New focus on marine resources urged

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

FISHERIES and Marine Resources Minister Mao Zeming says appropriate attention must be given to the development of fisheries resources for people living along the coasts and islands.
Zeming said the Government’s focus had been on commercial fisheries only, particularly tuna.
He urged the Government to refocus its attention on the sector.
“(But) while tuna or offshore fisheries is vital to PNG for economic reasons, coastal fisheries is vital for PNG because of moral reasons,” he said.
“The coastal fisheries sector provides livelihood for more than 2.5 million people in the coastal and island communities in terms of food, income, cultural and ecological uses.
“The livelihoods and food security benefits of coastal fisheries resources underscore the importance of the coastal fisheries sector for socio-economic development.
“Therefore, balancing offshore and coastal fisheries development is imperative in terms of both development and management.”
Zeming urged the Government to refocus and apply appropriate attention on the sustainable development of coastal fisheries resources.
“It is important that the coastal fisheries programme of the National Fisheries Authority is strengthened with a clear policy direction,” he said.
Zeming attended the opening of the K26 million Madang town market and jetty last Friday.