FIA PNG Excels in Global Standards
by Paul Oeka - May 24, 2023
Fishing Industry Association of PNG's Tuna Purse Seine Fishery rated the largest global tuna source of MSC-certified tuna
The Fishing Industry Association of Papua New Guinea (FIA PNG) has once more gone beyond its expected boundaries to achieve another milestone for the fishing industry relating to the association’s purse seine fishing method.
Purse seines are used in the open ocean to target dense schools of single-species pelagic (midwater) fish like tuna and mackerel. Some of the main species fished with purse seine gear are southern bluefin tuna, Australian sardine, blue mackerel, and jack mackerel.
FIA has recently undergone a strict, exhaustive, and robust scope extension assessment by Scientific Certification System (SCS) Global Services for their Geographical Scope extension into the waters of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and the Western Central Pacific Ocean waters.
They are proud to announce that they have collectively become the "largest tuna supply source with 750,000 MT of raw material that includes Yellowfin tuna, Skipjack tuna and Bigeye tuna” under their FIA PNG Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) tuna fishery certification.
The waters of the PNA member-countries consist of Kiribati, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau, and are the most productive waters that supply more than 50% of the global tuna raw material.
The President and Chairman of FIA PNG, Sylvester Pokajam stated: “Our current tuna fleet of fifty-five (55) tuna purse seiners is fishing inside the PNG Exclusive Economic Zone and Archipelagic Waters and are having good catches. However, we applied for the geographical scope extension only because we do not know how climate change will influence the tuna stocks' behaviour and migration patterns”.
"We safely guarantee our stakeholders, clients, and retailer partners that we will maintain the same rigor with the 100% observer onboard coverage, iFIMS real-time data collection and Global Fishing Watch (GFW) in accessing our Vessel Monitoring System".
"FIA will also like to ensure our clients that we will maintain best practices in Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability Key Data Elements, data collection & share, and most importantly, the FIA PNG accountability and management control system under our Responsible Sourcing Policy", Mr Pokajam said.
The announcement of becoming the largest tuna supply source “is a result of great teamwork by our FIA PNG tuna fleet members and our FIA PNG office team to provide enough verifiable evidence to show how we are managing our fishery in a responsible and transparent manner to SCS Global services, the MSC conformity assessment body,” he said.
Mr Pokajam also expressed his gratitude to the country's flagship in the fisheries sector, and expressed that FIA greatly appreciates the support of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) as “the guard and regulator of our fisheries and tuna fleets.”
Pokajam urged all of FIA's retailers and global tuna markets to ensure a stable and sustainable tuna supply, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of food security.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
Government on Track in Increasing Fisheries Products
According to the National Fisheries Authority, the government is on track to increase downstream processing of fisheries products to 50% by 2025. Papua New Guinea had already accomplished around 23% of the goal, according to Authority managing director John Kasu. “There are a number of (government) objectives such as downstream processing which we have to increase by 2025 – a 50 per cent production,” he said. “We are faring very well to meet the targets and, this year, we have already achieved about 23 per cent. The objective is to grow the sector and invest in infrastructure, bring the cost of doing business in Papua New Guinea down so that we get a lot of business happening.” The key driver, according to Kasu, will be tuna fisheries, with revenue generated going toward developing other fisheries such as coastal and inland. “That’s basically the drive for the next 10 years,” he said. “On tuna, 70 per cent is being exported. The aim is to reduce that number and (have) internal processing plants. Rather than exporting, we can put it through the factories here.” The 2.4 million square kilometre PNG fisheries region is the highest in the South Pacific. It has a large reef system, a number of islands, and a long coastline. It presents a significant monitoring and control problem. On average, the overall market value of the PNG capture is projected to be between K350mil and K400mil.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
NFA Seeks to Develop Fishing Industry
The National Fisheries Authority seeks to develop infrastructure in order to grow PNG's fishing industry. According to NFA managing director John Kasu, the company has already submitted a 10-year strategic plan to the National Executive Council, which will be unveiled in April in Parliament to lay the groundwork for the fishing industry's future. “Our aim is to build proper infrastructures such as ports and jetties and when we have proper infrastructures it will attract more investors and that will bring the cost of doing business down,” he said. Kasu claims that doing business in the country is costly and that most fisheries factories aren't running at full capacity. Currently, factories are producing about 30% because they are not receiving enough fish to process, and the NFA aims to raise that production to 80 or 90%. “Our outlook for 2021 is to start work on building the important fisheries infrastructure project such as the Wagang Fisheries Port project in Lae and other major fisheries ports,” he said. “We will be also working on other projects such as the Tuna terminal project in Rabaul and also small jetties throughout the coastal areas in the country.” NFA, he said, would look at downstream manufacturing to ensure that they can increase output as well. When they increase demand, more fish would be available to the factories, allowing them to operate at maximum capacity. Kasu clarified that, unlike other industries, the NFA has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic since most of their fishing vassals operate offshore and the NFA has a large offshore presence.
PNG Business News - March 11, 2021
National Fisheries Authority Signs MoU with Korea
To collaborate in fisheries infrastructure development, the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Fisheries Infrastructure Public Agency of the Republic of Korea on Fisheries Ports Development. The MoU provides a framework for both these groups to facilitate the sharing of best practices and exchange of technical and administrative human resource in the Fisheries Ports Development. This is also to support the development of the fishing industry. National Fisheries Authority Managing Director John Kasu said, “We’ve been having these discussions with the public agency in Korea and that has been for a number of years. So finally last year we agreed and as a result of that we agreed and as a result of that, we developed this MOU.” He said that this MoU is significant because they are building important fisheries infrastructure at the moment. “So it’s an important MOU, for us moving forward,” he said. Ambassador Kang, meanwhile, said. “The signing ceremony today may be small, but I’m sure this event is a big step toward our solidarity and our partnership in the future.”
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas
Photo: PNG PM Marape Participates in PIF Leaders Breakfast Caucas Prior to the Korean-Pacific Islands Leaders (Kor-Pic) Meeting, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape joined other PIC Leaders for a breakfast caucus Chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and current Pacific Islands Forum Chair Mark Brown, to discuss the agenda and a common position on shared development issues. Prime Minister Marape said climate variation, being the perennial issue including sourcing appropriate development assistance from the Korean Government was high on the agenda. He said the encouragement during the caucus was for all PIC Leaders to discuss their developmental challenges and put forward their ideas on how Korean Development assistance could complement the 2050 Blue Pacific Strategy. Following this caucus, Prime Minister Marape, met with Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles. Their discussions were centered around progress of the proposed Bilateral Security Treaty (BST), the recently concluded Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Visa issues and the PNG NRL Bid. On the BST, Prime Minister Marape mentioned that it was work in progress and required the PNG side to consult our domestic processes and sovereign laws in relation to certain wordings and provisions. He also conveyed his apologies to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for the delay in formalising this proposed Treaty with Australia. For the DCA with the US, Prime Minister Marape informed that it was centered around improving the PNGDF's capabilities and interoperability including protecting our frontiers and sovereignty. He said it was non-discriminatory and PNG was open to entering into similar arrangements with its bilateral partners. “In fact, the DCA would also complement domestic law enforcement,” Prime Minister Marape said. “The Ship Rider Agreement on the other hand was also vital in combating illegal fishing and transnational crimes.” For Visa issues, Deputy Prime Minister Marles informed that the current Australian Government was fully aware of the situation and following the Ministerial Forum in February this year in Canberra, had established a Joint Ministerial Team to work on bringing the Australian visa processing facility back on shore to PNG. Prime Minister Marape in his response said that all processes from both sides had to be attended to in order for smooth facilitation and for citizens and businesses to continue without much hindrance now and heading into 2050 when PNG celebrates 50 years of nationhood. On Papua New Guinea’s NRL Bid, Prime Minister Marape explained that PNG was still very keen as rugby league was a major unifying factor, bringing our 800 tribes together as one people. In closing Prime Minister Marape assured Deputy Prime Minister Marles that PNG in no way would compromise its excellent existing bilateral relations with Australia and further stressed that PNG was capable of managing its sovereign affairs on its terms, systems and processes.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
ADB Helps Launch Vocational Education Project in PNG
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) today launched a cofinanced project to improve the country’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program. PNG's Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso delivered a keynote address at the launch event at Port Moresby Technical College. PNG’s Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, and Sports Don Polye, ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill, and Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann all spoke at the event. The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project financed by ADB and the governments of Australia and PNG will strengthen the country’s TVET program and help prepare students to be more competitive and responsive to employment and industry demands. “We hope this project will become a model for all vocational education and skills training in TVET colleges in the country,” said Mr. Rosso. “The beneficiaries of this project—young, skilled workers, including women and men—represent PNG’s future, and through this project, the future of vocational education in PNG looks bright.” This project aims to boost the numbers of skilled workers in the construction and agriculture sectors where demand is high. “We will work with our partners to help advance reforms in the vocational education and skills training space in PNG,” said Mr.Hill. “These sought-after skills in priority sectors will help grow PNG’s economy.” The TVET sector of PNG’s education system comprises public, religious, or private institutions, including technical and business colleges offering postsecondary courses and vocational training. “The Australian government is pleased to be supporting the Government of Papua New Guinea to achieve its reform goals in technical and vocational education and training to increase the number and quality of skilled workers,” said Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Paul Lehmann. “My vision for the TVET for Employment Project is that it will perform as an innovation and technology business incubator across PNG,” said Mr. Polye. “The project is the embodiment of a new approach—building a culture of quality education and innovation in a renewed and revitalized TVET sector.” The Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project is funded through a $50 million concessional loan from ADB and a $10.6 million grant from Australia. The Government of PNG is also contributing $5.7 million. ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
PNG Business News - June 05, 2023
PNG Forges an Innovation-fueled Partnership with South Korea in Digital Transformation
Papua New Guinea was amongst seven other Pacific Island countries to sign a partnership statement of intent with the Republic of Korea to further cooperation and partnership in digital transformation. Information and Communications Technology Minister Timothy Masiu, who also was appointed co- chair of the just concluded Korea -Pacific Islands Digital Ministerial Conference in Seoul, South Korea, signed the statement together with the meeting chairman Korean Minister for Science and ICT Dr Lee Jong-Ho. The others who signed the partnership intent are Tonga, Nauru, Samoa, Palau, Cook Islands and Kiribati. Australia and the World Bank also attended the meeting as supporting partners. The Statement of Intent states; The partnership recognize digitalization has transformed not only daily lives but also shapes innovation in all sectors including politics, economy, society, culture and environment. Recognize and note that digital technology offers great potential to address various social economic challenges that come with rapid transformation of society. Agree on continued partnership in digital transformation inclusive of sustainable development will be the key to future prosperity of the people of Korea and the pacific. Agree on sharing digital vision of policies will pave way for strong partnership to digital co-prosperity. Mr Masiu expressed deep satisfaction that Korea , the global leading innovation country, has agreed to partner with Pacific countries including Papua New Guinea in digital transformation that will greatly enhance communication in a vast area like the Pacific and more so, strengthen supporting technology to better access to health, education and business. He told the conference that Papua New Guinea has begun the digital transformation with Parliament passing the Digital Government Act 2022 and relevant policies, and welcomed the partnership with the Republic of Korea, which he says, will go a long way in progressing the digital transformation agenda for PNG and the region. Mr Masiu had bilateral meeting with his South Korean counterpart, further seeking a stronger country to country relations in digital transformation and support to the National Broadcasting Corporation proposing a partnership between the NBC and the Korean Broadcasting Services. The Minister has formally invited the Korean Minister for Science and ICT to visit Papua New Guinea for the Pacific ICT meeting in August 2023 or to accompany the South Korean President who has been invited by Prime Minister James Marape to visit PNG. Mr Marape was in Seoul also this week for the Korea- Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting. Minister Dr Lee Jong-Ho acknowledges the leadership of Papua New Guinea in digital transformation and reaffirmed its support to PNG and the other Pacific Island countries.