The Fishing Industry Association (FIA) was founded in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG) in 1991, by companies and operators in the tuna industry(both the fishing and shorebased processors), prawn operators, the beche-de-mer buyers and exporters, associated industries such as crew recruitment and placement agencies, fisheries consultancies services; and provincial umbrella artisanal fishing cooperatives. While FIA PNG enjoys of a diversity of fisheries company members, the tuna members are involved in all aspects of the tuna supply chain – fishing, trading, logistics, processing, sales and marketing. The core business of FIA PNG fishing and processing are selling whole round frozen tuna, pre cooked frozen tuna loins, raw packed canned tuna, and canned tuna.
PNG FIA processors are mainly foreigners investors that also have processing sites in Philippines and in Thailand, enabling to also sale tuna glass jars and tuna pouches that are produced in the associated tuna canneries overseas. The PNG FIA pursuit is also only fulfilling the NFA and sector’s export driven strategy. The joint fisheries trade lobby committee through the NFA Board had recommended as part of the fisheries trade pursuit to immediately work and implement a national MSC fishery certification for PNG. The PNG MSC scheme should also be seen as policy initiative that will create an incentive for the PNG based tuna processors and their fishing fleets and an alternative revenue scheme for the State through the National Fisheries Authority. It’s a win-win initiative for PNG.
Impact on national Resource Management regime The FIA PNG national fisheries management would only be improved and enhanced through vigorous compliance and enforcement by fishing operations in their drive to meeting the certification requirements and standards. In 2018 FIA PNG committed to develop and implement the Responsible Sourcing Policy or RSP that content 4 pillars looking at MSC certification of PNG species, Marine litter & Fishing gear mitigation, Crew welfare and labour conditions implementation, and traceability. FIA PNG RSP aims to increase the level of transparency of the fishing operation and be a leader in fishery management.
These pillars, the most rigorous in the tuna industry, drive improvements across a range of fishing operation and help to safeguard the social rights, crew welfare, and safety of those who work on board and communities depending on the resources. Amongst other things FIA PNG RSP policy and procedures help protect marine ecosystems, sensitive habitats and biodiversity, control the use of fishing gear and mitigation of marine litter and labor conditions. We are contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations and also to comply with the Tuna 2020 traceability declaration.
The PNG FIA will continuously provide the appropriate training and specific technical skills that will promote the capacity building in the FIA team and the FIA members.
In closing, the objectives of PNG FIA RSP:
Support our national commercialized fisheries to achieve the best practice and sustainable resource utilization and marketing,
Support our domestic fisheries development aspirations, its resources, and business sustainability,
Support our fishing industries’ efforts to ascertain improvement in sustainability of tuna stock within Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Convention area, and,
Work in alignment and cooperation with National Fisheries Authority (NFA) and regional partners in developing and implementing verifiable, science-based practices, commitments, and international management measures that result in tuna fisheries meeting management and sustainable goals.
Implementation by the FIA PNG fishing company members of the FIA Responsible Sourcing Policy (RSP) that includes 4 pillars and support 11 Sustainable Developments Goals SDGs set up by the United Nations.
The Fishing Industry Association of Papua New Guinea sustainability efforts started in 2010 when it was a leader member of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) for getting the Marine Stewardship Council Fishery Certification (MSC) and participate actively in setting the fishery management fishery plans. In 2016, FIA PNG started its own journey in the PNG tuna fishery certification than includes the development and implementation of the RSP.
Looking to the future, FIA PNG will continue with the collaborative with stakeholders, in the tuna supply chain, labor & social programs, and environmental organizations, in which currently participates and further will engage. FIA PNG will standardize sustainability reporting with key data elements in 2021 and set improvements targets for the future for both at Land and at Sea operations.
Finally, I would like to express our gratitude to everyone in our industry (fishing and processing) including my predecessors, the National Fisheries Authority and its national observer programme & Catch documentation scheme, and all our stakeholders both international and domestic for supporting our vision to ensuring the long-term sustainability of our tuna fishery for our generation,
now and into the future.