The main pieces of legislation regulating the fisheries and aquaculture sector in Papua New Guinea are the Fisheries Management Act (1998) and the Fisheries Management Regulations (2000). The main objective of these instruments is to promote the management and sustainable development of fisheries and aquaculture in the country.
The Act applies to all fishing activities by both residents and foreigners. It makes provision for fisheries management plans, provides for access agreements, specifies the terms and conditions of fishing licenses and powers of fishery officers. Subsidiary regulations to implement the Act may be made by the Head of State in order to regulate, control and manage aquaculture units licensed under the Act and activities related to or supportive of aquaculture .
The Fisheries Management Regulations is a subsidiary regulation made under the Act. The Regulations provide for the licensing of various fisheries and fish breeding activities, the control of fisheries and regulate the licences for the export of fish and aquaculture facility that may be obtained under the Regulations.
The national competent body for matters related to fisheries and aquaculture is the National Fisheries Authority (NFA). The NFA is granted corporate status under the Act and comprises the National Fisheries Board and the Authority. The NFA has an Aquaculture Division which is responsible for the management and development of aquaculture and inland fisheries sector.
The Authority acts as the secretariat and implementing arm of NFA. It inter alia makes recommendations to the Board on the granting of licence and implements any licensing scheme in accordance with the Act; controls and regulates the storing, processing and export of fish and fish products; and collects data relevant to aquatic resources. The Board shall be responsible for providing general control and guidance over the exercise of the functions of the Authority. The Managing Director of the Authority may appoint Fishery Officers who then are authorised to inspect the aquaculture units by taking samples or by asking the person engaged in aquaculture to produce the licence in conformity with the Act. Any person who contravenes the Act commits an offence punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
NFA’s main role is to be the facilitator, policy maker, provider of technical advice and fund applied aquaculture research, targeting mainly commercial aquaculture activities. The role of fostering the development of artisanal aquaculture and performing activities such as research, extension and training is the role of other government departments, namely the National Department of Agriculture and Livestock (NDAL) and the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). NFA collaborates with these agencies to implement their respective aquaculture programs and ensure that their programs are consistent with national policies.
In this respect, the 2004 National Aquaculture Development Policy, elaborated under the auspices of NFA, mentions that the policy is based on a vision to foster development of commercial aquaculture by the private sector, using economic profit as the motive, and subsistence aquaculture to enhance food security and provide some alternative income source. The vision of the Policy is:
“(a) searching for or taking fish; or
(b) the attempted searching for or taking of fish; or
(c) engaging in any activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the locating or taking of fish; or
(d) placing, searching for or recovering any fish aggregating device or associated equipment including radio beacons; or
(e) any operation at sea in support of or in preparation for any activity in relation to a fishing vessel described in Paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d) except any related activity as defined in this subsection; or
(f) any use of an aircraft which is related to any activity described in Paragraphs (a), (b), (c) or (d), except for flights in emergencies involving the health or safety of a crew member or the safety of a vessel; or
The term “fishing” hence encompasses aquaculture.
Furthermore, a specific definition of aquaculture is provided.
Aquaculture means“the cultivation, propagation or farming of fish, whether from eggs, spawn, spat or seed, including rearing fish lawfully taken from the wild or lawfully imported into the country, or by other similar process”.
Fish means “any water-dwelling aquatic or marine animal or plant, alive or dead, and includes their eggs, spawn, spat and juvenile stages, and any of their parts, but does not include any species of whale”.
The term “fish” therefore encompasses aquatic animal and plant.
Papua New Guinea ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1993, acceded to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2006 and is also a Member of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
At a regional level, Papua New Guinea is a Member of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC ) which has a Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division.
Subject to the Fisheries Management Regulation, an aquaculture facility licence:
“(a) shall be issued for a specified type, class or species of fish; and
(b) shall be issued in respect of a specified area of fisheries waters or a specified place; and
(c) may require a vessel used in conjunction with the aquaculture facility to be–
(i) licensed; or
(ii) subject to such terms and conditions as are specified in the aquaculture licence; and
(d) shall be subject to such further terms and conditions as may be specified in it”.
In general, an application for an aquaculture facility licence shall be in the approved form as requested in Schedule 1 of the Regulation, accompanied with sufficient information about the application and with the application fee.
More specifically, an aquaculture facility licence holder shall provide to the Authority, in a form and by a means approved by the Managing Director, any information concerning the aquaculture facility as the Managing Director may require.
Regarding the period of validity of the licence, it is approved by the Board from time to time, but such period shall not exceed ten (10) years. A licence is subject to annual review and is not transferable.
A licence may be suspended for one of the following reasons:
“(a) where a material misrepresentation, omission or misstatement of fact has been made in the application for the licence; or
(b) where there has been any mis-reporting or failure to report as required under the [Fisheries Management Act]; or
(c) where he has reasonable grounds to suspect that there has been a contravention of, or a failure to comply with, a term or condition of the licence, not being a ground to which he has previously exercised his powers under this section in relation to the licence; or
(d) where any fee, charge or levy required in respect of the licence has not been paid; or
(e) for a specified period, where he is satisfied that the suspension is necessary for the proper management of a fishery; or
(f) where the holder of the licence has been charged with an offence involving dishonesty under any law and there has been no final determination of the charge; or
(g) on any ground given under [the Fisheries Management Regulation] for the suspension of licence; or
(h) where any person has been convicted of an offence under the Act and a fine imposed by the Courts has not been paid within the required time; or
(i) on any other ground under the Act for the suspension of licences”.
Where a licence is suspended, the licence-holder shall, within five (5) working days of receiving notice of the suspension, surrender the licence to the Authority.
In addition to aquaculture facility licence, all commercial operators planning to process their produce on site will require a fish processing facility licence.
Except for domestic purposes, the right to the use, flow and control of water is vested in the State.
A Water Resources Board is established under the Water Resources Act to perform the following functions:
“(a) to examine problems concerning, and make plans in respect of–
(i) the allocation and quality of water; and
(ii) the control–
(A) of erosion on the banks of rivers and shores of lakes and coastal shores; and
(B) of flow and flooding in and from rivers and lakes; and
(iii) the conservation of water; and
(iv) the needs of fisheries and wildlife and recreational uses of water; and [...]
(e) to control the damming, diversion, taking and use of water and discharge of anything into water so far as any such acts may affect the quality or availability of water for other purposes; and [...]
(h) to promote the best usage of water resources, including multiple uses, and to allocate water resources between competing demands; and
(i) to consult with government bodies on the maximum utilization of water resources in the national interest”.
In order to use water, especially when water may be polluted by contaminants, a water use permit is required. A water permit is needed when the person wishes to: “(a) dam a river or stream; or
(b) divert water; or
(c) release water or contaminants into any water; or
(d) release water containing contaminants onto land or into ground in circumstances that result in –
(i) the contaminants; or
(ii) other contaminants emanating as a result of process from the contaminants,
entering the water; or
(e) being the occupier of land, to cause or permit contaminants emanating as a result of processes from matter previously placed on or released on to the land or into the ground, to enter water; or
(f) take or use water; or
(g) knowingly cause any contaminant to enter water”.
Most lands are customary owned. Any operator proposing to develop aquaculture must seek approval from traditional owners or have the property lease to them as specified in the Land Act (1996). A special agricultural and business lease shall be granted to a person, business group or other incorporated body to whom the customary landowners have agreed that such a lease should be granted.
Afterwards, the application for water use permit shall be made to the Director of Water Resources in the prescribed form and accompanied by the prescribed fee. The water use permit is granted in respect of any land for a period not exceeding the period for which the person by whom the permit is sought has rights in the land. .
The holder of the permit will then be conferred the exclusive right of the construction or protection of works, subject to the right of the Director to enter and inspect the land and the works constructed on it under the permit; the right to discharge water or waste in accordance with prescribed conditions and standards.
The Water Resources Act empowers the Director of Water Resources to “authorize a person, by himself or by his assistants, employees, agents, servants or contractors, with or without vehicles and machinery:
(a) to enter on land for the purpose of exercising the rights vested by this Act in the State to the use, flow and control of water and carrying out investigations into water resources and of taking measures–
(i) for conserving water, regulating the flow of water and preventing the contamination of water; or
(ii) for protecting the bed and banks of any water course or lake or shore and removing obstructions from the bed or banks; or
(iii) for removing or destroying any works affecting the use, flow or control of water not authorized by or under this Act or not authorized, before the commencement date by or under any other Act; and
(b) to enter on land within a water control district and carry out such works relating to the use, flow and control of water, as specified in the instruments”.
Government lands or lands that are the subject of a State lease may be reserved from lease according to the Land Act (1996) and the National Parks Act (1982). For this purpose, the Head of State may, by notice in the National Gazette, commit to the care, control and management of the Director of National Parks an area that has been reserved for a reserve or sanctuary for the protection of flora or fauna.
The Environment Act (2000) anticipates the application of different set of rules depending on the category of activity. Under the Environment (Prescribed Activities) Regulation (2002), aquaculture is either a level 2 or a level 3 activity and has to be conducted in accordance with specific rules that apply to those levels. A level 2 activity refers to operations of aquaculture facilities with a design discharge flow rate greater than 1 per day or 100 tonnes of wet product per year or aquaculture carried out in open sea/cage operations , whereas a level 3 activity means operations designed to discharge a volume of waste greater than 10 million litres per day.
The Environment Act stipulates that an environment permit is needed in order to operate an aquaculture facility.
To obtain the permit, the interested person has to first register his intention to carry out an aquaculture activity with the Director of Environment.
One month after giving notice of his intention to carry out such a project, he or she has to undertake a preparatory work in relation to the activity. The term “preparatory work” means:
“(a) undertaking a feasibility study; or
(b) carrying out other studies relevant to environmental issues; or
(c) applying for approval under the Investment Promotion Act 1992 to carry out an activity; or
(d) applying for an approval or a permit or licence under another Act; in relation to a proposed activity”.
Where the Director receives a notification of intention to carry out preparatory work in relation to an aquaculture level 3 activity, he shall serve a notice on the proponent named in the notification requiring the proponent to undertake an EIA. For aquaculture level 3 activities, an EIA is mandatory; whereas for aquaculture level 2 activities, it is not generally mandatory. If the preparatory work is conclusive, the interested person obtains the aquaculture permit.
However, an EIA is required for a level 2 activity where the aquaculture activity:
“(a) involves an industrial or manufacturing process which has not previously been used in Papua New Guinea; or
(b) is specifically the subject of obligations under any international treaty, convention or instrument to which Papua New Guinea has ratified; or
(c) which poses a threat of serious environmental harm,
the Minister[of Environment] may, on recommendation of the [Environment] Council, determine that the activity relates to matters of national importance and require the Director to serve a notice on the proponent requiring him to undertake environmental impact assessment in relation to the proposed activity”.
In general, any EIA shall involve the following:
“(a) submission of an inception report setting out the issues to be covered in the environmental impact statement;
(b) submission of an environmental impact statement setting out the physical and social environmental impacts which are likely to result from the carrying out of the activity
(c) assessment and public review of the environmental impact statement;
(d) acceptance of the environmental impact statement by the Director;
(e) referral of the environmental impact statement, assessment report and other material to the Council;
(f) recommendation by the Council to the Minister;
(g) where the Minister has received a recommendation from the Council, an approval in principle by the Minister”.
The inception report shall list the issues to be covered by the environmental impact statement and cover the issues set out in the approved inception report. On receipt of an environmental impact statement, the Director of Environment shall cause the statement to be assessed.
Within thirty (30) days of receipt of an environmental impact statement, the Director shall notify the proponent in writing of the period the Director will require to assess the environmental impact statement and to decide whether or not to accept the environmental impact statement.
On the one hand, where the Director is satisfied that:
“(a) an environmental impact statement contains an adequate description of the nature and extent of physical and social environmental impacts which are likely to result from the carrying out of a proposed activity; and
(b) all reasonable steps will be taken to minimise environmental harm which may result from the carrying out of the activity; and
(c) the activity will be carried out in a manner which is consistent with all relevant Environment Policies and the Regulation,
he shall accept the statement”.
On the other hand, where the Director has not made a decision within the period notified, he shall be deemed to have refused the environmental impact statement.
In summary, the following requirements should be met before starting an aquaculture project:
An environmental contaminant is defined as:
“(a) any substance whether liquid, solid, gaseous or radio-active, or any form of electromagnetic or thermal energy which, when discharged, emitted or deposited into the environment, causes or may cause, by reason of its properties, characteristics, the volume, amount and weight and point of its discharge, or other circumstances, a present or future alteration of the environment so as to affect adversely its beneficial use; and
(b) any substance, material or matter prescribed to be an environmental contaminant or a hazardous environmental contaminant”.
The person requesting the licence has to make an application to the Minister responsible for Environment for a licence to discharge, emit or deposit an environmental contaminant into the environment. When the Minister receives the application, he shall give notice of the application. The notice shall state the name of the applicant; the proposed location or alternative location where the discharge, emission or deposit is to take place; the environmental contaminants referred to in the application; and that any person, likely to be aggrieved by the granting of a licence to the applicant, may make representation to the Minister within twenty-eight (28) days.
A licence shall remain in force until revoked, suspended or surrendered by the licensee.
If the Minister refuses to issue a licence, he shall serve on the applicant a notice in writing setting out the grounds for refusing the application.
A licence register containing the original of each licence and each licence application shall be kept.
For import, export, sale, manufacture or distribution of hazardous environmental contaminants, a permit is required. The Minister shall establish and keep a Register of hazardous environmental contaminants.
The Environment Contaminant’s Act stipulates that “no person shall import, sell, manufacture or distribute a hazardous environmental contaminant without being the holder of a permit for such importation, sale, manufacture or distribution”.
The Act also states that “the Minister may, by notice in the National Gazette, restrict or prohibit, either generally or specifically with regards to type or destination, the export of hazardous environmental contaminants to other countries or states or to a territory of a country or state”.
To protect the environment, the Minister may, by notice, declare and publish an area or segment of the environment as a protected area that should be protected from the discharge, emission or deposit of environmental contaminants. In that case, the notice shall:
“(a) specify the area or segment of the environment in which the discharge, emission or deposit of environmental contaminants is to be prohibited or restricted; and
(b) specify the extent to which the discharge, emission or deposit of environmental contaminants is to be prohibited or restricted; and
(c) identify the beneficial uses of the area or segment of the environment in particular need of protection; and
(d) specify how the environmental quality is to be measured and defined; and
(e) state that any person likely to be aggrieved by the declaration of the area or segment of the environment as a protected area may make representation to the Minister within sixty (60) days of the date of publication of the notice”.
More generally, a person who pollutes or causes or permits to be polluted any waters, the atmosphere, or the land is guilty of an offence.
In 1988, the Environmental Contaminants (Pesticides) Regulation was promulgated. It declared pesticide to be a hazardous environmental contaminant.
In 2002, the Environment (Water Quality Criteria) Regulation established the criteria for protection of both freshwater and marine aquatic life by fixing threshold of pollutants that are acceptable.
(a) the introduction or importation of any animal or kind of animal into the country; or
(b) the movement of any animal or kind of animal within the country.
(2) A notice under Subsection (1) may_
(a) require a permit or consent to be obtained; or
(b) impose, or authorize the imposition of, conditions by a permit or consent, or both.
(3) A person who is concerned in introducing, importing or moving, or in the attempted introduction, importation or movement, of an animal in contravention of a notice under Subsection (1) is guilty of an offence”.
According to the Fisheries Management Regulation (2000), any premises exclusively or predominantly used for the commercial storage, processing or export of fish shall be licensed as a fish storage facility or a fish factory or fish export facility.
The owner or occupier of the premises may apply for a fish storage facility, or fish factory, or fish export facility licence in respect of such premises.
The licence will be granted only if the facility intended for preparation, processing or storage of fish for human consumption is capable of such preparation, processing or storage to internationally acceptable standards for the type, class or species of fish for which the licence is being sought.
A fish export facility licence:
“(a) shall specify the type, class or species of fish to be processed under the licence; and
(b) shall be subject to the condition that all fish processed in the facility shall be exported in accordance with this Regulation; and
(c) may specify other matters in relation to the processing and export of fish; and
(d) shall be subject to such further terms and conditions as are specified in it”.
A fish export facility in which fish intended for human consumption is prepared, processed or stored shall:
“(a) comply with any law relating to food for human consumption; and
(b) be constructed so as to be capable of being maintained, and be maintained, in a clean and hygienic condition; and
(c) be equipped only with equipment and fittings which are capable of being sterilised and are maintained in a clean and hygienic condition”.
Moreover, it shall be a condition of any licence issued that a Fishery Officer may, at all reasonable times, enter the premises or facility to which the licence relates, for the purpose of:
“(a) inspection of the condition of the facility; or
(b) examination of any fish held in the facility; or
(c) where he considers it necessary or desirable, taking samples for analysis of any fish in the facility”.
A person who wishes to import fish into the country shall obtain a permission under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation (1973) , Before they are delivered to the importer, imported animals, including fish and molluscs, shall be submitted for inspection to a Quarantine Officer.
As a general rule, all aquaculture operators must exercise appropriate caution to prevent escape of culture organism into the natural environment. If it happens, the escape into natural waterways should immediately be reported to the NFA.
The Minister may also declare a disease to be a notifiable disease. The owner of an animal, or the occupier of any land on which there is an animal, who knows or suspects; or ought, if he used reasonable diligence, to know or suspect, that the animal is infected by a notifiable disease, and who fails to notify an Inspector immediately, is guilty of an offence. It is also worth mentioning that the National Aquaculture Development Policy encompasses aquatic animal health management through the harmonization and enforcement of appropriate regulatory frameworks; capacity building both at the institutional and farmer levels through awareness, training; the adoption of sensitive diagnostic methods.
Under the Animal Disease and Control Act, the Minister for Agriculture may appoint a Chief Stock Inspector responsible for the administration of the Act. The Chief Stock Inspector may then appoint Inspectors who will have the power to:
“(a) examine an animal; and
(b) with or without assistants, enter any land, premises, ship, vehicle, aeroplane or airship for the purpose of–
(i) inspecting or treating an animal; or
(ii) enforcing this Act; and
(c) order a person–
(i) to produce documents or papers in his possession or under his control relating to an animal; and
(ii) to answer truly a question put to him relating to an animal; and
(d) order the owner, or the occupier, of any land on which there is an animal–
(i) to muster it for the purposes of examination or treatment; and
(ii) to provide crushes or such other means as are prescribed or as the Inspector thinks necessary; and
(iii) to provide such assistance as the Inspector reasonably requires; and
(e) destroy, or order the owner to destroy, any animal that is, or is suspected of being, diseased, as to which the Inspector alone shall decide; and
(f) submit an animal to a system of quarantine; and
(g) carry out tests on or treat an animal, by vaccination or otherwise; and
(h) seize, detain and remove an animal for the purpose of–
(i) examination; or
(ii) destruction; or
(iii) submission to a system of quarantine; or
(iv) carrying out tests or treatment” [...].
Moreover, the Minister may, by notice in the National Gazette, declare an area:
(a) in which there is, or is suspected to be, a virulent disease that, in his opinion, is of serious economic or social importance; or
(b) in which there is, in his opinion, danger of the outbreak of any such disease, to be a Disease Area in relation to the disease specified in the notice.
Under the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority Act (1997), animal quarantine, including fish quarantine, is a function of the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority (NAQIA). Under the Act, “animal” means “any living stage of any member of the animal kingdom including mammals, birds and fish except human beings and, in the case of mammals, birds and fish, includes their egg, semen or carcass”. “Fish” means “any water dwelling aquatic or marine mammal or plant alive or dead and includes their eggs, spawn, spat and any parts of their body”.
The Act establishes the NAQIA whose main object is the conduct of quarantine and inspection of any fish species, to prevent pests or diseases from entering in or going out of the country; the “quarantine” being defined as “measures for the inspection, exclusion, detention, observation, segregation, isolation, treatment, sanitary disinfection of vessels, aircraft, goods, animals and plants for the prevention of the introduction or spread of disease or pests affecting animals and plants”.
The functions of the NAQIA are: [...]
“(b) to monitor and inspect all imports of animals, fish and plants and their parts and products, including fresh, frozen and processed food to ensure the imports are free from pests, diseases, weeds and any other symptoms; and
(d) to undertake all necessary actions to prevent arrival and spread of pests, diseases, contamination, weeds, and any undesirable changes pertaining to animals, fish and plants and their parts and products, including fresh, frozen and processed foods; and
(f) to undertake all necessary actions to ensure that the export of animals, plants, fish and their parts and products are free from pests, diseases, weeds and any other symptoms so as to provide quality assurance to meet the import requirements of importing countries; and
(g) to issue permits, certificates and endorsements pertaining to imports and exports of animals, fish and plants and their parts and products to provide quality assurance and to ensure that they are free from pests, diseases, weeds, and any other symptoms; and
(i) to regulate the movement of animals and plants from one part of the country to another; and
(j) to undertake and maintain inspection and quarantine surveillance pertaining to pests, diseases, weeds, and any other symptoms on animals, fish and plants within and on the borders of the country” [..].
