FISHERY COUNTRY PROFILE

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FID/CP/PNG

FAOLOGO
April 2002

PROFIL DE LA PÊCHE PAR PAYS

Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture

RESUMEN INFORMATIVO SOBRE
LA PESCA POR PAISES

Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación


PAPUA NEW GUINEA

GENERAL ECONOMIC DATA1

Land area2:

462 243 km²

Ocean area:

3 120 000 km²

Length of coastline:

17 000 km

Population (1999)3:

4,687,900

Gross Domestic Product (1999)4:

$US 3,445,189,046

Fishing contribution to GDP (1999):

$US 48,775,478

GDP per caput (1999):

$US 735



FISHERIES DATA

Commodity balance (1999):5

  

Production

Imports

Exports

Total supply

Per caput supply

 

Tonnes live weight equivalent

kg/year

Fish for direct human consumption

95,5006

35,5397

39,386

91,653

19.6

Fish for animal feed and other purposes

3,000

-

2,000

1,000

 

 

Estimated employment (1996):

 

(i) Primary sector:

1,500

(ii) Secondary sector:

5,000

(iii) Subsistence fisheries:

250,000-500,000


Gross value of fisheries output (1999)
8:



US$ 98,500,000


Trade:

 

Value of imports (1996):

US$ 43,607,000

Value of exports (1999):

US$ 49,000,000



STRUCTURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INDUSTRY

General

Papua New Guinea (PNG) comprises the eastern half of the world’s largest tropical island plus an archipelago of a further 600 islands lying between approximately 1° to 12°S and 141° to 157°E in the western Pacific Ocean. PNG has a total land area of 462,243 sq. km. and an EEZ variously estimated to cover 2,437,480 sq. km., 2.3 million sq. km. or 3,120,000 sq. km.

The coastline and offshore archipelagos present a great diversity of coastal types and marine environments. The Gulf of Papua is characterised by large delta areas, mud flats and mangrove swamps, while the north coast and high island coasts are typified by fringing coral reefs and narrow lagoons. Some of the smaller island clusters lie adjacent to extensive submerged reef systems or broad shallows. PNG's total coastline length of approximately 17,000 km. includes about 4,250 km. (25%) of deltaic flood plain/lagoon systems, while some 4,180 km. (24%) of the coastline occurs around islands and atolls. PNG also has fast- and slow-flowing rivers, over 5,000 lakes, and an extensive system of marshes.

In addition to its national government, PNG has a decentralised system of semi-autonomous Governments in each of its 19 Provinces. Five of the Provinces are landlocked, while the remainder are coastal or maritime in nature, although some of the coastal Provinces also have extensive fresh water systems. Provincial Governments have considerable autonomy in regard to fisheries development and management.

Marine fisheries

PNG's small-scale fisheries reflect the diversity of the country’s coastal environments. Along the mainland and high island coasts and in the smaller island communities fishing activities include the harvesting of the reef flats, spear fishing, shallow-water hand-lining from dugout canoes, netting, and trapping in the freshwater reaches of the larger rivers. In the swampy lowland areas net fisheries for barramundi, catfish, and sharks occur, while in the Gulf of Papua and parts of the Northern Islands Region there are also village-based lobster fisheries. Collection of invertebrates, both commercially (beche-de-mer as well as trochus and other shells) and for subsistence purposes is extensive, and may exceed finfish harvesting. Commercial prawn-trawling operations take place in the Papuan Gulf and other parts of southern PNG, and a small-scale tuna longline fishery has been established. A handful of vessels are now successfully catching sashimi-grade tuna and exporting them to overseas markets by air.

