Dialogue takes up fisheries issues

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 31st, 2013


PROBLEMS facing the fisheries industry were highlighted in two-day dialogue-consultation among industry stakeholders at the Crowne Plaza in Port Moresby.

Hosted by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), the meeting highlighted crucial issues facing industry investors today, such as the need for better port services for fishing vessels doing transshipment and fishing companies’ demand for better turnover of their vessels.

PNG Fishing Industries Association president Pete C Celso pointed this out in a presentation, saying there were no dedicated unloading ports for fishing vessels, which is discouraging tuna suppliers.

The only two transshipment points are Wewak and Rabaul because they are much closer to the fishing grounds.

However, the canneries are located in Lae and Madang.

The fishing operators said the Lae port is a problem due to its distance from fishing grounds, aside from being the busiest in the country.

Because of this, ships were taking time to unload, costing more money on vessels doing transshipment 

Celso said: “They want fast turnaround of their vessels … they are moved out to give way to commercial vessels, thus increasing the number of their unloading days and this was costing them money. 

“Due to the new fishing vessel day scheme (VDS), where vessel owners can purchase and trade days fishing at sea, fishing vessels would like to maximise their stay in the fishing grounds, especially when the catching is good. 

“This is the reason why they want to be as close as possible to the transshipment point,” Celso said.