The head of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Ango Wangatau, has said that strengthening the fisheries industry needs inclusive government and private partnership investments.

Mr Wangatau made the comments in his keynote talk at the National Tuna Fishing Sector consultation. He said that to grow and increase demand in the fishing industry, it was necessary to be inclusive and collaborate with the private sector. He pointed out there must be a strategic plan and proper infrastructure.

“We believe that there is a problem for our village people to come and sell their fish. [The] cost of exporting fish is very expensive, so no one does that and participate in the industry. Fuel prices are so expensive, so competitive,” Mr Wangatau said.

He stressed the need for legislative measures at the National Fisheries Authority level, in addition to a strategic plan. Mr Wangatau added, “We will talk with our internal revenue friends, Customs, Water PNG, PNG Power, National Planning, Commerce and Industry and all other key government agencies to get a place where we can quarantine for the fishermen.”

Expressing his interest in finding ways for Papua New Guinea to compete with other countries, Wangatau said, “The benchmark that we have selected is Philippines and Thailand because they say that Thailand is the capital of Tuna.”

Image credit National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea