Tuna numbers may drop

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday September 23rd, 2015


THE effects of El Nino may have an effect on Papua New Guinea’s tuna resources, National Fisheries Authority (NFA) managing director John Kasu (pictured) says.

He said from this year tuna fish may reduce in numbers.

“Our (PNG) current outlook is however, not all that rosy. We see El Nino as causing tuna fish moving eastwards and PNG is expecting further fall in tuna catches in its waters in 2015,” Kasu said.

However, he said NFA was confident that next year would see the stock returning.

He also noted in his presentation on PNG’s Tuna Industry Status during the 5th Pacific Tuna Forum in Fiji yesterday that total catch estimated for last year fell by 42 per cent to 297,297 metric tonnes from 516,000 metric tonnes in 2012.

“A total of 203 vessels are active in 2014. 23 of these are longliners and 193 purse seine with 13 of these purse seine vessels flying PNG flags,” Kasu said.

“In 2015, in Archipelagic Waters days reduced to 5,500 from previous 8000-10,000 days.

Kasu said PNG was slowly becoming a tuna processing country.

“PNG is not only home to a major fishing ground or tuna stocks in the world. PNG is slowly becoming a major tuna processor,” he said.

“Five processing plants are in operation and these five tuna processing plants have provided employment to 15,000 jobs.

“One other tuna processing plant will be opened towards the end of this year and several are on their way.”