By ALICE OSII
THE Fisheries division in Aitape is handicapped in carrying on with its normal duties due to lack of funding from the provincial authority, says district Fisheries programme manager Martin Komang.
He said most of the fisheries equipment in their office were damaged.
“We have made submissions to the provincial Fisheries office and to date we have not received any funding,” he said.
Komang said they had made two submissions, one for the ice machine and one for the Aitape Fish Market. “At the moment, we are doing general extensions and only give advise to our clients.”
He said if they received funds, they would reactivate the Aitape Fish Market and also build staff houses.
Fisheries Aitape has only two officers. Komang said the submission was made to provide ice and market facilities for its artisanal fishermen, aquaculture farmers and the general public.
He believed the facilities and equipment would help generate revenue for three LLG’s in Aitape.
Komang said the ice machine would help accommodate the catch that fishermen would bring in. He said data produced by annual sales of fishing in the district reached an average production of 30 tonnes per annum.
“Right now, we can’t do anything to help our fishermen and clients because we do not have the funding to do our jobs,” he said.
By ALICE OSII