PMIZ lacks dialogue

Jonathan Manieva, Executive Officer, Fishing Industry Association of PNG

By Leanne Jorari

Papua New Guinea’s fishing industry association has warned the vision for PNG to be the tuna hub of the Pacific will be dead, unless action is taken to save it.

The multi-million Kina Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang is a key part of the vision but it has seen a delay in construction.

In Manila at the fourteenth Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the association said the project has the potential to compete with fisheries-rich nations like Philippines and Vietnam, but lack of dialogue with stakeholders is holding the progress hostage.

Jonathan Manieva Executive Officer Fishing Industry Association of PNG:

“I think we can come back and create some awareness and educate our policy makers that this is a working policy. we don’t have to throw it in the bin if they don’t consider it viable. We can bring it back to the table to fine-tune it.

Sometimes we, the industry and government, come here (WCPFC) and we sit behind each other as one delegation but when we go back home we sit across the table and they see us as competitors or as an enemy. If we’re going down this long term road, we should be looking as each other as strategic partners”

According to association treasurer, Fabian Chow, the project is going nowhere fast unless the government of the day speaks to the right people.

Fabian Chow:

“In Madang, after these success stories, a PMIZ that’s going nowhere fast. That people are talking big stories but nothings going to happen.

You’re talking about a K350 million investment that’s just going to be wasted because no-one wants to come there because things have changed and that intelligent response we had to bring in the market players over these last 20 years, because no one is listening, something has changed, the last three years have been a disaster.”