PNG foots half cost of Tuna Forum

Both the private and public sectors in the country have put their monetary support behind the co-hosting of the 5th Pacific Tuna Forum to be staged in Fiji next month.

The  biennial forum will be staged from 22-25 September in Nadi and PNG National Fisheries Authority (NFA) will meet half the bill of the hosting cost with the host nation.

“The contribution (from PNG) has reached over a million kina and it’s what NFA has budgeted for,” said John Kasu, NFA managing director.

He was speaking at a reception organised by the NFA last Friday to give an update on the progress to the media and also acknowledge individual business houses and statutory organizations who had financially  supported the forum.

“A meeting of similar kind that is held within the region is costly and the Pacific Tuna Forum is no  exception with the current estimates that the Forum costs around FJD800, 000. The government of Fiji through the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry has confirmed to meet 50 percent of the cost.”

“The Pacific Tuna Forum is recognised as PNG’s initiative and contribution to promoting a greater level of discussion and contribution to promoting greater level of discussions and interaction between Pacific Islands governments, industry and other stakeholders in addressing fisheries management, marketing fishing capacity, development and other related issues.

“Also to consolidate PNG’s position as the leading tuna fishing and processing country in the region,” Kasu said.

The forum is an initiative of the PNG government through NFA and is attended by eight Pacific Island countries who are parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and they are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

According to the PNA website, “the PNA countries control the world’s largest tuna purse seiner fishery supplying a major portion of the world’s skipjack tuna (a popular tuna for canned products).”     

“PNA has been a champion for marine conservation and management, taking unilateral action to conserve overfished bigeye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, including closures of high seas pockets, seasonal bans on use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD), satellite tracking of boats, in port transshipment, 100 percent observer coverage of purse seiners, closed areas for conservation, mesh size regulations, tuna catch retention requirements, hard limits on fishing effort, prohibitions against targeting whale sharks, shark action plans, and other conservation measures to protect the marine ecosystem.”

Picture source:

Charles Yapumi