The Minister for Agriculture may, by notice in the National Gazette:
“(a) declare a port in the country to be a first port of entry for overseas vessels or oversees aircraft; [...]
(d) declare a port in the country to be a port where imported animals or plants, or any particular kind of imported species of animal or plant, may be landed;
(e) declare a place on land or sea to be a quarantine station for the performance of quarantine by vessels, aircraft, animals, plants or goods;
(f) prohibit the importation into the country of an article which, in his opinion, is likely to introduce a communicable disease, or a disease or pests affecting animals or plants; [...]
(h) prohibit the removal of animals, plants or goods from any part of the country to any other part of the country;
(i) declare a part of the country to be a quarantine area in which a quarantinable disease or pest affecting animals or plants exists, or is suspected to exist”[...].
Precautionary measures may be taken by vessels coming from proclaimed places. Indeed, the master of a vessel or aircraft that:
“(a) is bound for a port or place in Papua New Guinea; and
(b) comes from, or calls or touches, a proclaimed place, shall while his vessel or aircraft is at the proclaimed place and during the voyage to Papua New Guinea, take, in respect of the vessel or aircraft and her crew, passengers and cargo, such precautionary measures as are prescribed or as notified by the Authority in writing to prevent the introduction into or spread within the country of a quarantinable disease”.
The following vessels are subject to quarantine:
“(a) an overseas vessel until pratique has been granted or until the vessel has been released from quarantine;
(b) a vessel on board which a quarantinable disease, or a disease that there is reason to believe or suspect to be a quarantine disease, has broken out or has been discovered (not withstanding that pratique has been granted or that it has been released from quarantine);
(c) a vessel that is ordered into quarantine by a Quarantine Officer”.
A Quarantine Officer may, in writing, order into quarantine, a vessel or goods (whether or not subject to quarantine) which in his opinion is or are likely to be infected with; or a source from which goods may be infected with a quarantinable disease.
Vessels and goods subject to quarantine shall continue to be quarantined from the time when they become subject to quarantine until they are released or until pratique has been granted in accordance with the National Agriculture Quarantine and Inspection Authority Act.
Before they are delivered to the importer, imported animals shall be submitted for inspection to a Quarantine Officer. A person, who imports animals or plants into the country otherwise than at a declared port, is guilty of an offence.
Where a Quarantine Officer certifies that an animal ordered into quarantine is affected with a disease and, in his opinion, is a source of danger to other animals or humans and ought to be destroyed, the Managing Director of the NAQIA, after notice to the owner, agent or person in charge (if known), may order it to be destroyed.
A Quarantine Officer may examine and order into quarantine imported goods or packages that are or are likely to be, in his opinion, infected with a disease affecting animals or plants, or that contain or appear to contain an insect, pest or vector of disease.
There is reference in the Department of Health website to the national health policy; the table of contents states that there is control of water-borne diseases; and that there is a Central Public Health Laboratory.
Schedule 5 applies to fish (e.g antibiotic used for the treatment of fish, or growth promotion) and mentions that the substances specified in this Schedule shall be packed, labelled and sold in accordance with Section 12 of the Act.
Section 12 states that:
“ 1) Subject to this Act and to any other law, any person may sell to a purchaser who is known to the vendor to be engaged in mining, agriculture, horticulture or the keeping or breeding of animals a thing specified in Schedule 5 that is packed exclusively for the purpose of the industry in which the purchaser is engaged.
(2) Where a thing referred to in Subsection (1) is labelled and packed as required by this Act and is sold in the quantity set out in Schedule 5, it shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be specified in that Schedule and not in any other Schedule notwithstanding that it, or some of its component parts, is in fact specified in any other Schedule”.
Under the Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulation (1973), the importation of drugs is prohibited unless the person importing has been granted a drug licence import.
Moreover, the Environmental Contaminants Act (1978) states that no person shall import, sell, manufacture or distribute a hazardous environmental contaminant without being the holder of a permit for such importation, sale, manufacture or distribution.
Under the Fisheries Management Act, no person shall:
“(a) use, permit to be used or attempt to use any–
(i) chemical, poison or noxious substance or material whether of manufactured or natural origin [...] for the purpose of killing, taking, stunning, stupefying or disabling fish or in any way rendering fish more easily caught; [...]
