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By Cynthia Maku

The Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources, Jelta Wong, alongside Managing Director of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Justin Ilakini, signed a series of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with four provinces as a key signifying gesture towards renewing and strengthening the bond between rural provinces and the overarching work and vision of the NFA.

Minister Wong stated that “These MoU’s were developed specifically to each province, as we know each province is different, but given these differences we all have one goal. And our government’s goal and initiative is to ensure every province can generate revenue and self-sustain themselves”.

Furthermore, Managing Director Ilakini said “NFA is currently driving a complete review and reform of the fisheries sector. As we push forward towards impactful transformation, it is essential we must take the whole country with us, no province or people left behind.

The MoU’s are our key mechanism for service delivery to the provinces. Therefore, reviewing and strengthening relations with our provinces is essential to building the momentum of our reforms to ensure meaningful impact at all levels” Ilakini said.

The Governors representing their provinces to sign the MoU’s were Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin, Western Province Governor Taboi Awi Yoto, Chimbu Governor Noah Kool, and Hela Governor Philip Undialu.

In addition, aside from coastal fisheries development and management, the NFA is also reshaping and giving more attention and effort to Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Development Initiatives.

When highlighting Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture development, Jelta Wong stated that these MoU’s will not only ensure food security for the people, but furthermore seek to enhance and ensure the sustainability of the commercial aspect of the fisheries reforms currently taking place.

“We don’t realize, we have the waters in Papua New Guinea that can breed and sustain species of fish like Trout and Salmon, of which are very high value commodities within the world that people regularly consume” Minister Wong said.

“We must find ways to balance out the benefits, both socially and economically for our coastal and inland communities. This will come in the form of projects and initiatives with peoples livelihood at the core focus, driven at the grassroots level” he said.

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