Papua New Guinea still lead-player in tuna processing

PAPUA New Guinea continues to be a lead player in the downstream processing of tuna products in the Western and Central Pacific region.
National Fisheries Authority (NFA) managing director Sylvester Pokajam said in July this year the Majestic Seafood Corporation opened a new 350 metric tonne per day capacity tuna processing plant valued at US$40 million in Lae.
Mr Pokajam said at full operation this plant will employ 8,000 people including the landowners of the location where the cannery is situated. 
The local BUP landowner group in their wisdom registered their land and entered a long-term lease arrangement with the company.
He said land clearing for another tuna loining plant is currently underway at the same area and with an aim to achieve critical mass in the tuna processing sector so that “we achieve economies of scale and be competitive in the world market.”
Mr Pokajam said that duty free quota free access into the European Union has provided a good platform for our tuna processing sector which we can build on and become a location of choice for industry players. 
He said PNG also experiences progressive interest from foreign direct investments (FDIs) to invest because of the IEPA, which allows global sourcing, which is fish caught anywhere in the world but qualify duty free excess into the EU market.
Tri Marine International Pty Ltd managing director Phil Roberts said this year marks the anniversary of the founding of at least one major Pacific island tuna processor, a landmark event in the development of tuna fisheries in the Pacific islands.
Mr Roberts said much has been achieved in those 40 years, and the pace of development has quickened in recent years. He said today there are several more large scale processing plants in different countries while there are fresh fish processing plants in many of the island states. 
Mr Roberts said sound government policy is the key to both increased tuna industry development in the islands and sustainable management of the worlds’ largest tuna resource.

The Post Courier
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