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Fisher communities living along the coastal lines and islands of the Bismarck Sea in northwest Papua New Guinea started receiving new engine-mounted craft boats.

Mainly dependent on coastal fishing, the new equipment assists to improve communities’ livelihood and well-being.  

This was a support provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as part of the EU-funded STREIT PNG Program, under which, eight 23 FT craft boats with 40 HP outboard motor engines, and fishing and safety gears were recently handed over to coastal and island fishing groups in Vanimo-Green and Aitape-Lumi districts of West Sepik Province.  

The recipient groups were selected based on the criteria agreed upon between the Provincial Fisheries and Marine Resources Office and the EU-STREIT PNG programme.

FAO Fisheries Officer, Mohammed Zakir explained that the Programme is committed to facilitating the access of fishing communities to markets.

“For the coastal and island people of the Sepik Region, engine-mounted crafts boats are essential assets as a means of transportation and also for ferrying of processed fish to the town markets and customers,” he said.

“This intervention will help to sustainably increase the catch and profitability of fish business while also contributing significantly to food security and nutrition at the household level.” he added.

Chairlady of BAMA Women’s Group of Ulau Village, Angela Passingan was among one of the recipients of an engine-mounted craft boat.

“The purpose of this boat is to assist our people, especially the mothers, children and youth in the village, with the supply of protein, fish, and also to provide job opportunities in fish capturing and selling for youths who completed Grades 8, 10 and 12 and are doing nothing in the village,” she expressed.

Before the handover, FAO coordinated a capacity development training for skippers and crews of fisher groups on ‘basic operations of 2-stroke engines’ so that they can confidently conduct basic troubleshooting and regular service and maintenance for their engines to be sustained in the long run.

Led by FAO, the EU-STREIT PNG Program focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fisheries value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers.

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