Four new tuna canneries to employ 13,000 more people

Business, Main Stories

The National, Thursday, May 19, 2011

THE four new canneries and tuna processing plants planned for construction this year is set to increase the number of employees in the industry from 7, 000 to almost 20, 000, National Fisheries Authority (NFA) managing director Sylvester Pokajam, said.
When presenting a paper on PNG’s approach to sustainable economic tuna management in Brussels, Belgium, last week, Pokajam said the current three canneries and loin factories  – Madang’s RD Tuna, Lae’s South Seas Tuna Corp and Frabelle PNG – contribute 480 metric tonnes (mt) of processed canned fish daily, with a combined workforce of 7, 200.
The proposed four canneries, three in Lae and one in Madang, which are in their various stages of construction, would produce a target of 850mt of processed canned fish daily, with a workforce of 12,750.
Altogether, this would be 1,330mt of canned fish from a workforce of 19,950.
Pokajam told participants that more than 1,000mt/day meant that PNG would overtake the Philippines as a major tuna processor, second only to Thailand.
He also gave assurances that production at 257 days/per year was well within the sustainable limits of the PNG tuna and fish stock.
Pokajam said the NFA was currently undertaking four projects, worth more than K7.5 million that would lead to better and effective means of determining tuna stocks ranges, status of fish stocks and to deter the mine size and population structure. 
He said PNG, through the NFA, was committed to ensuring the sustainable management of tuna and other fish and fishery resource for the benefit of both the present and future generations.
“Greater level of benefits can be derived when resources are managed well,” he said.
Trade and investments for PNG tuna are currently underway, aiming at seafood market expositions, refurbishment of NAQIA laboratories and global sourcing provision by the EU and partners.
Pokajam explained that the primary and secondary industries contributed a lot to the economy with employment, spin-off opportunities, establishment of economic clusters and foreign exchange earnings.