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Fishing industry needs Government input
5:54 pm GMT+12, 12/09/2017, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea Fishing Industry Association (PNGFIA) has challenged the Minister for Fisheries Patrick Basa to work with industry players to assist them address critical issues they currently face.
 
PNGFIA representative Fabian Chow said there are issues that need to be addressed and urged the minister to work with them.
 
“We need to listen and ask some questions why players are having difficulties compared to when they did their investment decisions 20 years ago or 10 years ago, or the new players, five years ago. So there is a lot of angst and problems that need addressing and fine-tuning,” Chow said.
 
“Costs are increasing, kina is short and everything is harder than it was 20 years ago.”
Chow said that the success of the fishing industry was built on sweat, dedication and a lot of risk taking.
 
He said there is some uncertainty and that the industry is facing another threshold where “we don’t know if we will survive the tough times that we are headed towards.”
 
“Minister, I throw you that challenge to understand our concerns and to see which is the way forward because the time for talking is over. We have to give back a little to take something. The taxation will prosper and increase as the industry grows. We need further growth in the industry. We know it can happen but everything is in a limbo at the moment,” Chow said.
 
He said although they are not pessimistic, industry players still feel the pain of conducting business on a daily basis.
 
“At our fishing industry meetings, we have had record attendances in the last 12 months and…it’s not for a good reason. It’s because everyone is scratching their heads on what to do,” he said.
 
However, he has praised the efforts put into growing the industry to what it is now.
 
“It’s been the opportunity for us to be included in the world tuna trading on an equal and competitive footing and it’s been a long process. It’s been a 20-year process that we have started with a single investor – RD Tuna in Madang,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, high costs have limited Papua New Guinea’s participation at the seafood exposition the world over.
 
Hence, Fisheries Minister Patrick Basa said the staging of the Inaugural Seafood is a timely and sensible approach not just for PNG, but regionally as well.
 
The 1st Pacific Seafood and Technology Exposition is being held in parallel with the Sixth Tuna Forum, which gets underway in Port Moresby this morning.
 
“We all know that the Pacific is home to many fish and marine resources, and all these are highly sought after by seafood importers and restaurants throughout the world,” he said.
 
“Our seafood companies continue to struggle with costs of developing and bringing the products to the market to meet the needs, especially in consistencies in supplies.
 
“Governments throughout the region are focusing on sustainable management of fisheries and marine resources, with them adopting management plans for managing these resources which is good.
 
“However, limited efforts have been given to supporting this industry to showcase their products. In the case of PNG many have showcased their products in shows around the world including Brussels, Tokyo, London Hong Kong and China.
 
“Given the huge costs, PNG has been represented by only a few firms in these events. Therefore, timely we introduce the Pacific expo to the world. This is a sensible approach that we are taking to bring together seafood exporters throughout PNG and the world at one location to showcase our potential and products to the world.”.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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