The National, Monday 07th November 2011
NEW Ireland has committed to developing its fishery and marine resource to capitalise on its world-class fishery reserve.
It also wants to support local fishermen lift their productivity and open new revenue sources for the province.
At its meeting recently, the provincial executive council reviewed the five-year-old memorandum of agreement between the New Ireland provincial government and the National Fisheries Authority.
It decided to develop its fishery sector by mobilising administrative and technical resources to realise its full potential by enlisting the help of the Coastal Fisheries Development Agency.
Governor Sir Julius Chan said the executive council took the bold decision to progress development of the fishery, recognising that attention in the past decade had gone to the oil, gas and mining sectors.
He said while fisheries was an important resource, customary fishing rights were not recognised and customary owners of the sea by virtue of first discovery and use rights for thousands of generations were not participants in the harvesting of lucrative tuna fisheries or in the harvesting of other marine products.
Sir Julius said New Ireland wanted to establish two fish canning factories, improve fish markets in Kavieng, Konos and Namatanai, conduct studies on and improve crab, lobster and seaweed farming, provide a subsidy scheme for fishermen and provide finance for small scale fishery projects.