme, PNG Today reported.
The minister also explained that the fishing activity in those areas has resulted in increased effort and over supply to Asian canners contributing to depressed fish price, lost revenues from access and domestic catch.
“For PNG and the Pacific region, maximised benefits can be achieved by jointly controlling the resource and encouraging regional economic integration through cross-border investments, labour mobility and value addition by having regional processing hubs,” Zeming pointed out.
Experts in the fishing sector stressed that the measures taken PNG authorities stem from the concerns over the issuance of yellow card by the European Union on the lack of compliance and not using laws to combat IUU fishing to many Pacific Island countries.
Present at the two–day 2015 Pacific Tuna Forum held in Nadi, Minister Zeming highlighted: “The impact of yellow card on Pacific Island countries in recent years is a concern and need to be addressed. There are more yellow cards issued to countries in this region than any other region in the world.”
“We take note of this and continue to promote regional approach to sustainably manage fisheries resources and also strengthen the monitoring and surveillance programmes in the region through broader cooperation with regional partners in combatting IUU activities,” Zeming told participants and delegates at the Forum.
Besides, the minister urged the rest of the world to stop thinking that Pacific Island countries will allow them to use their modern fleets to fish their waters and take their fish to be processed in their processing plants outside the region.
“We also want to fish and to develop our fishing industries, we also want to establish viable fish processing industries to process tuna. We have small economies with limited employment opportunities but are surrounded by vast oceans and sustainable tuna stocks. It is therefore important that the Pacific Islands be given the opportunity to participate in the world economy through investments in fishing ventures and in tuna processing facilities,” Zeming explained.
He said PNG is leading the Pacific region in this area as they are beginning to see growth in the number of PNG flagged purse seine fishing vessels and have five operational tuna processing plants.
“A new additional 200mt/day processing capacity tuna plant will be inaugurated for operation in the last quarter of this year,” he added.
“We as Pacific Island countries can increase the level of our participation on the various stages of the value chain in the tuna fishing and processing industries. By taking this approach we can create employment opportunities for our people- be it on fishing employment opportunities for our people – be it on fishing vessels, processing plant or as marketing or business executives,” he concluded.FIS