By DALE LUMA
ISOLATION is one of the main challenges affecting coastal fishing communities in terms of accessing government services and markets, according to the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
Deputy managing director Noan Pakop said this during a recent visit to the outer islands of Manus that the NFA was now in partnership with other Government agencies, bilateral and donor agencies to connect local fishermen directly to the markets.
Pakop said the country generated close to K500 million in revenue from its fisheries sector, particularly tuna, however, local coastal communities do not participate and did not enjoy the benefits.
He said with the 10-year National Fisheries Strategic plan, the NFA was developing coastal, inland and other forms of fisheries through various impact programmes that would benefit the communities directly.
Manus has been identified as having the potential to be the main supplier of coastal fisheries products around the country and possibly international markets.
Pakop said in partnership with other Government agencies like the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) including bilateral partners such as Japan, NFA is looking at filling the gaps to address some of the challenges fishermen face.
This includes getting the fishermen organised into cooperatives to easily receive support through funding and other essentials such as solar powered icemakers to cool their catch.
Last week, NFA, DCI and officers from other departments and donor agencies visited five outer islands in Manus, including Ndilou, Pak, Tilienu, Langanrowa and Liuliu to meet with fisheries cooperatives.
Fishermen in the outer islands of Manus face the difficult task of bringing their catch into Lorengau town.
By DALE LUMA