The National, Wednesday 08th Febuary 2012
THE Morobe fisheries sector, with its two-tier system and a new chairman for its co-operative association, has been urged to improve activities as well as expand its markets.
That was the call from provincial fisheries chairman Hagai Joshua during the swearing in of Morobe Fisheries Co-operative Association head, Gilingde Aitoba, who hails from Malai Island, Siassi.
Aitoba replaces Paul Kega, who was the acting interim chairman since January last year.
Six other directors were elected with the chairman during the Morobe Fisheries Co-operative Association meeting last November at Lae’s Phil’s Motel.
They will constitute the provincial board of the association.
Haggai urged the primary fisher and fish farmers attached in the 16 member co-operative societies to actively take part in fishing activities to improve and enhance fish supply to the Lae market, which has a huge demand for fresh fish.
Haggai said the two-tier fisheries co-operative model had all responsibilities already predefined and that would see the primary fisheries co-operatives supply fish to the secondary co-operatives, which would then facilitate marketing of fish products for small co-operatives.
Inland fish farmers have seven co-operatives while nine coastal fishers’ co-operatives established at the LLG and district levels make up the primary co-operative societies.
Aitoba acknowledged the fisheries co-operative roll-out in the provinces driven by the National Fisheries Authority.
“Even though NFA supports and facilitates many things, the challenge is for the provinces to make it work,” he said.
“For Morobe it is a big challenge because the province is big, fisheries facilities in the districts are rundown, and the problems of transport and logistics, including ice supply,m have to be overcome,” he said.
He urged the chairmen of all the primary fish farmers and fisher co-operatives to ensure their co-operative “is properly organised and activities are clearly streamlined so that members are adequately served as its role is to ensure that relevant services are provided to the primary co-operatives”.
“These will include provision of ice supply, transport and logistics, training, and more importantly marketing, the fish farmers and the fishers will no longer look for market to sell their products,” he said.
Bris Kanda, as the rural development agency active in the Huon Gulf district and which had facilitated the establishment of many of the co-operative societies, witnessed the event.