Tuna can generate revenue: Minister


TUNA has the potential to generate substantial revenue for the Government, according to Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Charles Abel.
He told a meeting between Government officials and European Union representatives in Port Moresby that tuna needed to be developed.
“Tuna has the potential to general substantial government revenue sustainably and create employment and wealth for the country,” Abel told the meeting.
“But it has not been developed well.”
He said the country (PNG) has strategic marine asset but needed support develop it. “We have this strategic marine asset and it needs support from international partners like the European Union, who is a major player in the tuna industry, to develop our tuna to its full potential,” he said.
Abel said the Government was looking at developing sustainable sectors such as fisheries, agriculture, tourism and forestry.
“We want to bring the tuna processing facility 100 per cent onshore,” he said.
“That was because tuna industry has the potential to sustainably generate government revenues,” he said.
“To make this happen, we want all our tuna processed onshore and not offshore as what is currently the case.
“We also don’t want tuna to be processed in the traditional cannery processing facility.
“We feel that we need to look at ways that are better because frankly, all the jobs that are created through the mass processing of can tuna is not really what we want our people to be engaged in for a long term.”
Abel had also raised concerns on illegal fishing and harvesting of sea cucumbers saying, it remained a big issue in the country.

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