By EVAH BANIGE
LABU villagers have described concerns raised by the Morobe Fisheries Management Authority over the sustainability of a proposed fish cage project as premature.
They said the authority’s chairman Isaac Pologo had gone to the press last Friday without consultation with the Labus.
Labu leader Michael Gedisa said the villagers already had a proposal but admitted that “it still needs to be finalised”.
The project is part of the remuneration package for the Labu villages that would be affected by the Lae Port development project.
Discussions are still being held by the villagers with the project management unit of the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), which is the developer of the Lae port, the Morobe provincial administration, the non-governmental organisation Bris Kanda and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Mr Pologo explained: “In fish cage fisheries, fingerlings are confined in cages, raised and then harvested.”
“Serious consideration has to be taken before such a project can be undertaken,” fisheries project officer John Joseph said.
Mr Joseph said the project would have to identify ways it would breed the fish in terms of providing continuous feed.
He said a similar project that was set up in Madang a few years ago had ceased because of feed and high input cost.
“We are, therefore, skeptical about the project and the provincial admini
stration should reconsider its decision,” he said