Subsistence harvesting is the most important component of PNG's domestic fishery in terms of both volume and value, but is poorly known. Some of the subsistence catch is sold, traded, bartered or forms the subject of customary exchange. Estimates of subsistence production vary but 26,000 t is a commonly-cited figure. Anecdotal information suggests that this may be an underestimate. A large number of people, estimated at somewhere between 250,000 and 500,000, participate in the coastal subsistence fishery, although the number is thought to have decreased at an annual rate of 1.5% between 1980 and 1990. It is estimated that 30% of the marine subsistence catch comprises coastal bay, lagoon and reef fish, 10% pelagic fish, and the rest invertebrates and seaweeds. Subsistence fishery production has been valued at about US$ 20 million based on a typical price to consumers of about US$ .77/kg.

The major species landed in PNG's domestic commercial fisheries are, in order of commercial value in 1999, prawns, beche-de-mer, sashimi-grade tunas, lobster, trochus and other shells, sharks, lagoon and reef fish, and coastal pelagic fish. A substantial fishery for barramundi, producing 200 to 400 t/yr., operated for several years until it collapsed in the early 1990s.

The prawn fishery is the most valuable coastal commercial fishery, accounting for exports of 808 t (tail weight) worth about US$ 5.9 million in 1999. The fishery takes place mainly in the Gulf of Papua, adjacent to Gulf Province, as well as in smaller fishing grounds elsewhere. Five prawn species are routinely taken but the catch is dominated by the banana prawn, Penaeus merguiensis, which makes up about 60% of landings. Total PNG prawn production has in the past exceeded 1,300 t tail weight. Catch reductions are mainly a result of limitations in the number of fishing vessels imposed by the government in an attempt to maintain the fishery at sustainable levels.

Small amounts of lobster are caught throughout PNG's coastal waters but the only concentrated fishery is in the Gulf of Papua and Torres Strait. This is essentially a village-based fishery with catches being purchased, processed and exported by commercial operators. Trawling for lobster was permitted in this area until 1985, since which time all lobster in PNG have been caught by diving. Annual landings have ranged recently from 75 t to 103 t, and are dominated by the ornate spiny lobster, Panulirus ornatus. 1999 exports were 92 t valued at US$ 2.08 million.

The shell fishery for trochus (Trochus niloticus), pearl shell (three Pinctada species, the most abundant of which is the black-lip pearl shell, P. margaritifera) and green snail (Turbo marmoratus), PNG's third largest export fishery, is also essentially village-based. Shell is collected by coastal villagers for on-sale to middlemen and eventual export or local processing. Total harvests of this group of products in PNG have typically been between 350 to 550 t/yr., although exports in 1999 were only 256 t worth about US$ 1.9 million. The apparent decline in landings is thought to be due to localised over-harvesting.

The above figures for shells do not include button blanks or finished buttons made from shells. One button factory was operating in PNG in the late 1990s, but its present status and output is unknown.

PNG's beche-de-mer production averaged only 5.5 t/yr. in the period 1960-1984 but began increasing as of 1985 and peaked in 1991 with exports of almost 700 t dried weight (equivalent to at least 7,000 t green weight). Harvests in the last few years have begun to decline, and 1999 exports were only 370 t valued at US$ 3.9 million. The decline is probably a result of localised over-exploitation, or at least removal of virgin biomass. The Government is currently putting in place management arrangements for some of the more heavily exploited areas and species. In 2001 the beche-de-mer fisheries were closed in Western/Torres Strait, Milne Bay, Manus, and New Ireland Provinces. It has been estimated that total yields of 1,000 t/yr. could be obtained from a properly managed, geographically distributed beche-de-mer fishery in PNG.

Lagoon, reef and coastal pelagic fish are taken by small-scale commercial fishers using nets, lines and a wide variety of sometimes highly specialised fishing methods. Domestic commercial production of reef fish and large pelagics (excluding longline-caught tuna) is estimated to be around 3,300 t, worth at least US$ 3.3 million and possibly more. In addition, about 40% of the marine subsistence fishery, or 10,400 t, is fin-fish. Total landings of coastal fish species from commercial and subsistence fisheries combined is therefore about 13,700 t.

Coastal fin-fish in rural or remote areas of PNG are considered to be under-exploited, and the government has in the past attempted to promote commercial development of these fisheries through the creation of infrastructure and by providing various forms of operating subsidy. In particular, a major programme established in the late 1970s and only now winding down, attempted to establish up to 20 coastal fishery stations, equipped with ice machines and cold stores and serviced by a fish collection system, throughout the country. Despite sustained efforts and high costs the stations, as well as many other small-scale fishery development projects, failed due to insurmountable economic, social and technical barriers. As a result coastal fisheries in most parts of PNG are still under-developed.

Exploitation of sharks has taken place in PNG since 1976, initially through a gill-net fishery which ran from 1976-1982, and then via a longline fishery which first targeted deep-water sharks for their oil and then, more recently, whaler sharks for their fins and meat. Shark fins also continue to be taken and sold as dry products by small-scale fishermen on an occasional basis. The total value for shark fin exports (dried and frozen) in 1999 was US$1.2 million.

By far the biggest fishery resource in PNG is that of tuna and allied species. This resource is estimated to have an MSY potential of 300,000-400,000 t/yr. with a first landed value of at least US$ 380 million.

Most tuna fishing in PNG has historically been carried out by foreign fishing vessels (FFVs). In 1999 78 FFVs from the Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, and Vanuatu were licensed to fish in PNGs DFZ under bilateral access arrangements. In addition, 50 US purse seiners were licensed to fish in PNG under the terms of the US Tuna Treaty, a regional access agreement involving several Pacific Island countries. These various FFVs in 1999 collectively took 85,000 t of catch worth an estimated US$ 75 million. Most of the catch was transshipped onto reefer vessels in the PNG ports of Wewak, Manus, Kavieng, Rabaul, Lae and Madang, for shipment to canneries in Thailand, Philippines and American Samoa.

After many years of foreign domination, PNG is promoting more direct participation in the tuna fishery by local companies and individuals. In line with this policy, the Government ceased issuing foreign longlining licences in mid-1995, in an attempt to promote development of a domestic tuna longline industry. Subsequently, after a number of longliners began operating under local charter arrangements, this too was regulated against, so that the fishery was closed to all but bona fide domestic entrants. This is now being reconsidered due to slow growth of the fishery, and consequent loss of government revenue. The fishery may be re-opened to foreign chartered longliners until there are sufficient domestic vessels to take up all available licences.

By late 2001 about 40 local longliners were operating in the fishery. 1999 landings were an estimated 500 t of yellowfin, bigeye and other large pelagic species, worth about US$ 2.5 million. The prime-quality part of the catch is exported in fresh chilled form to Japan by air while lower-quality fish may be air-freighted to Australia or sold on the domestic market. Individual longline vessels are estimated to spend an average of more than $590,000 each on wages, supplies and services annually. Of this, airfreight is the single largest cost component at around 25% of the total.

A locally-based purse-seine fishery has also begun to develop, although this is operated largely through the charter of foreign vessels by local companies. Three vessels operated in 1995, landing a total of 15,056 t of tuna. Some of this catch was transshipped in PNG to canneries in the Philippines, while a part was unloaded in Micronesia. By 1999 the catch of locally-based purse seiners had grown to 50,000 t, worth US$ 42 million.

There is some sportfishing in PNG. There are between 50 and 60 private sportfishing vessels larger than 7.5 metres and commercial charter boats operate out of Port Moresby, Madang, Lae, and Rabaul. World records have been taken in PNG for Scomberomorus, Caranx, and Gymnosarda.

Inland fisheries

PNG's inland water bodies are exploited by small-scale fishers for subsistence and commercial purposes. Estimates of production from inland waters vary but a figure of 13,500 t has recently been proposed. At a price to the consumer of US$ 1.00/kg this production has a nominal value of some US$ 13.5 million.

Two major river systems, the Sepki/Ramu and the Fly/Purari, are quite extensive and provide most of the freshwater fish harvest. People involved in freshwater fishing (those who do some fishing at least once per week) number somewhat less than 125,000. Except for the barramundi fishery, there has been little commercial dvelopment of freshwater fishery resources.

Most of the present landings from the Sepik/Ramu consist of two introduced species. Because of the very limited fish bio-diversity, a project aimed at increasing fishery productivity by introducing exotic species operated for several years up to 1997. As a result of the project many freshwater bodies have been enhanced through stocking with imported species, including Java carp, rainbow trout, and at least seven other types. An inventory of small-scale aquaculture is now underway.

Aquaculture

Both freshwater and marine aquaculture are practised to a limited extent, though neither is of economic importance at present.

Freshwater aquaculture has been promoted in PNG since 1954. Attempts which have been made include culture of carp, eels, catfish, gourami, perch, tilapia, and trout. Until the mid-1990s freshwater aquaculture was the focus of a major national government programme which included the operation of carp and trout hatcheries in highland and inland areas, restocking of natural water bodies with introduced species, and promotion of small-scale commercial aquaculture. The programme was considerably scaled down and handed over to provincial governments in late 1996. It is reported that the annual production in the late 1990s was 60 t of carp and 10 t of trout.

Marine aquaculture has included farming of seaweed, giant clams, crocodile, milkfish, mullet, mussels, oysters, and prawns. There is currently one pearl oyster farm, located in Milne Bay with another being established in New Ireland. In the late 1990s there was cage culture of groupers at Manus Island, but the viability was hampered by a nationwide moratorium on the export of live reef food fish. A barramundi farm operates outside of Madang.

Utilization of the catch

Most of PNG's domestic fish catch is taken in the subsistence fishery and is used for home consumption or distribution within families and communities. It has been estimated that small-scale fisheries provide 35% of the protein intake of at least some parts of PNG's population.

The amount of the subsistence catch which enters into commercial trade is unknown, but is estimated to be at least 15%, or 1,600 t. When added to estimated commercial landings of about 3,300 t, this gives a figure for the commercial finfish trade in PNG of about 4,900 t/yr.

Much commercial seafood demand in PNG is from commercial or institutional buyers such as fast-food outlets, restaurants and hotels. However small-scale fishermen and fish merchants have difficulty responding to the needs of these buyers due to problems of quality, product volume, product form and consistency of supply. Most institutional and commercial buyers prefer to purchase from larger fishing companies who can assure regular supplies of the desired product quality and form.

There are two fish canneries in PNG. One is based in Lae, and packs imported frozen mackerel, mainly for the domestic market, although some export of this product occurs. The other is in Madang, and packs tuna. This cannery is supplied by its own fleet of purse seiners, as well as by purchasing fish from other tuna-fishing vessels. The cannery has increased throughput to its target of 80 tonnes per day of raw material, operating two shifts 11 days per fortnight. The cannery is anticipated to expand its throughput to 100 tonnes per day during 2002. Exports of canned tuna to the USA, Philippines and Europe from the facility amounted to 5,587 tonnes in 1999. The closure of tuna canneries in Solomon Islands and Fiji has stimulated canned tuna exports within the region, helped by tariff reduction under the Melanesian Spearhead Group arrangement.

According to the National Fisheries Authority, PNG exported 39,896 t of fishery products in 1999 (worth US$48 million) and 41,555 t in 2000 (worth US$54 million).

Demand

A recent review of the literature of fish consumption in PNG shows that most nation-wide studies indicate an annual per capita intake of between 18.2 and 24.9 kg.

Demand for fisheries products in PNG greatly exceeds supply, resulting in fishery product imports which are greater than domestic landings. It has been estimated that there is a demand for at least an additional 2,000 t/year of fresh, smoked and frozen fish in Port Moresby, the country’s biggest commercial seafood market, alone. Anecdotal information also supports the view that general demand for fish exceeds supply, and that certain niche markets in particular are unsatisfied. As in most Pacific Island countries cost is a major factor, since the buying power of most residents, even in urban areas, is very limited.

Most of PNG's imported fish (about 95% by weight) is canned fish, principally mackerel. The remainder is frozen fish, including low-cost barracouta fillets from New Zealand which are mainly used in the domestic fast food business, and whole mackerel imported to supply the cannery in Lae.

Economic role of the fishing industry

The official contribution of fishing to GDP was US$19,176,909, or .56% of GDP. A recent ADB study estimated the contribution to be US$48,776,000, or 1.4% of GDP. This difference is mainly attributable to the absence of the contribution of subsistence fishing in the official estimates.

The US$48 million of exports of fishery products in 1999 represent about 1.8% of the value of all commodity exports of the country.

For 2000 access arrangements resulted in the payment of US$10,534,495 in fees plus US$706,125 for training levies, observer fees, and technical assistance. This US$11.2 million represents about 2% of all government revenue or 33% of non tax revenue.

Recent analysis of the value to PNG of the tuna fishery indicates that foreign purse seine vessels entering the fishery generate an initial contribution of $500 in taxes and charges and a further $53,000 to $70,000 in taxes and government charges annually (the amounts for taxes include that on fuel). Domestic based purse seine vessels, in contrast, are estimated to generate contributions of from $463,000 to $595,000 in taxes and charges on entering the fishery and a further $237,000 to $301,000 in taxes and charges annually.

Information on fisheries-related employment in PNG is largely unavailable. An ADB study, focusing on the tuna sub-sector, estimated that the total number of PNG nationals directly employed in tuna catching, processing, and exporting is about 3,000. This represents about 1.5% of the total formal employment in the country

The latest national census for which data is available (1990) shows that out of 130,963 rural households, about 23% were engaged in catching fish. About 60% caught fish for own consumption only and 40% caught fish for both own consumption and for selling.

Although detailed data is not available, it appears that small-scale fish production from coastal areas has declined further in the past five years. A more than 300% increase in the price of fuel and a progressive decline in the relative value of the Kina have combined to greatly increase the costs of materials and supplies needed for fishing. The devaluation of the Kina makes fishing for export increasingly attractive, but domestic prices for seafood products have not increased accordingly. As a result the economics of small-scale fisheries that supply domestic demand are deteriorating in coastal areas, affecting rural incomes.

DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS

There is scope for expansion of both offshore and coastal fisheries in PNG, as well as for the development of local markets through improved distribution, better use of by-catch (especially from tuna fishing) and value-added processing. It may also be possible to develop more ‘exotic’ resources, such as aquarium fish, specimen shells and game fishing.

As regards to offshore tuna fisheries, the government has placed priority on domestication of the industry and is promoting the development of domestic fleets as well as canneries, longline bases and other processing activities. Potential exists both for increases in current tuna landings, and, if necessary, for the replacement of FFVs by domestic vessels. So far, however, the offshore fishery continues to be dominated by foreign interests. Constraints to domestication include lack of entrepreneurial capital and skills, and the fact that the government has not yet carried out the fiscal and policy reforms needed to attract private operators into the fishery.

The constraints to coastal fishery development mainly relate to the absence of a fish handling, distribution and marketing infrastructure. Costly and protracted experience has shown that the value and volume of production from coastal fisheries is insufficient to cover the high cost of establishing and running such an infrastructure. Future commercialisation of coastal fisheries will depend largely on the development of facilities such as longline bases or fish canneries to service the needs of the industrial tuna fishery, whose production levels can justify the high cost of such plants. If such infrastructure is put in place it should also be able to absorb production from commercial coastal fisheries.

INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

The Fisheries Management Act 1998 (FMA) defines the role and responsibilities of the National Fisheries Authority.The Act essentially empowers NFA to manage, control and regulate all of PNG's fishery resources, whether these be inland, coastal or offshore. Although the Act recognises and allows for customary uses, rights and traditional resource ownership, it does not in itself empower provincial or lower level governments to manage fisheries in what they may consider to be their areas of jurisdiction. Such powers may be delegated by the Minister for Fisheries through regulation or promulgation, but this is entirely discretionary.

Apart from the Fisheries Act, there are at least 28 other legislative instruments currently in force and relevant to the fisheries sector. Most important of these is the Organic Law on Provincial and Local-level Governments of July 1995, which gives provincial governments the responsibility for fisheries and other development activities and the provision of basic services. The Organic Law requires that national bodies devolve as many of their functions as possible to the Provincial authorities, or carry them out at Provincial level. Other relevant legislation includes the environment, maritime zones, shipping and maritime safety acts and regulations, and laws governing business and company management.

The Fisheries Act provides for the establishment of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) to replace the former Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR). The NFA, which has a more commercial orientation than its predecessor, began operating in 1995. A restructuring of NFA has recently occurred in which NFA assumed the status of a non-commercial statutory authority. The number of staff was reduced from 168 to 48 and many responsibilities were devolved to provincial governments.

The other main body involved in PNG fisheries is the Fishing Industry Association (FIA), which was formed in January 1991 to provide a formal channel through which fishing-related businesses could voice their ideas, opinions and concerns relating to the development of the sector. FIA membership is drawn from across the fisheries sector, representing a diversity of commercial operations covering sedentary resources, lobsters, prawns, finfish and pelagic species. FIA has been quite outspoken since its formation and has become both respected and influential in the development of fisheries policy in PNG. The Association has successfully lobbied Government for the removal of a range of taxes and levies and the granting of other concessions to the industry. A representative of the FIA sits on the National Fisheries Board, as well as on the Governing Council of the National Fisheries College. It seems likely that, now the FIA is well-established, it will continue to provide a voice for the interests of the fishing industry.

INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

The National Fisheries Authority maintains direct contact on technical issues with regional and international organisations dealing in fisheries. Policy and other matters are managed in the first instance through designated contact points, most often the Department of Foreign Affairs. Papua New Guinea is a member of the South Pacific Commission (SPC), the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the South Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP).

PNG is party to a number of regional agreements that control or manage the tuna fishery in the Western Central Pacific Ocean. These include the Nauru Agreement, the Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Pacific Purse-Seine Fishery, the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement for the South Pacific Region, the Wellington Convention for the Prohibition of Fishing with Long Drift Nets in the South Pacific, and the FSM Agreement.

PNG is party to a number of regional agreements that control or manage the tuna fishery in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. These include the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in Management of Fisheries of Common Interest, the Palau Arrangement for the Management of the Western Pacific Purse-Seine Fishery, the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement for the South Pacific Region, the Wellington Convention for the Prohibition of Fishing with Long Drift Nets in the South Pacific, and the Federated States of Micronesia Arrangement for Regional Fisheries Access.

By virtue of its membership of FAO, PNG subscribes to the 1995 FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. PNG is also a signatory to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which regulates exports of some fishery products.

The Torres Strait Treaty between Australia and PNG provides for the management of the Torres Strait Protected Zone (TSPZ) that lies between the two countries. The Treaty covers a wide range of issues, including immigration, customs and defence, as well as fisheries and marine resources. Fisheries within the zone are jointly managed by the two countries, with arrangements for joint determination of management measures, catch-sharing and cross-licensing of vessels to operate in both country’s waters. To give effect to the provisions of the treaty, the PNG Government enacted the Fisheries (Torres Strait Protected Zone) Act in 1984. This was included in the recent review of the Fisheries Management Act, with the intention of bringing all of PNG's fishery law into one legislative instrument.

