14 Nov 2012

Conference told Pacific fisheries lose out to outsiders

7:07 pm on 14 November 2012

The Pacific fisheries sector is said to lose out to vessels which process their catch outside the region.

This has been highlighted as one of the biggest challenges facing the Pacific fisheries industry at this year's Pacific New Zealand Fisheries Forum.

The managing director of Papua New Guinea's largest tuna supplier, R & D Tuna Canners, Pete Celso, says there are many challenges, including the lack of basic infrastructure, man-power and a lack of investment and funding facilities.

He says on top of this, while fish resources in the Pacific are good, most is being caught by foreign fleets.

Mr Celso says the catch is being taken to processing plants all over the world, except the Pacific.

"You cannot simply blame also the foreign fleets because there's really not much processing plants here where they can offload the fish. So they have to live where the market is. They catch the fish, they bring it to anywhere there are buyers but since we don't have much buyers here. So it's a chicken or egg thing, what comes first, the processing plant or the fish."

The Managing R & D Canners, Pete Celso.