Fish team visits canneries

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A VISIT to fish canners Frabelle (PNG) Ltd and International Food Corporation (IFC) Ltd in Lae, Morobe, has impressed a team of 12 fishery experts from the Asia-Pacific region on the operational standards of the manufacturers.
Infofish delegates who converged in Port Moresby last week for a weeklong meeting, travelled to Lae last Thursday to see first hand the level of production at two of PNG’s only three fish canneries.
“It is very impressive to see such a large scale of operation and the on-going partnership  between the different owners from Philippines and Malaysia and Papua New Guinean,” Pakistan ministry of livestock and dairy development secretary Siddiq Akbar said.
Infofish chief of trade promotion division Fatima Ferdouse acknowledged the rate of change happening in the fish industry with producers of Isabelle tinned fish – Frabelle Ltd’s announcement that the company had expanded from being a fishing company in 2006 to now a processing plant involved in loining, a process in which meat taken from the backbone and rib area of the fish is processed into canned fish.
“The expansion of the company is very good for development in PNG because it has created more local employment and is bringing more fish into the country.
“The news that Frabelle has gone into a joint venture with Thai-Union, the largest tuna cannery in the world, is added positive development for the industry in PNG,” Ferdouse said.
Infofish director Dr Muhammad Ayub added that it was encouraging to discover that IFC was highly accredited with a NFA Food and Sanitation certificate for best hygiene and food sanitation practice.
“I very strongly feel that the fishery industry in PNG is getting stronger.
“The way the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) is providing leadership together with the government’s support in providing incentives for the fishery industry has ensured a conducive environment for the industry to grow,” Ayub said.
He assured that to further assist the industry in PNG, Infofish – the intergovernmental organisation for marketing information and technical advisory services of fisheries products in Asia-Pacific – would continue to work closely with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to standardise achievable criteria for fishery certification schemes.
Ayub thanked NFA for arranging the Lae visit, which was a first for many of the delegates and commended NFA’s successful hosting of the 25th governing council meeting for Infofish which ended last Friday in Port Moresby.