Pokajam earns praise for fishery development

Business, Normal

The National, Monday February 10th, 2014


OUTGOING National Fisheries Authority (NFA) boss Sylvester Pokajam has been instrumental in facilitating onshore direct investment, his successor John Kasu said.

Kasu who replaced Pokajam as NFA managing director said his predecessor “helped spearhead many significant initiatives in the country and overseas giving prominence to Papua New Guinea as significant global player in fisheries development and management, including enabling increase involvement and participant by PNG’s in benefits and returns derived from resources.

Speaking at the handover ceremony last Friday, he said Pokajam had been active in assisting for onshore investment that saw additional foreign direct investment (FDI) through the establishment of domestically-based foreign fishing companies in PNG engaging in development of onshore fish processing plants such as the Majestic Seafoods Ltd in Lae and new FDI coming up, including Nambawan Seafoods Ltd, the Halisheng Group, Donwong Fishing, Niugini Tuna Ltd and Offshore Master.

“In total, these new FDIs are expected to bring in capital investments value in excess of an additional US$350 million (K849.87 million) to PNG”.

Further investment in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) during Pokajam’s term saw the pilotage of new fisheries, including:

  • Mini- seiners for tuna in archipelagic waters;
  • Seaweed farming as an alternative fishery;
  • Inshore fish aggregating device (IFAD) for coastal fisheries resource rehabilitation programme to compliment regional initiatives such as coral triangle initiative (CTI) which PNG is a party;
  • Aquarium fisheries; and
  • Trap- net fishery

Pokajam urged the NFA executives to keep the organisation “floating” and to keep it away from political interference.

“The government made the decision, I accepted it, I do not want to see the organisation (NFA) go down. 

“European Union (EU) is watching PNG because of the interim economic partnership agreement (IEPA). 

“PNG has to be very careful, EU is looking for mistakes and one is political independence.

“This organisation (NFA) should stand up and keep floating, the best way is to keep it out of political interference,” he said.