​PNG’s fishing industry is struggling: Association

​PNG’s fishing industry is struggling to survive in the current business environment.

The industry, which started 20 years ago with sole investor RD Tuna in Madang, is concerned that history is repeating itself.

Fabian Chow of PNG Fishing Industry Association says building up the industry required a lot of sweat, dedication and risk-taking.

And once more, Chow says the industry is facing another threshold today.

“We don’t know if we will survive the tough times that we are headed towards. Costs are increasing, kina is short and everything is harder than it was 20 years ago. There’s pain and we need fine tuning in order to survive,” he said.

Chow made mention of Nambawan Tuna, a proposed project to be set up in Lae. It was expected to be in operation three years ago but never took off as planned.

He questioned why players in the industry are having difficulty now compared to when they did their investment decisions years ago.

Chow challenged the Minister for Fisheries, Patrick Basa, to understand their concerns and see a way forward.

He said a lot of problems in the industry needed to be addressed and fine-tuned.

“Taxation will prosper/ increase as the industry grows. We need further growth in the industry.

“We know this can happen but everything is in limbo currently. We are not sure where we will head,” he said.

He stated that good planning and policy would set a good path forward.

He stressed these points at the first Pacific Seafood and Technology Exposition 2017 today in Port Moresby.

Chow hopes the exhibition echoes a message to national policy making partners that the industry needs to open additional commodity export markets to targeted countries.

He also hopes the event is the start of NFA initiative and support in implementing of SME policy in the fisheries sector.

Gloria Bauai