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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Toata Molea leads Solomon delegation to fish study visit in PNG

A prominent fisheries researcher and the chairman of the advisory council of Solomon Islands, Mr Toata Molea, is currently participating in a week long fish study visit to Papua New Guinea along with another seven countries of the central-western Pacific.

The week long fish study visit to Lae in PNG was attended by a total of eight central-western Pacific Island countries who are members of the Partners in Nauru Agreement (PNA) of which PNG is a leading member, having the largest tuna stocks and largest landmass, followed by the Solomon Islands.

During the visit, delegates have acknowledged that despite owning half of the world tuna stocks, central-western Pacific nations have benefited little from these stocks because of lack of on-shore processing facilities.

Yesterday, the team visited fishing facilities in Lae including International Food Corporation makers of Besta and Frabelle-Frescommer Ltd to see first-hand the development of PNG’s fishing industry. The local fishing industry in Morobe has taken a leap forward recently with the launching of the Fisheries Credit Facility by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA). Morobe was identified as the first province to put to trial the scheme which involves provincial fisheries, local fishing groups and private sector partner Frabelle-Frescommer.

During a luncheon presentation at the Lae International Hotel hosted by Frabelle-Frescommer Ltd yesterday, chairman of the advisory council of Solomon Islands Toata Molea praised PNG in taking lead in promoting on-shore fisheries facilities, describing the PNG tour as an eye-opener.

Mr Molea also made particular mention of the current arrangement between Frabelle Frescomar and the Morobe provincial government through NFA’s fisheries credit facility.

“We will be watching the development of the on-shore fishing facilities, and in particular the Frabelle project as a role model, and are looking at advocating this approach in our own countries,” he said.

Mr Molea revealed that most of the revenue derived from Solomon Islands fishing industry were from licensing fees given to foreign-owned fishing vessels and from taxes from their fishing operations.

The delegates yesterday were hosted to dinner by Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, which involved a briefing by the Morobe fisheries sector. They leave for Port Moresby today for their last leg of the visit before travelling to the Philippines to visit the head offices of IFC and Frabelle-Frescommer.

Source: PNG National

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