(c) place in the water or assist in placing in the water any–
(i) chemical, poison or noxious substance or material whether of manufactured or natural origin [...] for any of the purposes referred to in Paragraph (a)”.
(i) the licensing, control and inspection of–
(i) the preparation, sale, distribution and possession of food and drugs; and
(ii) the keeping of animals used for food or for the production of food products, and the food products of those animals [...]”.
The Environmental Contaminants (Pesticides) Regulation (1988) defines “pesticide” as “any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying or controlling any–
(i) pest or animal causing harm during, or otherwise interfering with, the production, processing, storage, transport or marketing of–
(A) food; or
(B) agriculture commodities; or [...]
(D) animal feedstuff [...]”.
The regulation sets up rules for the import of pesticides which requires a permit.
As stated in the National Aquaculture Development Policy, feed is a major impediment to aquaculture development in Papua New Guinea due to the lack of aquaculture feed industry. To reduce feed costs, it is recommended to conduct research on developing farm made suitable feed utilizing readily available local feed materials; conduct research into appropriate culture methods to reduce dependence on feed; improve understanding of nutrient retention and release into the environment.
Under this Act, “animal” means “cattle, pigs, rabbit, poultry, bird (other than a game bird), fish (including crustacean and mollusk), reptile or other animal which is used for human food” and “meat” means “the whole or any edible part of the dead body of an animal that is ordinarily used as food by man, whether fresh, chilled or frozen”.
The Act establishes a Food Sanitation Council responsible for investigating and deliberating on matters relating to the prevention of food poisoning, the preparation, standards and the requirements of food, food additives, apparatus and packages; and investigating and reporting to the Minister of Health on any matter relating to food sanitation or any other matter as the Minister directs. The Minister may appoint food inspectors and food analysts under the Act.
The Minister may, in liaison with the National Standards Council, fix the standards for the methods of manufacture, processing, use, preparation, preservation and transportation of, food and food additives for sale; and prescribe measures for the prevention of contamination of food or food additives during the manufacturing, processing, preparing, packing, storing, carrying, delivering, serving or handling of food or food additives.
A laboratory for food inspection may be created and the Minister may appoint a place, building or a part of a building to be a laboratory for food inspection for the purposes of this Act.
The Act also prohibits sale of meat from disease suffering animals or suspected to be suffering from a prescribed disease.
Furthermore, the Act provides a set of rules for packaging and labelling: unsanitary or poisonous apparatus or package shall not be used or sold, false labels are prohibited.
Concerning imported food, it is first examined. Food, food additive, apparatus or package imported into Papua New Guinea is subject to examination by an inspector or analyst and if on inspection the food, food additive, apparatus or package, as the case may be, does not comply with the requirements for food sanitation under this Act, it shall be forfeited and destroyed or be disposed of in such manner as the Local Medical Authority directs.
The Packaging Act (1974) and its Regulation (1975) provide rules for the marking of packing of articles with the statement of weight or measure and the approval of brands.
Specific rules are prescribed for information of packages of various articles, including specific rules for fish, including crustacean.
As mentioned above, an import permit for fish is required so as to ensure the safety of fish products.
Then, the National Agricultural Research Institute Act (1996) establishes the NARI which is responsible for aquaculture matters in a certain extent and shall collaborate with the other agencies responsible for aquaculture (i.e the NFA and NDAL). NARI’s functions are:
“ (a) to generate and adapt agricultural technologies and resource management practices appropriate to the needs, circumstances and goals of smallholders;
(b) to promote and facilitate applied and adaptive research in food crops, livestock, alternative cash crops, and resource management;
(c) to promote the use of appropriate agricultural technologies and provide essential technical services to improve the productivity, income, nutritional status and food security, resource base and quality of life of rural households and communities;
(d) to develop and promote ways of improving the output, quality, harvesting, post-harvesting, handling and processing and marketing of food crops, livestock produce and alternative crops;
(e) to maintain and conserve the diversity of genetic resources for food and agriculture, act as custodian for these resources, and promote the effective utilization of these resources in the country” [...].
Aquaculture food quality and safety is encompassed in the National Aquaculture Development Policy under which the promotion, application and adoption of international food safety standards is of importance; as well as the promotion of informative labelling of aquaculture produce including information on feed additives.