Fisheries sailing into rough seas

Business

By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
THE fishing industry is facing a difficult time because of the high cost of production, according to Fabian Chow, of the PNG Fishing Industry Association.
“Tuna has been the success story for the last 20 years, especially trading with the European Union,” he said. Chow was addressing the inaugural Pacific Seafood and Technology Exposition in Port Moresby yesterday.
“It has been an opportunity for us to be included in the world tuna trade on an equal and competitive footing,” he said.
“It has been a 20-year process that we started with a single investor, RD Tuna, in Madang. I remember 10 years ago that Tri Marine in Singapore, one of the biggest tuna trading companies in the world, walked away when the RD investment was offered first to them.
“It is history now but it wasn’t like this 20 years ago when we started this project with the National Fisheries Authority.
“This success was built on sweat, a lot of dedication and a lot of risk was taken by the industry.
“And we face that time today as well.
“Now we do not know if we will be able to survive the tough times we are headed towards.
“Costs are increasing, funds are low, and everything is harder than it was 20 years ago. If we didn’t start 20 years ago, we couldn’t start now.
“We are not pessimistic but it’s hard.
“It’s really hard nowadays.”
Chow requested fisheries and marine resources minister Patrick Basa to see where the government could intervene to help the industry.

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