19 May 2011

PNG Fisheries Authority upbeat about canning plans

7:06 pm on 19 May 2011

The managing director of Papua New Guinea's National Fisheries Authority says the key point about plans for a huge expansion of the country's tuna canning capacity is that it's making use of a sustainable resource.

Sylvester Pokajam says the sector already employs seven thousand workers but this could swell to 20,000 within the next ten years if another five planned cannery investments go ahead.

He says PNG, through the Authority, wants to ensure long term sustainable management of the country's tuna and other fish resources.

All the investors are likely to be foreign companies, but Mr Pokajam says the flow on benefits will still be felt throughout the PNG economy.

"Everyone is going to have a share of that pie, once we investment and processing in and so on. It's not 100 percent of profit going out. I don't think so! We will all share together I think, but the main thing is this. This is a sustainable resource. It is not gold, copper, oil or whatever. It is tuna. It's sustainable. We just maintain that and maintain it for the long term because they'll create spinoffs as well."