RESEARCH AND TRAINING

Fisheries research in PNG has traditionally been carried out by the NFA or its predecessor organisations, and has a long history. Major research programmes on tuna, baitfish, prawns, barramundi, lobsters and various reef fish and other key fishery species were originally initiated in the 1960s. Originally these were instrumental in the development of management arrangements for PNG's fisheries, but after the 1980s research activities became less focused. Since the restructuring of NFA a new strategy for research is being developed, which will focus primarily on obtaining information needed to refine fishery management plans. The new strategy involves making greater use of partnerships with local and overseas research agencies, NGOs, private institutions and funding donors.

There are a number of institutions in PNG which offer training relevant to the fisheries sector:

  • the Kavieng-based National Fisheries College (NFC), which is now a Branch of NFA, offers a range of seafood and fisheries courses including new qualifications for fishing vessel crew and captains authorisedd under the Merchant Shipping Act.

  • the PNG Marine School, in Madang, offers more advanced and officer-level vocational training for the merchant shipping;

  • the University of Papua New Guinea offers degree courses in marine biology and other relevant scientific disciplines through it’s main campus as well as via its Marine Research Station at Motupore Island;

  • the University of Technology at Lae offers a food technology degree;

  • the PNG Institute of Public Administration offers accountancy, management and other training programmes relevant the fisheries sector.

AID

Fisheries development in PNG has been heavily dependent on external economic and technical assistance. Most of the development initiatives have been donor supported, though many have included a PNG government contribution.

Bilateral aid for fisheries in PNG has been received from Australia (PNG's largest international donor), New Zealand, and a number of other governments, while multilateral assistance has been provided by FAO, IFAD, UNDP, EU, ADB and the World Bank. The regional organisations serving Pacific Island countries, including the Forum Fisheries Agency, the South Pacific Commission, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Forum Secretariat, and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission, as well as several UN agencies (UNDP, ESCAP) have also been active in supporting PNG's fisheries sector.

At present the major aid-sponsored fishery projects are:

  • The Fisheries Development Project funded by an Asian Development Bank loan for restructuring of the National Fisheries Authority and the construction of two fishing wharves.

  • The National Fisheries College Strengthening and Training Project, funded by AusAID for turning the College into an efficient provider of short, modular courses, designed to meet the needs of all stakeholders in fisheries.

  • The Community Coastal and Marine Conservation Project supported by the Global Environment Facility, executed by UNDP and implemented by Conservation International. It aims to promote conservation of marine biodiversity mainly through developing community-based management of marine resources in Milne Bay Province.

Several major new projects are planned for 2002. These include the EU funded Rural Coastal Fisheries Development Project, the ADB loan-funded Coastal Fisheries Management and Development Project, and the INFOFISH-supported Alternative Tuna Products Development Project.

INTERNET LINKS

The following websites have information relevant to fisheries in PNG:

  • www.spc.int/coastfish/Countries/PNG/png.htm - Information on PNG fisheries and links to other sites concerning PNG

  • www.niugini.com - General information on PNG and descriptions of the country’s economic sectors, including fisheries

  • www.png.net/govt.html - Contact addresses for government departments and trade associations


1


Average 1999 rate of exchange US$ 1.00 = Kina (K) 2.5708


2


Source: South Pacific Commission Statistical Summary 2000.


3


Source: South Pacific Commission 1999 mid-year estimate.


4


Source for GDP data: Gillett and Lightfoot (2001). The Contribution of Fisheries to the Economies of Pacific Island Countries. Asian Development Bank, Manila.


5

 

Sources: Various government and non-government sources as given in Gillett and Lightfoot (2001).

 


6

Breakdown (tonnes): Coastal commercial: 5,500
Coastal subsistence: 26,000
Offshore local-based: 50,500
Inland fisheries 13,500 (Coates, 1995)
Total 95,500
85,000 t caught by foreign-based vessels is not included in the total.

 


7

Amount is for 1996


8


Breakdown: Coastal subsistence: US$20,000,000; Inland subsistence: US$13,500,000; Coastal commercial US$21,000,000; locally-based offshore: US$44,000,000; total US$98,500,000