By HELEN TARAWA
THE country can benefit from its tuna resources and become the “tuna capital of the world” RD Corporation managing director Pedro Celso says.
Celso said potential economic benefits were too important to be ignored in PNG.
“If Thailand can make billions of dollars without having a fishing ground, and sets of fishing boats, if the US, European Union, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, China and other countries can earn billions out of tuna caught in PNG waters, why can’t PNG make the same revenue?
“Tuna is a highly migratory species and the tuna doesn’t know where to hide any more. If we don’t’ do anything about it, the average size of tuna is getting smaller.”
He urged the Government to allow all the revenue generated by the fishing industry “rolled back” into it.
“It’s not happening and that’s the biggest challenge. The industry is contributing K350 million per year,” he said.
“And in five years, that’s about K1.4m to the Government. That’s a lot of money.”
He said another issue was transport and infrastructure.
“Given that the cost of freight is not entirely the problem of the fishing industry, it’s a concern of the entire nation,” he said.
“So what can the PNG Government do to see them providing incentives to the fishing processing industry, import duties and rebate on the import duty?
“What can they give to the fishing industry and what is the potential of the industry if we are giving them the money to make it happen? That’s the way forward now.”
By HELEN TARAWA