By JACKLYN SIRIAS
EVERYONE can catch fish but how the catch is handled and its freshness maintained until it reaches the consumer is a concern, says a businesswoman.
Eunice Kini from the Grankle Seafood Marketing PNG Company told The National that due to the lack of facilities and knowledge to retain and preserve the quality of seafood, fishermen usually make losses.
She said her company knew how to handle fish straight out from the sea and keeping its natural freshness until it reached the market, supermarket, hotel or restaurant.
“We were privileged to have attended the first national fisheries post-harvest operation training conducted in 2014,” she said.
Prior to the training, Kini and her late husband had been in the trade for more than 20 years.
“Back then, we didn’t know how to handle fish and process it properly so that they could keep their freshness,” Kini said.
They bought fish from local fishermen and then resold them to hotels and supermarkets in Port Moresby. After her husband died in April 2010, Kini had to do everything on her own.
She secured loans from BSP and bought two outboard motors to continue the business. But the boats were stolen at Ela Beach in Port Moresby.
“Because the demand for fish is growing, I had to look for assistance with NFA,” Kini said.
NFA granted her K35,000 worth of fishing gear through the project development funding.
She was later attended training at the NFA College in New Ireland for three weeks.
On returning, she registered the company with Investment Promotion Authority with the four people she had partnered with. She has established networks with women in fishery in Manus, Kavieng, Bougainville, Alotau and Kikori .
They have an agreement with Air Nuigini to transport over 100kg every supply day.
“Now that we have our market and have gathered ladies around the provinces already, we are now working on international market arrangements to sell our fish to overseas markets,” Kini said.
By JACKLYN SIRIAS