By JIMMY KALEBE
EXPERTS have estimated that the current consumption demand for marine products in the country is between 6000 and 10,000 tonnes per day.
And it is expected to grow as the population expands.
Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Patrick Basa, revealed this during the opening of the K1.5 million fish market in Lae on Friday.
He said together with this demand, coastal communities, fishing cooperatives, fishermen and families had a very high chance of doing business in the fishing industry.
“We are strategically located and have potential markets for fish in the highlands region, including mining and other operations that can open up vital market links with local fishermen and cooperatives,” Basa said.
However, while this demand for local consumption increases, fishing communities and fishermen in the country are not full-time fishermen as they see it as a part-time job.
“They can only be fully involved if they understand that fishing can bring in good returns to support livelihoods,” he said.
Basa said good market links needed to be established for fisheries products to create good business and incentive for fishermen and cooperatives.
Basa said the NFA was committed to enhancing the growth of the fisheries sector in maritime provinces.
He said the Government through NFA allocated K3 million each year to provincial fisheries authorities in maritime provinces, and a further K500,000 to the Highlands provinces.
The new market will boost fishing business for co-operatives, he said.
By JIMMY KALEBE