The 36th INFOFISH Conference began yesterday in Port Moresby and will end on the 16th of this month.
Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Jelta Wong officially opened the event and said PNG is happy to host this important meeting as INFOFISH plays an important role in the development of the fishing industry in the region.
With approximately two and a half million square kilometers of Special Economic Zones, PNG produces between one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand metric tons of fish annually, making us one of the biggest fishing nation in the region.
Minister Wong said InfoFish was established in 1981 as a project under the Food and Agriculture Organization, which offers a range of services to its member countries including expertise in aqua culture fishing, marketing and trade quality control and the dissemination of valuable information through numerous publicity, workshops, meetings and conferences.
“InfoFish has made a lasting impact on the fishing industries in the region,” Minister Wong said.
The National Fisheries Authority Managing Director Justin Ilakini highlighted the purpose of hosting this year’s meeting.
“We are passing the budget and work plan for next year.”
“The outcome of this meeting, the work priorities of the member country will be identified and confirmed including the budget and assistance that will be provided to the member countries,” Ilakini said.
InfoFish Director Shirlene Anthonysamy said the focus of this meeting’s discussions will be on assisting both domestic and international markets post Covid-19.
“Now that we come out from the pandemic and borders are open, we are hoping that we have more training programs for PNG particularly developing the domestic market, adding more value to products already in the country,” Anthonysamy said.
“Also looking at how to assist in the aqua culture development in PNG,” she added.
The three-day session will be attended by high profile government delegates from the twelve member countries.
Of the twelve, three are from the Pacific, and they are PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji.